Rie Takemoto, a divorcee with a young son, returns to her rural hometown in Kyushu where she works at her family's stationery shop. A shy lumberjack named Daisuke Taniguchi periodically visits the store to purchase colored pencils and sketchbooks. A few months later, Daisuke invites Rie for a meal, and after a short courtship, the two marry and start a family.

A Man, by Keiichiro HiranoTranslated by Eli K.P. William302 pagesAMAZON CROSSING

The couple's tranquil existence abruptly ends when Daisuke is killed in a logging accident. Rie dutifully contacts his estranged family in Gunma Prefecture, and Daisuke's abrasive older brother, Kyoichi, travels to Kyushu to pay respects. Upon kneeling before the Buddhist altar and seeing a photo of the deceased, however, Kyoichi is astonished to see that the man who had claimed to be his brother is a complete stranger.