『地図を広げて』（Chizu o hirogete）
|家族 離婚 死
Spreading Out the Map
This story of adolescence focuses on the awkwardness of reuniting as a family after four years of living apart and the process of overcoming it.
Twelve-year-old Suzu has been living with her father since he and her mother divorced four years ago. When Suzu’s mother suddenly dies, however, Suzu and her father must welcome Kei, Suzu’s eight-year-old brother, back into the family after an absence of four years. The story begins with Suzu waiting for her father to bring Kei home. Kei is quiet and polite, but he wants to spend every weekend at their grandmother’s on his mother’s side. He gets his father to buy him a map of the neighborhood and starts disappearing on his bicycle every day. Worried about him, Suzu follows along. She also begins spending the weekends at their grandmother’s. By doing so, she learns that Kei has been visiting the neighborhood they used to live in before their parents divorced, searching for people who might remember him, recording all these places on his map, and looking at photos on his mother’s cellphone which their grandmother has kept.
The book’s 24 chapters cover the period from mid-May to the end of June. Suzu’s memories, which have been awakened by her mother’s death and Kei’s addition to her family, are inserted throughout, carrying the reader along.
Suzu’s father, a newspaper reporter, likes to photograph rivers, and a river runs through the town where they live. The image of characters crossing the top of the dam recurs throughout the tale, symbolizing Suzu’s feelings of anxiety and release. Unique supporting characters, such as her father’s former classmate Makiko, Suzu’s only friend Tsukita, and her mother’s high school friend, contribute to Suzu’s deepening understanding. (Doi)
- Text: Iwase, Joko
- 246 pages
- ISBN 978-4-03-613180-9
- Ages 12 +
Family, Divorce, Death