Chapter 109

Taka took his usual seat at the hushed dinner table. Everyone, except Haru, studied his or her empty dinner plate as if some hidden script could be read of the design bordering the edges. Haru looked into Taka’s eyes, willing him to follow up on their beach conversation.

“Otösan, the preservation of our Japanese culture is more important than a baseball game. I apologize for losing my temper this morning. I will accept any punishment you give me without complaint.”

The children’s furtive eyes peeked at their father, as did Haru’s. Kenji’s stoic face hid the hurt he felt as he accepted his son’s apology. As the family began scooping rice out of the bowl in the middle of the table, Kenji feared this was not the end of his son’s rebellion. At his core, he believed that Taka’s assertiveness was the downside of America culture.

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