12 August, Tōko Sawada

文字数 2,985文字

To the Future, To the Past


Argh. There’s way too much to do.
  I collapsed onto the bed.
  Homework, club activities, chores, looking after my sister. . . .
  According to the adults, your teenage years are supposed to be the most enjoyable time of your life, but I don’t believe that one bit. The fact that I’m still thinking about homework, at a time like this, says it all.
  Hey, you’re home, aren’t you? Help me fry the croquettes! Hearing her shout from the kitchen, I sat up on the bed.
  Croquettes are such a pain to make. I’d always thought that it’d be so much easier to buy them from the supermarket. But it looks like Grandma used to make them at home, too. In other words, it’s a family tradition. Aha. I just got a little wiser.
  We don’t have all day! Come and put breadcrumbs on the croquettes!
  I thought about that homework I should’ve submitted a while ago.
  

Research

about

your

father

and

mothers

teenage

years.


  Looking into the mirror on the wall, my reflection bore a striking resemblance to Mom. I guess that’s only natural.
  I turned my head, looking all around me, and almost fell back in surprise. It wasn’t the same room it was a moment ago.
  I stared at the contents of the blue plastic bottle in front of me, then drank it down.
  The translucent curtains by the windows glimmered in colors of the rainbow.
  Floating in the air were 3D images of dancers dressed in bright pink, projected from the small device on the desk.
  I felt my anxiety gradually calm down. Right, I thought, and stood up from the bed.
  I seem to have an odd kind of luck. For now, I just want to enjoy the circumstances. Besides, I should make use of this experience, in the most practical way possible.
  I tried to convince myself that this made sense. Still, it’s a wonder how this all happened.
  Apparently, we’d won the rights to travel 30 years in the past or in the future, in a competition run by some company.
  It’s not a believable story, is it? I crossed my arms and grunted as I stared at the blue bottle.
  Could I submit a report about this bizarre experience, in place of that annoying assignment?


Translated by Yuka Maeno/Arranged by TranNet KK

Tōko Sawada
Born in Kyoto, 1977. Graduated from Doshisha University’s Faculty of Letters, and later graduated with a master’s from Doshisha University. Made her literary debut in 2010 with

Koyō

no

ten

(Heavens of the solitary hawk), for which she won the Nakayama Gishū Literary Prize, becoming the youngest author to win the prize. Also received the Best Historical Novel as Chosen by Booksellers Award in 2012 and the Nitta Jirō Literature Prize in 2013 for

Mitsuru

tsuki

no

gotoshi:

Busshi

Jōchō

(Like a full moon: Jōchō the sculptor of Buddhist statues), and the Japan Historical Writing Club Award and the Shinran Prize in 2016 for

Jakuchū

. Her most recent work is

Kakeiri

no

tera

(Temple for refugees).

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