Episode 4: A woman more cherished than wife and daughter
Ryota’s father Eisuke regains consciousness. Toshiko, Takiko and her husband Kenji, Ryota as well as Moe gather at his hospital ward. As they stand around a still foggy Eisuke, Takiko pesters him to try saying her name. Toshiko tells her it is no use since he does not even know hers. However, Ryota’s name is the only one that Eisuke can remember. Takiko bristles in response and when she declares that she is leaving, Ryota calls her childish. Toshiko comforts a disconsolate Takiko that her father would not forget “the children who have given him anxiety”, but Ryota feels quite ashamed because he had told Moe earlier that he no longer has anything to say to his father.
Meanwhile, Naho comes with her son Daichi to pay Eisuke a visit. Ryota introduces them to his mother. It is the first time that Toshiko and Takiko are meeting Naho whom they suspected to be Eisuke’s mistress and the two ladies create a stir. However, when Eisuke vacantly blurts out ‘Kumi’, the name of another woman, as he addresses Naho, a delicate air of tension descends upon the room. Pestered by his mother and the others about this person called ‘Kumi’, Ryota cannot say that she was an ex-girlfriend and ends up stuttering.
At that moment, Osamu visits the forest where he had once seen the ‘Kuna’ and seems to address it as he mutters, “Awake for now. That’s good. That’s good.” Is he speaking to the ‘Kuna’? Or Kumi who had seen the ‘Kuna’ with Eisuke and him when they were children? And behind him, what his younger self along with that of Eisuke and Kumi appear … … Osamu turns and watches the scene unfolding before him in disbelief.
On the other hand, Sae finally rushes to the hospital in Nagano right after wrapping up her work. However, Moe does not show any particular signs of missing her and Sae loses confidence in the fact that her daughter does not have expectations of her as a mother.
Even though Eisuke has regained consciousness, he remains in a critical condition. Ryota visits Osamu and asks him how serious his father had been in the search for the ‘Kuna’. Osamu says Eisuke had probably been trying to do something now which he had not been able to do in his life. Could there have been something that his father, a director at a pharmaceutical company and a successful man in society, was not able to do? It is a surprising thought to Ryota. But when he hears from Osamu that his father had once given up on his dream and instead entered the pharmaceutical company, he is shocked by this unknown aspect about his father’s past.
Worried about Eisuke, Osamu visits him at the hospital ward and starts to talk to him about his memories of the forest where they saw the ‘Kuna’. “I wonder if it was a dream,” Osamu mumbles. To which Eisuke declares, “It was real.”
The next day, Ryota sits with his father. “Have you seen the ‘Kuna’?” he asks and shows him the red pointed hat that he discovered in the forest. Eisuke finally starts to talk. The ‘Kuna’ connects the dead and the living, he says. But when Ryota asks if there is someone he cannot meet even if he wants to, he gets no reply. “Listen, the world isn’t just made of things that the eyes can see.” Then he takes out a 1,000 yen note from his wallet and gives it to Ryota in the same way that he had with Moe.
It is the first time that Eisuke has taken Ryota as his son and spoken about the ‘Kuna’.
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