𝐒𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐁𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐏𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞
𝐁𝐲 𝐃𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐮𝐤𝐞𝐠𝐚𝐰𝐚
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫: 𝐎𝐧𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤: 𝟐𝟏𝟓
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝: 𝟔𝐭𝐡 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟑
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞: 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐲 𝐅𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
𝐉𝐚𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞
𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫: 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑

Sentaro Tsujii's life is marred by numerous mistakes, and he finds himself burdened with debts that he must repay. In an attempt to settle these obligations, he reluctantly finds employment at Doraharu, a small confectionery shop owned by his former boss's widow. To expedite his morning routine, Sentaro opts for ready-made sweet bean paste for his dorayaki, as his nights are often consumed by heavy sake consumption. Haunted by his past failures, he occasionally succumbs to thoughts of despair and self-destruction.
However, amidst the arrival of the cherry blossom season, everything takes an unexpected turn when 76-year-old Tokue Yoshii enters Sentaro's shop, altering the course of his life forever. Tokue presents Sentaro with an irresistible proposition, one he cannot turn down. Through Tokue's presence, Sentaro undergoes a profound transformation, embarking on a journey of self-discovery, embracing new perspectives, and forging deep connections with newfound friends.
Beyond its focus on the preparation and enjoyment of food, this story delves into profound depths. Undoubtedly, food possesses the remarkable ability to bring people together. It is in this spirit that Wakana, a teenager, finds solace in regularly visiting the shop after school. As their paths intertwine, a strong bond of friendship blossoms among the three protagonists, nourished by their heartfelt interactions and the sharing of their life experiences.
Yet, Sentaro's concerns persistently linger in his mind. He frets over the potential judgment and remarks from customers who catch a glimpse of Tokue's weathered hands and her face paralyzed by time. The stark reality of social discrimination remains vivid and thriving in society. Meanwhile, Tokue harbours a personal secret, one that slowly unravels as their friendship deepens and trust takes root.

Together, the characters embark on a journey that transcends culinary delights, unearthing the intricacies of human connection, empathy, and the endurance of the human spirit in the face of adversity.
The writing style of this story is marked by its simplicity, yet it carries a sense of dignity that resonates deeply. The pangs of disappointment and loneliness permeate every page, evoking a tangible emotional presence. Despite its concise nature, the story delivers a powerful impact with laser-like precision. Its thought-provoking essence leaves the reader contemplating the very essence of a meaningful existence, questioning the elements that truly define a life of significance.

This story beautifully captures the profound essence of life, transcending the conventional notions of mere servitude or the typical benchmarks by which we measure success. It unveils a narrative that unravels the true meaning of existence. Throughout its pages, valuable lessons are both taught and learned, while a transformative friendship between two individuals illuminates an alternative path to living.
Within the narrative, three generations converge, forging a friendship that reaffirms the vitality of life for each participant. Despite its brevity, this book serves as a poignant illustration of a crucial point: How do we truly live our lives? Are we willing to open our eyes and truly perceive the world around us? Do we actively engage in experiences, embracing the opportunity to learn and grow to our fullest potential? These are the profound questions that resonate within the narrative, inviting readers to reflect upon their own lives and the choices they make. 

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