chapter
1 Pages

It could tell the

story of how they used to live their lives up until ten years ago. His father wore it on the boat, and so did his sister. Now that both these workers are dead, the boy's mother has given this piece of hand-me-down work clothing to her youn- gest child to wear. Interrupted during his "baseball" practice, the boy was now sitting in front of

Yamanaka Kuhei obstinately refuses to get on the bus and go to be examined. Yamanaka Kuhei is sixteen years old (born in July of 1949). His father and his ancestors were fishermen in Yudo in the City of Minamata, but his father died unexpectedly of a cold in 1950. His older sister Satsuki (born in 1927) contracted Minamata disease in July of 1956 and died that same year on 2 September. He got sick one year before his sister did, in May of 1955. He and his sister were both admitted to the Shirahama Contagious Diseases Hospital for a period of time, but since then until now he has been treated as an outpatient. He is patient number 16. He lives with his mother, Chiyo, who is getting along in years; she is fifty-seven.