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Preview - Children Who Went to the Spiritual World, Book One

from 'The Angel and the Mystery of the Red Tulip: Akira Uno's Story'
Page: 1/2

Akira’s house
This story begins as Japan was finally recovering from the devastation of war, and stability was slowly returning to people’s lives. The world was beginning to see Japan as a major economic power, and felt threatened by its fast-growing economy.
It was a time of bewildering change. Large factories the likes of which people had never imagined were going up everywhere. The forests of Japan’s mountains and valleys were cleared to make room for new neighborhoods, with beautiful modern homes. People had a vague feeling that their own happiness was linked to the development of these factories and towns.
In the new residential areas, homes with modern facilities began to change people’s daily lives dramatically. Basking in the cultural blessings, they savored the feeling of personal happiness and well-being.
Incomes steadily increased, people suffered fewer hardships, and they cast off their old way of living, welcoming the new modern conveniences. Many people became intoxicated by the day-to-day benefits, which for them were greater than the costs.
Akira’s family was one of those who moved from a small rented house in the old part of town to a new neighborhood with spacious homes. They had been living there for over two years, and they enjoyed seeing the trees and flowers they had planted in the yard grow bigger and bigger, thanks to the whole family’s efforts in giving them water and fertilizer. All the households were planting trees in their yards, but there were very few large trees at present. Many were young trees that would grow larger in the years to come.
Roads, gas lines, and water and sewer pipes were laid down above and below the newly cleared land. The field in the park felt like wide open space, and the small planted trees seemed like zelkovas. There was still a great deal of work to be done in this new part of town, but it would probably take several more years to complete.
Behind the houses was a small wooded hill, and beyond that hill, a ridge of mountains. It was a thoroughly ordinary scene. Although there was not a mature tree anywhere in sight, somehow, on these streets, that did not feel strange.
Akira’s house was more or less in the middle of this new neighborhood. He lived there with his parents and his sister, who was two years younger than he was. When they left their old terrace-style house in the crowded downtown area and moved just outside of the bustling city to a new residential street on a hill, with a clear blue sky and open spaces, they felt as happy as could be. The eyes and hearts of the whole family were shining brightly. Akira, too, felt a pounding in his chest that made him want to sing out to the great sky: Hello!

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