246 by Kotaro Sawaki
246 by Kotaro Sawaki.
Around three years ago, at the end of October in 2014, I made the decision to relocate my base of operations from Tokyo to Okayama. I had already shipped my office and household belongings to Okayama, and there I stood at Tokyo Station with a large backpack on my back and a small carry-on in hand.
246 was the book I purchased at Tokyo Station’s kiosk for entertainment during my Shinkansen ride back to Okayama from Tokyo. It had been over two decades since I last read a book by Kōtarō Sawaki, the last one being “Shinya Tokkyu” (Midnight Express) during my college years. I honestly can’t recall why I picked up 246 at the kiosk, but I believe it had something to do with the appealing cover artwork of the paperback edition. (I suspect I initially bought “Midnight Express” because I was drawn to the illustrations by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre.)
As the Shinkansen departed Tokyo Station, I delved into 246, and memories of my time in Tokyo, Midnight Express, and my college years began to resurface. Various memories and emotions intersected and welled up within me. However, as I read through the gentle and soothing diary-like essays in 246, those emotions were comforted.
Initially, I had purchased 246 as a means of passing the time, but it has since become a cherished book that I occasionally revisit. I aspire to write similarly wonderful and gentle prose on this blog in the future.