Tenohira No Memo
Mystery Stories Go on also at Courts
When we read crime novels, the leading figures are mostly played by private detectives, policemen, lawyers or public prosecutors. Citizen Judge System landed in Japan of 2000s, however. That has most of Japanese associated with real cases. It means the mystery novels whose main stages are courts should newly be born.
“Tenohira No Memo (Memo on the hand)” is one of the stories written by a female crime novel author; Natsuki Shizuko who has declared that she can be calm down by reading a compendium of laws. You don’t have to reason who it is in reading the novel. But you will wonder how you should deal with the criminal. Namely, “Tenohira No Memo” vividly shows problems of the Japanese system and agony of jurors.
Orikawa Fukumi plays the main role. She is 57 years old and a commonplace full-time housewife. Two children of Fukumi already left home and she lives with only his husband who works as a teacher. One day, accidentally she was elected as a supplementary lay judge for a case which indicted was Tanemoto Chiaki; a single mother of 37 years old who works at an advertising agency.
Tanemoto Chiaki had lived with just her son of 6 years old. But the little boy died of asthma. The public prosecutors prosecuted Chiaki for Abandonment by a Person Responsible for Protection. It is said Chiaki attended a meeting of importance on the day. The council went prolonged and so she was unable to spend her time on her son. Worried are the jurors including Fukumi, and soon they get to know that Chiaki went on a date with a married man who works at a production company after attending the meeting. And a big secret about the unfortunate boy also make disclosed…
You know, the case is nothing especial. Everywhere it may happen and you might become the one to examine. In a sense, this can be an ultimate thriller. And it is an answerless mystery how Chiaki should be dealt with, isn’t it?
about Tenohira no memo
・Written by Natsuki Shizuko
・Published by Bungei Shunju (2009)
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