Episode #9 "New Journey"

Aired: February 7, 1999

Note: This episode is more of a prelude to a new journey, as Yoshimori doesn't really go anywhere. He does say goodbye to two important people, Miki and of course, Shiori. Hiromu can't wait for Yoshimori to leave town.

Synopsis The episode begins with Yoshimori speaking on the phone with his parole officer. He is all packed and ready to move to Shimonoseki and begin a new life. He remembers all that had transpired over the last few days in Kiyosumi. As he packs some final things and reflects upon the past, the beginning credits roll.

The official ceremony for the anniversary of Kahori's death is underway. Shiori looks over at Hiromu. As Hiromu prays, there is a brief flashback to Kahori's suicide scene. Meanwhile, Yoshimori is finishing up some final preparations at the house. Miki comes by. Yoshimori apologizes for last night. After the ceremony, both Shiori and Miki find themselves at Kahori's gravesite. Shiori reveals to Miki that even though her mother is from Yokosuka, she probably would have preferred to be buried in Kagoshima. Miki reminds Shiori that Yoshimori can't travel with Shiori, as that would violate his parole. Shiori tells Miki of how the three former runaways had promised to go to Kagoshima in the spring. As Miki tells Shiori how this is an important time in Yoshimori's life, Shiori looks at her and says "Do you love him?" Miki tries to deny it, but Shiori forces the truth out of her. But when Miki asks her, Shiori remains silent and gives her a dirty look. Hiromu shows up to take Shiori home. If it's possible, Shiori gives Miki an even dirtier look as she walks away.

Yoshimori says his goodbyes to Shimizu and his family. It's raining quite hard, as Yoshimori walks back home. Back at Hiromu's house, Shiori overhears him talking about his future plans for her. They include arranging a marriage for her and sending her away for college in America. Yoshimori is walking in the rain, and he sees Shiori standing there, getting soaked. They head back to his house. Hiromu realizes that Shiori is missing. Of course, he goes looking for her. At Yoshimori's house, Shiori dries off. She spots a book on stars, and it reminds both of them of the time in Hokkaido, as well as the promise to go to Kagoshima. "We couldn't keep that promise," Yoshimori says. Hiromu arrives, looking for Shiori. But Yoshimori lets Hiromu in. Hiromu grabs Shiori and forces her into his car. Then he goes back into Yoshimori's house. Hiromu tells Yoshimori of his plans for Shiori. Yoshimori doesn't have anything to say until Hiromu gets up to leave. "Is that the best?" Yoshimori asks. "Isn't it pretty sad for Shiori?" Hiromu answers by saying that it's better to forget all the bad stuff in the past. "Forget all that boring stuff," he says. "Boring stuff?" Yoshimori asks. He stands up to face Hiromu. "Yes. Boring stuff. What good does it do to hold onto what happened six years ago?" Hiromu answers. Hiromu decides to tell Yoshimori why he thinks Kahori killed herself. It was to protect Yoshimori, as she saw Hiromu coming at both of them with an ax. "She saw I was coming to kill you. She tried to protect you. She sacrificed herself to save you," Hiromu says. These words hit Yoshimori hard, and tears form in his eyes. As Hiromu leaves with some unhappy parting words, Yoshimori can only stand frozen, thinking about what Hiromu just said.

The movers come to take Yoshimori's belongings to Shimonoseki. He goes to the library on the hunch that he'd see Shiori. He spots her reading a book. The two go outside to talk. Yoshimori tells her to write to him when she goes off to college. He says his goodbyes to her, as he would be leaving that night. Shiori makes him spend the day with her. The two go for a bike ride, just like in the past. They walk through the temple area where the festival was held during which Yoshimori and Kahori became close. Then end up on a windswept grassy area and talk. "Why was I born?" Shiori asks. "You were born to love and to be loved," Yoshimori answers. The two part at a bridge. A tearful Shiori attempts to persuade Yoshimori to go with her to Kagoshima. Yoshimori almost loses his resolve. "We all promised! To take a trip together! We promised!" Shiori cries. With a haggard look on his face, Yoshimori says "You're going to be all right," but he doesn't seem too sure about his statement. Shiori agrees, shaking her head no. As he walks away, a tear falls down Shiori's face.

Hiromu berates his cronies for not doing their best during re-election. Shiori arrives back home. Hiromu notices that she had been crying. When he questions why, she tells him that it's none of his business. "Why should you care? You're trying to send me away!" she says. He guesses that she met with Yoshimori. Shiori tells Hiromu that she refuses to go to America for school. Then she asks him if Yoshimori really killed Kahori. "He didn't did he? She killed herself, didn't she," Shiori asks rhetorically. "Why didn't you tell the truth at the trial? As revenge for stealing mama from you, you sent Yoshimori to prison for six years! You're a horrible man...some kind of father you are. I never want to see you again!" She rushes out of the room. In her room, she looks at an old picture of her and her mother. "Mama, for the first time I know how you feel, about wanting to get out of this town. You wanted to love alot, and to be loved. That's all," Shiori says.

Next is Miki's turn at goodbyes. Yoshimori stops by her noodle shop. When Yoshimori tells her that Shiori will probably be sent to America for school, and that Hiromu will remarry, Miki responds that would probably be the best thing. As Yoshimori gets up to leave, Miki asks him suddenly if she could go with him to Shimonoseki. Yoshimori tells her to write to him. Then Miki admits her love for him. The two hug, but Yoshimori makes it clear (without even saying a word) that there would never be any love between the two of them. He leaves a tearful Miki standing alone in her shop.

At the train station, Yoshimori sees Shiori. She is standing by the bird cage. He asks her where she's going. She tells him that she's going to Kagoshima by herself. Yoshimori goes to make a phone call to Hiromu, but Shiori stops him, telling Yoshimori that nothing would stop her. "Isn't it sad that mama can't lie in a place where she can rest?" she asks Yoshimori. The two board the same train. Meanwhile, Hiromu once again realizes that Shiori is missing. At first, the two travelers sit apart. But after a while, Yoshimori decides to sit in the seat across from her.