Chapter 5:

Family Ties: Ito



Her name was Junko Arai.

She was a young woman, having long, black, straight hair. She always had glasses that made her beautiful brown eyes pop out. She always wore a dress. She was from Kami's Edge. A village deep in the wilderness. It was almost cut off completely from the world. They say It was made by the fingertip of God himself. It was secluded, nice, and peaceful. 

Junko moved away from paradise to pursue an education. 

She didn't want to be the housewife as her mother and grandmother were. She would head over to the shores nearby and look out at the vast beyond, wondering what is out there. Who else is in this wilderness? Are there any other cites? Countries? She would spend her days in the library, reading and researching about Japanese history. While the other girls would be with their parents and help their mothers cook, Junko would learn about the country she stayed in. She soon took a liking to learn about law. She loved it, actually. It was set in stone once she finished high school. She was going to Osaka to become a lawyer. Her parents disapproved of the decision, stating that the outside world is an evil place, with evil men down on their luck that wants to bring you down with them.

They were correct. 

With a sparkle in her eye, Junko traveled to Osaka for the first time. The modest town was small, and easy to grasp for a young impressable woman like herself. With her dreams still strong, she attended Osaka University. For the first year, it was fine, her grades were wonderful, she avoided mostly everybody because she was so focused on passing, It was a perfect scenario for Junko.

It all changed when she met Shiro Ito. 

Shiro was a young hotshot. He was the bad boy with the heart of gold. He dressed like the common hoodlum wearing jeans, a plain white shirt, and a light jacket with a crucifix chain. They met one morning while she was on her way to class. Junko was rather cold to Shiro's advances, which made her even more attractive to him. He was persistent, even waiting when was class was over to continue to flirt with the woman. She eventually cracked and gave him a chance, offering him one chance to impress her. He took her out on a date to a seafood restaurant, treating her to the nicest food, the best view of the sea, everything a woman could ask for on the first date. It helped that Shiro was a funny guy who was compassionate about everything he believed in. The thing he believed in most was becoming his own master. He wanted to lead something. He worked as a mechanic at the time, using a little bit of his savings to fund this date. He called it an "Investment." 

Soon, they go on more dates, eventually falling in love and moving in together in one of the nicer apartments in Osaka. However, the couple fell on hard times once Junko graduated. The law firm that had Junko dropped her after a few years busting her ass there. Shiro quit his mechanic job, despising working for any man. It didn't help that they got a kid in 78'. It was a boy. Shiro had the perfect name for him. 


Things only got worse. The bills kept piling up, everything was getting more and more expensive. With no options left, Shiro chose to...lower his morals to get money. He found his calling as a drug dealer, dealing in cocaine due to a supplier in America he found after his name had gone around in the underworld. Despite this, Shiro never joined the Yakuza for unknown reasons. Maybe he really liked being his own boss. 

Earning more and giving his family plenty, Junko became suspicious of this sudden change of income. As a woman of law, she despised any form of crime. Shiro knew this and kept it secret. It all came out one day in 1985. 

She found the stash. the mountain of cocaine. The white gold. She was disgusted. Appalled. She looked at Shiro like he stabbed her in the back, her eyes welling up in anger and confusion. There were no words exchanged. Junko knew he wouldn't stop being his own master. Shiro knew she couldn't stand sharing the air with a criminal. A lowlife. A burakumin. Junko simply packed her things and left, looking at her son like it was his fault. 

Why did you look at me like that, mother?

I loved you.

I still love you.

Joe Gold