Kamisama no Memochou:Volume 2 Afterword
This year, it’s the first time I reported what they call personal taxes. Since the taxes aren’t much, since just one publisher published my book, the calculations are quite simple. The time for my job isn’t set, and the Tax Office is only fifteen minutes from my house by bike— with such great conditions, I only made my request at the last minute- fourteenth of March- because of my laziness. I let my friends handle the calculations this time because of my laziness, but I really don’t know what to do next year. I originally had more fees to report, but I lost all the receipts for my electricity bills. And I even thought: can I claim this fee or that fee as expenditure? As it’s the first time that I had to take note about the concept of ‘taxes’, that was how the second story came to be.
…… Actually, all of them are just lies, sorry. How could a story that I thought of in March be published in June? My writing speed is already so slow, too. Though this isn’t really funny, since I have four pages this time too, I’ll continue to write on.
About how I thought about this story, actually it’s because of my tax evasion— oh, not really. From the point of tax saving, I feel that this is actually quite important.
Let’s say that I would publish a novel with music as its theme, then I bought the CDs that the songs appeared in to claim it as expenditure. When the Tax Office finds the receipt of the CD, they might just say: “You didn’t just buy this because you wanted to use it as reference, but to claim the fees of the CD as expenditure, which is why you just crammed the song into the song, isn’t that right” or other suspicions like that. So that the truth wouldn’t be seen through and then get chased for the taxes, I must first write this in the afterword as a precaution. For instance: I thought of the structure of the story on X day X month! Then, as long as the date on the receipt is later than the date in the afterword, it could prove that I bought it for reference.
Actually an afterword is just what it seems to be, you write it afterwards; so you can’t use it as evidence— please don’t tell the Tax Office about this.
The story kept talking about dirty money from the start of the story, which means, this book is a story about money. If we change the two hundred million yen into concrete objects, what would you think of? If you answer, twenty million True(?) Chocolates immediately, it feels like your age would be revealed at once; if you answer two twenty million umaibos, your background would be known as well.
When I thought about using ‘the girl who rushed into the detective agency holding two hundred million yen’ as the start of the story, I recalled a client that would appear occasionally at the mahjong parlor that I worked at before this. He said: “Though human lives cannot be bought with money……. But you can sell them. If you want to utterly destroy someone, the money that you can get from it would probably be twenty million yen. It would be the same even with poor people.”
In reality, he was dead drunk when he said that, and his words could only be described as fragmented, so what he said was actually quite brief. According to him, two hundred million yen would be equal to the value of ten people. Since his eyes were quite scary, I dare not ask him, how do you get twenty million yen from a person? So those might just be him talking nonsense.
From that day on, I never saw him ever again. Maybe he spitted out twenty million like blowing out bubbles, sinking in the dark swamps of Shinjuku.
As for the three man mahjong that appeared in the book, it was a rule that I learnt from a mahjong parlor, but when I checked from the internet recently, I realized that it was only used at the area that I worked in. There’s another variation of mahjong that was quite similar to it, my boss probably improvised it to create his own version. Not using the North Wind tile as the Flower tile, but Field Wind, it seems that this was a special rule from Hokkaido, where my boss came from.
As for why I’m writing so much about things that most readers cannot understand, it’s actually because of my personal expectancy. Awaiting some readers that would perhaps share the same knowledge of mahjong as me, and so would read more when he got this book.
We might have already brushed past each other at a dark corner of the Shinjuku mahjong parlor, surviving in the swamp, but reuniting after years through the afterword of this novel— that would really be a small but precious miracle.
It might even be the him or him who disappeared after borrowing money from me. Though I said I wanted to write the afterword seriously, now it’s ruined again. Please give me back my money!
We obtained the help of my responsible editor Yuasa(?)-sama and illustrator Kishida Mel-sensei and the others this time as well, and we finished this novel after giving quite some effort. I completely, definitely, absolutely did not increase the chances for Yondaime’s part just because I want to see the illustrations of him, I really didn’t do it. But the drafts of Yondaime and Meo that I received matched the image of them in my mind very well, it really made me so happy. As usual, please let me use this chance to express my gratitude to all of you, thank you.
April 2007 ,Hikaru Sugii
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