The Handymen in Mahoro Town

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The Handymen in Mahoro Town
Author: Shion Miura
Specifications: ISBN  978-4163246703
334 pages
13.8 x 18.8 cm / 5.5 x 7.5 in (WxH)
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Bungeishunju Ltd.
Tokyo, 2006
Awards: Naoki Prize, 2006
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This series of tales set in the fictional city of Mahoro, a suburban municipality of 300,000 on the southwestern outskirts of the Tokyo metropolis, centers on Tada, a man in his mid-thirties. The sole proprietor of the Tada Handyman's Shop, his motto is "Take on any task for any customer."

One day Gyoten, a classmate of Tada's from high school, makes his way to the shop and ends up staying there. Tada is less than pleased by this, but he goes about his work just the same. On several occasions he is drawn into police investigations. A customer who has left a pet Chihuahua in Tada's care goes missing; when taking a boy back home from his after-school study program, Tada is pressed into partnership in the boy's drug-smuggling operation; a female high-schooler he accompanies as a bodyguard is entangled in a murder case. He is afflicted with a series of troubles that he cannot help but connect to Gyoten's reappearance in his life.

Still, Tada cannot bring himself to kick Gyoten out, due to his belief that it was his fault that Gyoten severed the pinky on his right hand in an accident during their high-school days. The two men, both of whom are now divorced, are kind at heart; during the course of the turbulent year they spend together they reconfirm the bonds of friendship. In 2009 author Shion Miura followed up this best-selling book with Mahoro ekimae bangaichi (The Neighborhood Without Addresses in Mahoro Town); as of 2011, a third work was being serialized in a weekly magazine.