Kaname had seen the Bunraku puppets once ten years before. He had not been impressed–he could in fact remember only that he had been intensely bored. Today he had come solely out of a sense of duty, expecting to be bored again, and he was somewhat astonished that he should almost against his will be drawn so completely into the play. He had grown older, he had to admit. … A pair of conflicting emotions pressed themselves on him: old age brought its own pleasures and was not really to be dreaded; and yet that very thought, a symptom of approaching old age, was something he must resist, if only because of the advantage it might give Misako. The reason for their decision to separate, after all, was that they did not want to grow old, that they wanted to be free to live their youth again.
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