One ChrysanthemumeBook - 2011
In One Chrysanthemum , it is 1964 and Misako Imai is a young Tokyo housewife with a secret. When she was a child living in her grandfather's dark, wartime Buddhist temple in the northern prefecture of Niigata, she became aware of a special sensitivity that allowed her to see visions of things that were currently happening--but in another place--or that had happened in the past. Now, after five years of marriage and no children, Misako is living the life of a full-time maid to her husband's widowed mother, who blames her for not producing a son to carry on the family name. One evening, she has the very clear vision of her husband making love to another woman and realizes that he has taken a mistress. Her marital problems unresolved, Misako is summoned by her grandfather to Niigata when his temple receives the ashes of a young girl's bones that were found in a nearby garden pond. The old priest remembers his granddaughter playing in that garden as a child and telling him that she saw a girl fall into the pond. At that time there had been no evidence the sighting was anything more than the child's over-active imagination. But, after meeting a most unusual Zen priest who tells him about something called clairvoyance, he realizes that his own granddaughter may have had such a gift when she was a child. The old priest becomes obsessed with the possible connection between the bones found in the pond and Misako's childhood vision. Feeling that he can give into a bit of fool-hardiness in his old age, he plans an unorthodox memorial service in the garden where the bones were found and arranges for both the Zen priest and his granddaughter to attend. What he does not realize is that the combination of the two priests' limited knowledge and his granddaughter's powerful sensitivity would be a dangerous combination bound to end in disaster.