"Let's do this then. There's a special gallery in back with works by the late Fukami. Go see those, and then come by Seiyōken on your way home. We'll go on ahead and wait for you there."
"That sounds good. Thank you."
"Fukami's watercolors are different from others. You mustn't view them with the same eye. Works by Fukami, of course, are quintessential Fukami. If you don't focus on his subjects, but rather the refinement in his style, then you'll find them intriguing." Thus advising, Haraguchi left with Nonomiya. Mineko expressed her thanks and watched them go. They didn't look back as they went.
Mineko turned on her heals and headed toward the special gallery. Sanshirō followed close behind. It was a poorly-lit room. In a single row on a long, low wall hung works by the master Fukami. As Haraguchi had said, they were predominantly watercolors. What struck Sanshirō most was the sparsity of color. What colors were used were attenuated and lacking in contrast. They were painted with such subtlety that only direct sunlight could have revealed them in full. At the same time, there was no sense of deliberate brushwork. Each work appeared as though finished in a single flourish. Pencil lines, visible beneath the colors, lent a candidness to the style. Human figures were slender, like threshing rods. Among these works, too, was a depiction of Venice.
Mineko approached it. "This one must be Venice too."
"Yes," Sanshirō replied. Hearing the word Venice brought a question to his mind.