Surrounded on all sides by the tireless bustle of Tōkyō, Sanshirō's doldrums continued until a letter arrived from his mother in the country. It was the first piece of mail to reach him in Tōkyō. In it were various pieces of news and advice. They'd been blessed with a good harvest this year. He must remember to take good care of himself. He should remain vigilant - Tōkyō people are shrewd and not to be trusted. Don't worry about tuition and expenses - remittances will arrive at the end of each month. Masa Katsuta has a cousin who graduated from the university and is now in the college of science. Sanshirō should make his acquaintance and seek his guidance. The letter ended at this point, but the all-important name of the cousin had been omitted and was added in the margin: Sōhachi Nonomiya. Several other items were also added in the margins. Saku's gray horse had died suddenly of illness, and Saku was terribly distraught. Omitsu Miwata had brought him some fish, but they would have spoiled en route to Tōkyō, so the family had eaten them. And so forth.
Sanshirō looked at the letter and felt he was holding a relic from the worn and distant past. He could never have said it to his mother, but it occurred to him that he didn't have time for these things anymore. Nevertheless, he read it through again. In short, if he were connected in any way to his own reality then his mother, though an old woman in an ancient countryside, was the connection point. There was also the woman he'd traveled with on the train. But she'd been a bolt out of the blue, not part of his reality. Their encounter had been too intense and had happened too fast to constitute a sincere connection. Sanshirō decided to follow his mother's counsel and call on Sōhachi Nonomiya.