Doc Hata remembers that he himself was a difficult child. He was born in Japan to working-class Korean parents. His circumstances changed when he scored well on achievement tests and went to a new school near the city. There he lived with a childless, middle-class Japanese couple, who provided for him materially and emotionally. He took their surname, Kurohata, but he insists that neither his biological nor adoptive parents really raised him, believing instead that Japanese society had more influence on him than either set of parents.

Doc Hata reflects that his desire to adopt may have been overly inspired by the misguided notion that Sunny would bring his life “harmony and balance” and that her arrival would kickstart his life.

Doc Hata remembers the previous night when he went up to the ICU to check on Anne and James Hickey’s son, Patrick, who is in urgent need of a new heart. The thought of Patrick’s heart transplant reminds Doc Hata of an incident during the war when he witnessed a doctor open a man’s chest and massage his heart. He wonders if he could perform a similar operation on Patrick, though he knows that even when he served as a field medic, his main aim was only ever to keep a wounded soldier alive long enough to see a trained doctor.

Sally Como comes to visit Doc Hata and to pick up her daughter. She mentions that she left the Bedley Run police force and now works in security at the Ebbington mall, where she has seen Sunny working as the manager of a clothing store.

On her way out, Sally tells Doc Hata she’s glad he’ll be discharged in the morning, and Veronica becomes visibly upset because he hadn’t told her this news.

Analysis: Chapter 4

One of Doc Hata’s strategies for cultivating a respectable reputation in Bedley Run involved making unanticipated gestures of goodwill, often to people he didn’t already know personally. Doc Hata’s longstanding friendship with Sally Como stems from just such a gesture, when he leveraged a contact in the police bureau in order to ensure that her application to become an officer went through without a problem. Though Doc Hata made this gesture out of a desire to do good and to make sure that the tragic death of Sally’s husband didn’t unnecessarily destroy her family, his act of goodwill also proved advantageous for him. In the most direct sense, Sally showed her thanks for his support by showing special care for the success of his store. In a more indirect way, because Doc Hata’s gesture was not anonymous, it made a positive contribution to his social status in Bedley Run. Thus, despite doing real good in the community and not asking for anything in return, the assistance Doc Hata gave Sally came back to him in the form of added security and improved reputation.