Baishakunin, Inc.

"Baishakunin, Inc." is a new work of fiction from Naomi Hirahara the author of the Edgar Award-winning Mas Arai mystery series and two biographies published by the Japanese American National Museum. Its main character, Caroline Mameda, starts her own match-making business after being fired from her job. Set in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo.

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Chapter One—The Games People Play

Jamie Kaneko carefully counts out fifteen sheets of toilet paper on her roll, tears on the perforated line, and hands the loose end to me with a smile. “Here you go—now don’t start until I tell you to.”

A couple of young teenagers, holding their toilet paper tails with the tips of their fingers, giggle, while the grandmothers on the couch look a bit confused. The rest of us—veteranos—sit politely, but inside I feel like screaming—like, for once, can’t someone think of anything different—

Jamie raises her arms and then dramatically swishes them down like she was starting …

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Chapter Twelve—Matchmaker, Matchmaker

>> Chapter eleven

At least pretend that you’re happy to be here, I scold myself. My best friend Ginnie Lee is getting married. To a nice, decent man. What a concept—two nice people making a lifetime commitment. That’s the mission of my fledgling matchmaking company, Baishakunin, Incorporated, but while business is booming, I’m floundering.

“Um—you’ve taped my finger to my gift.” The wedding guest is right—her manicured index finger is firmly affixed to her white William and Sonoma box with a forest green ribbon tied around it.

I apologize and quickly peel off the tape. Here I have the …

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Chapter Eleven—Cold Imagawayaki

>> Chapter ten

Of all the people that I decide to be completely honest with, it shouldn’t be him.  I should be confessing to my best friend, bride-to-be Ginnie Lee; my staff at Baishakunin, Inc; or the guy who I was just starting to date, my landlord Jake Martinez.  But no, I’m not spilling my secrets to any of them.  Instead, I am sitting on the floor of a hallway of a Little Tokyo building, next to my snake of an ex-boyfriend, Rick.  The man who was so scared of the truth that he ran from it and me like …

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Chapter Ten—Honesty Is the Best Policy

>> Chapter nine

“You have to tell him,” says Ginnie, slurping the last bit of noodle in her large ceramic bowl. We are in Mr. Ramen on First Street in Little Tokyo. There’s a more popular ramen house a few storefronts away, but I opt for more quiet and privacy, especially since we are talking about my new relationship with my office landlord, Jake Martinez.

“That I lied about my ex-boyfriend when he had trust issues with his past girlfriend?” Sure doesn’t sound like a good idea to me.

“Well, it’s not like you’re secretly seeing Rick. You’ve just set …

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Chapter Nine—Up in Space

>> Chapter eight

I don’t know why I set up my ex-boyfriend with the absolutely best catch in my fledgling dating service. As my best friend Ginny Lee always reminds me, I despise Rick; I have the deleted digital images in my trash folder to prove it (I know, they should be completely off of my computer after seven years). Meanwhile, Michele Sakanashi is gorgeous, has a high-paying job, and even her own duplex. She’s a kind of girl that women would, at first glance, love to hate but after five minutes with her, they’d be out buying her mimosas …

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baishakunin Baishakunin, Inc. fiction little tokyo naomi hirahara romance serialized story