1. What nightmare awakens Joanna at the beginning of the novel and what does she do when she gets up?
Joanna Rand wakes from a nightmare where a man with a mechanical hand is standing over her reaching for a hypodermic needle. Joanna goes to the window and looks out over Kyoto, Japan, drawing comfort from the familiar sights.
2. Where was Joanna born and why is she in Japan?
Joanna is an American by birth but came to Japan a decade ago to become a lounge singer. Six years ago, Joanna found herself in Kyoto and fell in love with the gorgeous city. Joanna took the last of her inheritance and opened a nightclub, becoming the star attraction in her own lounge.
3. Who is Mariko Inamura to Joanna and what does she suggest to Joanna?
Joanna is joined by Mariko Inamura, her manager and good friend. Mariko offers comfort and again asks her friend to visit her uncle, a psychiatrist, to undergo hypnosis and perhaps learn the cause of Joanna's recurrent nightmare. Joanna politely refuses.
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