Miya on her way to Tokyo to stay with her wealthy aunt and uncle while Aunt Iki is sick might be any country girl in awe of the big city--or at least she might be if the contrasts between simple village life and Western-style affluence weren't so pronounced in Japan. This particularity gives an edge to an otherwise pleasantly affecting story of a youngster who learns the hard way that try as she may, some responsibilities are too much for her (it's the trying that matters, Father tells Miya when she is sent home from Tokyo early). The other half of her awareness involves Father's refusal (criticized by Uncle Toshio) to buy himself a higher rank in the priesthood; without denying her desire for refrigerator and car, Miya sees that self-respect comes first. A familiar theme is built upon an accretion of lively, sometimes amusing incidents, and even the coincidences (Miya lost in a giant department store, found by her elderly friend from the train) have a credible core. In-between Miya is not only the middle child (a minor aspect) but also a stout-hearted link between old and new allegiances. The distinctively suggestive illustrations augment the narrative and the last is a serene apostrophe.