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.

Read Chapter One

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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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Chapter Eight—Match Game

>> Chapter seven

“So who’s going to be matched with who?” Ginnie asks as she licks some green tea/blood orange yogurt from her lips.

We are sitting in a corner table at Céfiore yogurt shop in Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo. I’ve spread the profiles and photos of the 15 women who have applied to my matchmaking service, Baishakunin, Inc. I know that working on a plastic table in a frozen yogurt shop is not that professional, but I had to escape the confines of the office, especially after I told my staff and landlord that our first customer, …

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