The surgery was to take place at a certain hospital in the Tokyo suburbs, and the Countess Kifune was the patient on whom my dear friend Doctor Takamine was to perform the operation. Driven by curiosity, I imposed upon Takamine to allow me to attend. In order to present my case as strongly as possible, I concocted an argument about my being an artist and why seeing the surgery would be useful to me. In the end, I prevailed.
I left my house at a little after nine that morning and rushed by rickshaw to the hospital. Once inside the building, I proceeded down a long corridor and toward the surgery room as a small entourage of women, presumably servants of some family of the nobility, emerged from the door at the opposite end. We met halfway down the hallway.
These women were escorting a girl of about seven or eight who was wearing a long jacket over her kimono. I watched them as they continued down the corridor and disappeared from view. As I covered the remaining distance from the infirmary's entrance to the surgery area and then down the long hallway that led to the recovery rooms,