For the first time in a while I'm doing a summary of an older chapter. When Chapter 58 and 59 came out, I didn't have access to the RAWs and only translated someone else's (very vague) summary from Japanese. I got the RAWs later from our friends on Jcafe, but never got around to getting back to summarizing these two chapters properly until now. Sorry for the oversight!
Chapter 58 is the story of the twins' 3-year-old shichi-go-san. I've explained what shichi-go-san is several times before but in case you missed it, shichi-go-san literally means "seven-five-three" and refers to the ages at which children participate in this ritual. At these specified ages, parents bring their children to a local shrine to thank the gods for letting them live to be this old. This tradition started in the distant past when many children died during the first few years of life due to their bodies being more fragile and the plethora of childhood illnesses with no cure at that time. I believe that the Japanese strain of Buddhism further stipulates that after age 7 a child's soul finally 'settles' into it's body; before this is is believed that if the child dies, it's soul can return easily to the reincarnation cycle, without attachment to it's most recent life. However, I may have remembered this incorrectly from my religion classes, so don't quote me on it. Anyways, in this chapter Shiharu is accompanying Matsunaga-san and the twins on their family outing to do shichi-go-san. As the chapter opens, Shiharu is at the orphanage searching intently through some books, and the teacher asks her what's wrong. She explains that she's going with Matsunaga-san and the twins to their shichi-go-san the next day, but she's not sure what kind of clothing would be appropriate, and mentions off-handedly that she'll probably just end up wearing her school uniform. The teacher tells her that her school uniform would be okay since it's formal, if Shiharu's okay with it she'll lend her a dress that she wore when she was young. Shiharu is a bit blown away by her generousity, and unsure if it's okay to wear such nice clothes since it might seem like she's trying to steal the spotlight from Akane-chan and Aoi-kun on their special day, but the teacher insists it's important that she try to be at least a little stylish, and tells her the dress is just a plain black one, nothing too flashy. During the transition between scenes from the night before to the day of, Shiharu explains the plan of events for the shichi-go-san: first they will go to a "kids studio" where they can rent kimono for the twins, have them dressed in the kimono by the staff, and get their pictures taken, next they will go to the shrine to do the traditional prayers to the gods, and finally they'll go to a traditional Japanese restaurant for lunch. The next day when Matsunaga-san arrives in the car to pick Shiharu up, he's a bit dazed by how cute she looks. She says some polite apologies for making him wait and he tells her not to worry about it. The twins greet her enthusiastically from their carseats, and they all get going. First is the "Kids' Studio" where they have all kids of different costumes you can dress in and have your picture taken. The staff offers to let them try on some other costumes after the kimono pictures have been taken, and Shiharu seems to think it's a good idea, since they've come all the way there, but Matsunaga-san declines, explaining that it would take a lot of time to change, take more pictures, and change back into the kimono to go to the shrine, and they'd be late. Once this is settled, the twins are dressed in their kimono and when Shiharu first sees them, she has an explosive nosebleed from the cuteness! Matsunaga-san gets alarmed and asks her if she's okay, and she says 'Don't worry about me... my blood pressure just peaked suddenly... I'll be okay..." (lol). The staff tells them to move into the studio and they'll take their pictures, and Shiharu almost has another nose-bleed-attack from how cute they look doing a scuttling walk in their traditional sandals. When they get in the studio, the staff pose the twins, adjust their kimono and try to get them to smile, but the best the twins can manage are really awkward grimaces. Shiharu steps in and makes a really weird face (surprising Matsunaga-san as well) but it works and the twins smile at her, and from then on they seem to have broken out of their shyness and made some cute poses. After the photo shoot, Matsunaga selects the photos he wants prints of and they are ready to go. They'll walk to the shrine and the restaurant, which are nearby, and come back for their car at the studio later when they return the kimono. Akane is excited to get going, after waiting a long time for Matsunaga-san to pick out the shoots he wants and pay for the prints, and so she runs out the door joyfully as soon as they get to leave. Matsunaga-san shouts for her not to run or else she'll fall, but just as he says that she trips on her sandals and goes flying. Matsunaga-san, who I'm starting to notice isn't really that paternal, just yells "Look, didn't I tell you?!" but Shiharu rushes over to see if Akane's okay, and brushes the dirt off her clothes. Matsunaga-san is a bit frustrated that Akane got her kimono dirty already when they've JUST left the studio, but Shiharu tells Akane that she looks cuter and more child-like like this. While they're walking, Shiharu suddenly thinks to ask them if the sandals are painful to walk in, and Akane immediately says that they are. Shiharu suggests the twins change into sneakers, which she brought along, and once they do Akane remarks immediately that her feet don't hurt anymore. Overjoyed, Akane instinctively takes off running, but Matsunaga-san and Shiharu call after her not to run or she'll fall again, and this time Akane immediately stops running. Matsunaga-san holds her hand as they walk the rest of the way, and Shiharu feels nostalgic watching them. Once they get to the area of the shrine, Matsunaga-san determines they still have a few minutes until their appointment inside, so he decides to get some of his own pictures of the twins. However, they keep running away and he can't take any pictures of them. When he gets mad and asks them why they are running away, Akane tells him they are playing tag. (lol) Shiharu then offers to take a picture of Matsunaga-san and the twins together, and he says that if they're going to do that, they might as well take a picture with all 4 of them, and so he asks a passerby to take a picture for them with his camera. Shiharu protests at being in their family photos on such an important family holiday and Matsunaga-san basically tells her "get used to it already." They take the photo (the preview picture for this post) and then it's finally time for them to go into the shrine. However, just as they are about to set off, Shiharu finds that some of her hair has gotten tangled in the fastener on her dress. She can't even move her head far enough to try and untangle it herself, so she takes a tiny sewing kit out of her purse and asks Matsunaga-san to use the scissors to cut off the pieces of hair that are stuck. Matsunaga-san seems very unhappy with the thought of cutting off Shiharu's hair (he's mentioned in previous chapters that he thinks her hair is beautiful) and so he is determined to untangle it without cutting it. He tells the twins to stop (in English!) before they get too far ahead, and then goes to work on Shiharu's hair. She's very anxious having him so close to her, touching her but he manages to get the hair untangled without too much difficulty, and is thanked for his troubles by an adorable, blushing Shiharu. Matsunaga-san also seems a little effected by this encounter, but he tries not to let it show. Akane, on the other hand, bluntly asks Shiharu why she's so red and Shiharu gets flustered and says that it's unexpectedly warm out today. Finally, Matsunaga-san, Shiharu and the twins head into the shrine to do shichi-go-san. There isn't any narration or dialogue during this part, but we get to see a view images of the twins with the priests, the other children doing shichi-go-san, and the temple staff. Each child gets a goodie bag with some toys, candy, and a piece of Chitose Ame (a long stick of red and white striped candy traditionally given to children doing shichi-go-san.) Then all of them head over to the restaurant, where Matsunaga-san has reserved a private room. Shiharu's amazed by the luxury of eating in a private room, and says she's never done so before. Matsunaga-san explains that this restaurant has a special lunch package for families with children doing shichi-go-san, and he thought it would be the most comfortable for them if they went ahead and got the private room. The twins seem pretty thrilled with the private room too. Shiharu tells them she's going to help them change out of the kimono and into regular clothes before they eat, so the rented kimono don't get dirty. While they're eating, Shiharu remarks how good the twins have been, not crying even once all day, and she summarizes that this was a really good shichi-go-san. Suddenly, Aoi-kun asks out of nowhere "Who is Shichigo-san?" Matsunaga-san is confused at first and tells Aoi that he and Akane are the ones doing shichi-go-san, but then Aoi-kun says "...Ao-kun's name is not Shichigo-san..." and Matsunaga-san realizes that Aoi thought it was a person named Shichigo, with "-san" (the honorific) added on the end. He tries to explain that the "san" here is not an honorific but a number, but as usual his explanation is to complex for a 3 year old to comprehend, so Shiharu steps in and explains that the "san" shichi-go-san means "san sai" (three years old). Aoi-kun thinks about that and then blurts out, "Then, I AM Shichigo-san!" Akane-chan asks Shiharu if she can eat her Chitose Ame and Shiharu tells her that she can when they're done eating. Akane-chan then adds "I got it from Shichigo-san!" And Matsunaga-san does a face-palm and gives up. Shiharu unwraps the twins' Chitose Ame and gives it to them, and while watching them eat she recalls her own experience with Chitose Ame when she was a child doing shichi-go-san; her mom was worried Shiharu would have difficulty eating the long candy, so she cut it up into little easy-to-eat pieces, prompting Shiharu to have a fit because she'd wanted to eat the candy *because* it was long. On the way home in the car, Shiharu recalls a few more images from her own shichi-go-san, and narrates that she doesn't remember that time very clearly anymore, but that things like traditional sandals being hard to walk in, and the excitement caused by Chitose Ame must be the same for everyone. When they get to the orphanage, Shiharu thanks Matsunaga-san for taking her along, and says that she was glad she got to witness this stage of the twins' development. Matsunaga-san starts to tell her that she looks very cute in the clothes she wore today, but at the last minute changes to saying that the clothes suit her. She smiles at him and thanks him. On the last page there's another image of the twins in the future when they're grown up to about Shiharu's present age, and Shiharu narrates that she hopes, when they've grown up, even if they can only remember this shichi-go-san a little bit, that those memories are fond ones.