By pure chance, Hasegawa comes into possession of a can of coffee one particular morning. Since he has no use for it, he simply gives it away when he has a chance. And that’s how his story unfolds.
This is a story in which the protagonist gives away his possessions to receive something else in return, which will again be exchanged for another thing at the next possible moment. It reminded me of the red paperclip project and another Japanese tale, the Straw Millionaire. I believe this story by Endo Kazuhiko can be read as a modern interpretation of that particular 昔話.
I really enjoyed the build-up of the story and guessing how a current object would be exchanged in the next step! From the first few paragraphs I of course assumed that this swapping game would somehow lead back to the beginning and thus had a lot of fun wondering how that would play out.
There are furigana on every kanji and just by the built-up of this story, there is mostly dialogue. An interesting challenge, however, were the people Hasegawa met, as the way they spoke depended on social status and used different expressions. コーヒーでも飲みながら is also published on a website that allows use of reading add-ons, which is a great help when looking up unknown vocabulary.
You can read this full story for free here: https://tongari-books.blogspot.com/2022/02/blog-post.html. Other stories by this author I read and enjoyed are 「トウキョウタワー」, 「黒コウモリと白コウモリ」and 「この女子高生は名探偵」.
Length: ca. 9000字