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"Her father embarked at sunrise with a flask of water, a samurai sword"
Items with cultural significance convey his patriotism.
"a shaven head full of powerful incantations"
Mantras have been drilled into him by his commanding officers.
"enough fuel for a one-way journey into history"
Death was imminent but left behind a great legacy.
"but half way there, she thought, recounting it later to her children"
His own daughter never listened to his explanation. His legacy now was a failure.
"on a green blue translucent sea"
He was reminded of the beauty of nature and saw an image of heaven.
"dark shoals of fishes flashing silver as their bellies swivelled towards the sun"
Reminder of the samurai sword and its power over life or death.
"and remembered how he and his brothers waiting on the shore"
He began to have memories of his childhood and loved ones.
"the loose silver of whitebait and once a tuna, the dark prince, muscular, dangerous"
Metaphor represents the depth, diversity and power of the ocean.
"they treated him as though he no longer existed"
Although he was not physically dead, he was dead in the eyes of his loved ones.
"till gradually we too learned... that this was no longer the father we loved."
His children were taught of the shame and dishonour he brought on their family.
"And sometimes, she said, he must have wondered which had been the better way to die."
He regrets turning back as he did not return to what he left. He lived an ignominious life.