The Makioka Sisters (1957)
The ancients waited for cherry blossoms, grieved when they were gone, and lamented their passing in countless poems.
A sweeping, emergent masterpiece, The Makioka Sisters sees four aristocratic women try to preserve a way of life that is vanishing in Osaka in the years immediately before World War II.
Tsuruko, the eldest sister, clings obstinately to the prestige of her family name even as her husband prepares to move their household to Tokyo, where that name means nothing. Sachiko compromises valiantly to secure the future of her younger sisters. The unmarried Yukiko is a hostage to her family’s exacting standards, while the spirited Taeko rebels by flinging herself into scandalous romantic alliances.
With fascinating characters, understated humour and utterly wonderful writing, this is a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family and an entire society sliding into the abyss of modernity.
View the whole Vintage Classic Japanese series.