The Makioka Sisters

The Makioka Sisters

Paperback(1st Vintage International ed)

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The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

Junichirō Tanizaki’s magisterial evocation of a proud Osaka family in decline during the years immediately before World War II is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century and a classic of international literature.

Tsuruko, the eldest sister of the once-wealthy Makioka family, 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 shy, unmarried Yukiko is a hostage to her family’s exacting standards, while the spirited Taeko rebels by flinging herself into scandalous romantic alliances and dreaming of studying fashion design in France. Filled with vignettes of a vanishing way of life, The Makioka Sisters is a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family—and an entire society—sliding into the abyss of modernity. It possesses in abundance the keen social insight and unabashed sensuality that distinguish Tanizaki as a master novelist.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679761648
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1995
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: 1st Vintage International ed
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 127,637
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Lexile: 980L (what's this?)

About the Author

Junichiro Tanizaki was born in Tokyo in 1886 and lived there until the earthquake of 1923, when he moved to the Kyoto-Osaka region, the scene of his novel The Makioka Sisters (1943-48). Among his works are Naomi (1924), Some Prefer Nettles (1928), Quicksand (1930), Arrowroot (1931), A Portrait of Shunkin (1933), The Secret History of the Lord of Musashi (1935), modern versions of The Tale of Genji (1941, 1954, and 1965), Captain Shigemoto's Mother (1949), The Key (1956), and Diary of a Mad Old Man (1961). By 1930 he had gained such renown that an edition of his complete works was published, and he was awarded Japan's Imperial Prize in Literature in 1949. Tanizaki died in 1965.

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The Makioka Sisters 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'The Makioka Sisters' is a MUST on your list of books to read before you die. I could NOT put it down once I began reading this beautiful story. The author has a wonderful way with descriptions and he really gives the audience an intimate glimpse into Japanese culture and familial tradition, which I find to be so fascinating. I love how each sister has her own set of issues/questions which are addressed to completion. Do yourself a favor and READ THIS BOOK!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Tanizaki was a writer of multifaceted talent. In a career spanning five decades he wrote a dozen books on themes as diverse as Japanese arts and crafts to 'woman-worshipping,' a Tanizaki specialty as far as weaknesses go. The Makioka Sisters is thought by many to be his greatest literary achievement. There is considerable truth in this claim, for in The Makioka Sisters Tanizaki has distilled his authorial genius in a way that he never quite did either before or after this book. Woven around a Japanese joint family living in Tokyo and Osaka, The Makioka Sisters touches upon the essential Japan: the Spring Cherry Blossoms, The family hierarchy, the quintessential Japanese woman who is if anything verbose. The book is barely short of a visit to Japan of the 1930s, a rare feat for a book to achieve. Along with the tour-Japan theme the book has typical, Tanizaki's brand of storytelling strengths: the reader is continually surprised as the characters disintegrate suddenly or vanish altogether. Family values, which I may add seem universal, are unfailingly upheld in the book, as the reader gets a feeling that Tanizaki were secretly holding society to order. Few books can move a reader so much they produce a feeling in her akin to that of an achievement, an experience to be forever relished, an aftertaste diminished over time but never fully going away. The Makioka Sisters aroused all this in me, as it will for you, provided you are not unduly in love with your cell phone.