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Japan Society Book Club: The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

11 April 2016 — 7:00 am

Makioka Sisters

Monday 11 April 2016                                       7.00pm

The Japan Society
13 / 14 Cornwall Terrace
London NW1 4QP

Free for Japan Society Members
Book online here

Available from Abe BooksBook Depository and Amazon
Japanese original available here

In Osaka in the years immediately before World War II, four aristocratic women try to preserve a way of life that is vanishing. 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. The story of the Makioka sisters forms what is arguably the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century, a poignant yet unsparing portrait of a family – and an entire society – sliding into the abyss of modernity.

The book club is held every month. There is no restriction on the nationality of the authors read, but books should be available in translation in both Japanese and English. The discussion is conducted mainly in English, but you can choose the language in which you read the book. The intention is simple: to explore the themes of the book, express personal opinions on the style and content, discuss how the book has changed (or not) in translation and to have a relaxed discussion with others who have similar interests.

Junichiro Tanizaki (谷崎 潤一郎 Tanizaki Junichiro, 24 July 1886 – 30 July 1965) was one of the major writers of modern Japanese literature, and perhaps the most popular Japanese novelist after Natsume Sōseki. Some of his works present a shocking world of sexuality and destructive erotic obsessions. Others, less sensational, subtly portray the dynamics of family life in the context of the rapid changes in 20th-century Japanese society. Frequently his stories are narrated in the context of a search for cultural identity in which constructions of “the West” and “Japanese tradition” are juxtaposed.

Up next: Taichi Yamada’s mysterious In Search of a Distant Voice. 

To reserve your place, please call the Japan Society office on 020 3075 1996 or email events@japansociety.org.uk or submit the online booking form.

 

Details

Date:
11 April 2016
Time:
7:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:
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    The Japan Society
    13/14 Cornwall Terrace
    London NW1 4QP