Commentary of "The Makioka Sisters"
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Commentary of "The Makioka Sisters"

This time I wrote comments on Mr. Junichiro Tanizaki's work "The Makioka Sisters". Those who read "thin snow", there are new ways of thinking, so please take a  look.


Commentary of "The Makioka Sisters"


Traditional culture's lost



Descriptions such as cherry blossoms, garden plants, and even glossy kimono were impressive, and the living of the four sisters was transmitted vividly.

However, I often felt loneliness separately from such a bright impression. What do we feel lonely about in this work?

It is "a farewell to the family and a loss of conventional life". Reason of Writing "The Makioka Sisters" for Junichiro Tanizaki is to fear the loss of Well-to-do Kansai Japanese culture.

In this work, the four sisters of the Makioka family represent loss of Kansai culture upward. After the Tsuruko family moved to Tokyo, their lifestyle changed greatly. In the final of story, Yukiko and Taeko leave their parents’ house for marriage. "The Makioka Sisters” depicts the change of life that all four sisters cannot continue their lives until now.

In this work, author often connect Japanese culture's change to our sisters' lives change. For example, there are contrast structures like Tsuruko's relocation to Tokyo against the presence of a Westernization wife, demonstrations of Taeko's dance against the decline of traditional dance.

The author draws the four sisters of the Makioka family as a symbol of Kansei culture, and makes the work so that readers will feel lonely about the loss of upward Kansai culture.


Author's wish



Originally, the female statue that Tanizaki was good at depicting is unbridled woman typified by Naomi of "Naomi". Taeko in "The Makioka Sisters" applies as such a figure of person.

However, in this work, depiction weight is placed on Yukiko. Yukiko is modest and boxed girl. In addition, the Japanese clothes match Yukiko well, and the appearance of deceased mother who was beautiful is most inherited to Yukiko, and also her appearance is set thoroughly as "pure Japanese daughter".

Yukiko sometimes cares of Sachiko and Tsuruko's children. Yukiko is not married, but the author depicted as if the reader can image her "good mother" statue.

The author Tanizaki expresses the longing for traditional Japanese culture on Yukiko. In this work, the author depicted four sisters as the icon; the Kansai traditional Japanese culture which almost is lost.

However, at the end of the story, Yukiko's married person is a noble, and has not yet decided to break down the traditional Japanese life.

Also the Sachiko family keeps staying in Osaka and even Tsuruko who moved to Tokyo doesen't change their original relaxed personality. I felt that the wish of the author, "There is Japanese culture which is unchanged while changing," was put in the theme "Lost of Traditional Culture".