Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.


This week’s book:

The Makioka Sisters by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

34449._SY475_Blurb from Goodreads

In Osaka in the years immediately before World War II, four aristocratic women try to preserve a way of life that is vanishing. As told by Junichiro Tanizaki, 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.

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. Filled with vignettes of upper-class Japanese life and capturing both the decorum and the heartache of its protagonist, The Makioka Sisters is a classic of international literature.

Why I Want To Read It

I am currently in the midst of yet another Japanese Literature Month. Japanese writers have gained my respect with their brevity and their subtleties. Their nuanced writing is so opulent in details, in meanings, and in messages. There are just too many reasons to love Japanese writers and their works.

Over the years, Yasunari Kawabata, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Haruki Murakami fed my appetite. But as years pass by, my appetite grew ever more insatiable. With this exponential growth, I started branching out to other Japanese writers such as Natsume Soseki, Hiromi Kawakami, Hiro Arikawa and Yukio Mishima. Another Japanese writer who has captured my interest is Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. 

I’ve read one of Tanizaki’s works, Some Prefer Nettles, last year. It was a good read. His writing resonated with the same elements as his fellows yet it was in a voice that is entirely the writer’s own. However, if there was one Tanizaki I’ve always wanted to read, it would be The Makioka Sisters. It was also the first Tanizaki I’ve encountered through perusing must-read lists. The positive responses from fellow book readers further piqued my curiosity and interest. I know, the story does sound familiar but it is not keeping me from reading the book. It is always interesting how Japanese writers write about the uncertain period where traditional Japan shifted to Western ideals.

Happy start of the week everyone!