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Neve sottile

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  3,129 ratings  ·  275 reviews
Nel 1942 il governo giapponese imponeva la censura su Neve sottile, il romanzo che Jun’ichiro Tanizaki stava pubblicando a puntate su una rivista: nelle sue pagine la guerra, minacciosa e inarrestabile marea, suscitava nei personaggi sgomento e preoccupazione, non il fervore dell’allineamento. Tanizaki era ben lontano dall’urgenza degli eventi: nella storia di quattro sore ...more
Paperback, Le Fenici tascabili, 328 pages
Published October 19th 2006 by Guanda (first published 1943)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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It's been such a long time since I've read a translation of the Japanese language. I had completely forgotten how calm and subtle the prose is, how patient you have to be in probing it. It's true that enough happens on the surface to make for a lengthy story, but it is the hidden depths that make the story engaging.

Most of the story is occupied with the lives of the Makioka sisters, focusing on the third sister who even at her advanced age has not yet been married. The book starts with discussio
I really wanted (and fully expected) to love this book. I loved Tanizaki's Naomi but for reasons that I can't properly express I never found myself engrossed in this as I'd hoped to be. I'd get into for a bit, get bored, put it down for a few weeks and then pick it up again.

I can however understand why this book is so well regarded and I really keep vacillating on how to rate it. Set in Japan, it's an intimate look at a family of four sisters, their husbands, lovers or lack thereof and immediate
A quiet book that portrays Japan at a time of great change, the late 1930s to early 1941, through the story of one family and their interactions with provincial and larger Japanese world. The Makioka sisters represent a culture on the brink, struggling to retain it's traditional identity in the face of change both internal and international. The modern world is coming whether this family wants it or not.

This is not a novel for those looking for adventure or action. It's for those who want charac
I found this lengthy novel by Junichiro Tanizaki relatively interesting with lots of dialogs as well as seemingly endless descriptions. From its 530 pages, just imagine, there are totally 18 pages each having 39 lines without any indented paragraph. However, there are innumerable pages each having only one paragraph. Some might not mind reading these but, psychologically, I preferred reading it with usual paragraphs. Thus, I amusingly regarded it as a kind of sleeping medicine and it sometime di ...more
Al Bità
I read this masterpiece many years ago, and still retain a great fondness for it. Set in Japan in the early 20th century in the period before World War II, it's concern is the 'fate' of the Makioka sisters who still cling to the old aristocratic attention to detail and the minutiae of life while trying to survive the period they are living in. The pace is leisurely, meditative, and beautifully written. Its overall impact, however, belies the quiet exterior: the internal emotional drama builds up ...more
Jul 08, 2008 Laura rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in traditional Japanese culture
Recommended to Laura by: Ruth Moore
A bit long but still interesting story of four aristocratic Japanese sisters in the late 1930’s, which I thought would be fun as that’s one of my favorite periods in English literature. However, these ladies might as well be living in a different century as well as a different hemisphere — their daily rituals and cultural traditions were out of another world. While the various relationships among the sisters seem familiar (probably everyone with sisters has to negotiate the bossy, the overly sen ...more
My, what a subtle, graceful thing this is. Tanizaki wrote The Makioka Sisters in the late '40s, amid the rubble and chaos of postwar Japan. The world Tanizaki describes has been destroyed, utterly and irrevocably. You can sense that this is a somewhat decadent society... the Makiokas live a life of idle wealth and appearance-keeping, constantly fretting about the youngest sister's Westernized ways and the loss of respect for old Osaka families. Throughout the book, we get glimpses that war is on ...more
Tanizaki has a delicate sensibility all his own, and his ability to make the incredibly complex, sensitive world of upper class Japanese courtship and sibling relations not only comprehensible but also engaging, is remarkable. I became weirdly hooked on the lives of the four sisters and everyone in their social orbit. Everything from their petty dramas to their sincere attempts to navigate a complicated social order as the specter of WWII gets closer and closer is rendered with a slow, confident ...more
Phillip Kay
The Makioka Sisters (Sasame Yuki, Light Snow), first published in 1948, was written by Junichiro Tanizaki (1886-1965). Tanizaki wrote The Makioka Sisters after translating the Tale of Genji into modern Japanese and the Murasaki novel is said to have influenced his own. It tells of the declining years of the once powerful Makioka family and their last descendants, four sisters. It has been translated by Edward G. Seidensticker in 1957. Powerfully realistic, it mourns the passing of greatness whil ...more
Nov 16, 2008 Tra-Kay rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Jane Eyre, even though I didn't
Shelves: fiction
If you're hesitant, or have only read even a couple hundred pages, hear me out. I had to read this book for class. Otherwise, I don't think I would ever have pushed through it. It has a tendency to go on and on about fairly mundane matters, then unexpectedly rocket into an exciting event. This can make it difficult to read, and I know the unfamiliar Japanese names don't help.


This book is amazing. The sensibility of the characters in general; the logical way in which they work things out, wh
Jennifer Ockner
Sep 12, 2008 Jennifer Ockner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes fiction
Recommended to Jennifer by: A school teacher whom I met on a plane
The English version of this book is absolutely engrossing and beautifully written - I am extremely tempted to seek out Tanizaki's original manuscript and read the Japanese and English versions side by side. It's difficult to preserve the poetry of Japanese literature once it's translated - probably true for any language - but Seidensticker is a master at making the most of what the English language has to offer. To me, the story of the four Makioka sisters in early 20th century Japan is as addic ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth (Alaska)

Tanizaki provides a wonderful insight into a pre-war way of life, a culture that was changing even then. There is no sense of foreboding about war, even though the China Incident is mentioned several times and later in the book the women have knowledge of war in Europe.

What is important is getting the two younger sisters married, and doing so in such a way that the family status is recognized and honored. Told primarily from the viewpoint of Sachiko, the married second daughter, each of the sis
Marcus Choo
I didn't expect that I'd enjoy this that much - it's a slow and rather long novel describing the lives of four Japanese sisters in the years before World War II. It takes about 200 pages to really get going, and at some point I found myself thinking that the author had succeeded in creating characters that I kind of cared about, which is more than I can say about most novels. The prose is slow and scenic, with descriptions of the Japanese landscape that are almost dream-like at times. At the sam ...more
Austen set in Osaka, sort of. The second-oldest sister (Sachiko) tries time after time to arrange a marriage for the third-oldest sister (Yukiko). Meanwhile baby sister (Taeko) is acting rebellious, and oldest sister (Tsuruko) is quietly sliding into poverty. This is a very slow-paced book. Very. Not much in terms of big drama happens, and the reader is told every little detail that preoccupies Sachiko and her sisters.

Almost none of those details are about the World War that is about to change t
This is the first early 20th century Japanese novel I couldn't finish and didn't love unconditionally. I kept pushing through it waiting for something to happen. . .ANYTHING to happen but after over 300 pages nothing really did. . .sorry. . .but this is just not my fault.
Carol Hislop
A Japanese version of 'Little women'. The book was written in a calm style and the story was enjoyable. It's a story set in the 1930s and 1940s but seems a lot longer ago.
Japanese classic The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki is an epic chronicle of an aristocratic Japanese family from Osaka told through the lives of four sisters.

I expected a messy, sprawling family saga but instead got a hyper-real, documentary look at various traditions and family practices. The Makioka Sisters details the decline of Japanese society and its struggles with modernization through the banal lives of these siblings. It's an apt dramatic lens, and I was excited to immerse mysel
The once illustrious Makioka family has only for daughters, of which two are yet to be married at thirty-one and twenty-six years-old. Set in the years before World War II, this book portrays the insides of an old, well-known but decaying Japanese family, torn between tradition and the never-stopping advance of occidentalisation and modernity. Although little is known about Tsuruko, the oldest sister living in Osaka with her husband, I got to know pretty well the other three sisters: Sachik
You could say this is a novel of vignettes. There is a distinct plot and there is impeccable character development; time (four or five years in the lives of the Makioka sisters) does go by and the place where most of it happens (mainly Osaka and Kobe, but significant segments of the action happen in Tokyo) changes dramatically, as it should —the story being set in the late thirties and early forties, the years leading up to World War II, in which Japanese society was rattled to its very core and ...more
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘The Makiokas were an old family, of course, and probably everyone in Osaka had heard of them at one time or another.’

This story, primarily set in Osaka, spans a period of four years (from 1937 to 1941). This period, is a tumultuous period for Japan, and we view it from the perspective of one family. The Makioka is a family in decline and after the death of the parents, the husband of the eldest daughter adopts the Makioka name and becomes the head of the family. There are four sisters: the elde
Lucie Novak
I got this book as a present. It was the first Japanese novel I ever read. I was 17.
I loved this book and read it several times. The three very different sisters, the world of Japan during the war, the conflict of traditions and modern attitudes. It was so exotic, yet the characters were so well written, it was like reading about people I knew well.
I should try and read some other of his books.
Kristen Lumsden
Jul 21, 2008 Kristen Lumsden rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, esp. readers interested in Japanese culture or literature
Recommended to Kristen by: Nancy Brooks Rayl
This is a truly beautiful novel.

One of the things that marks this novel as a masterpiece is the way the words and phrasing complement the action on the page. Dull events are written in long phrasing and in tedious detail; scenes of high drama and tension are brushed in short, quick strokes.

The characters are uncontrived, their situations genuine. Their flaws served to increase my sympathies even as they sometimes increased my disdain.

I would love to read it over with more of an eye to symbolis
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
piccole donne che restano sempre uguali a se stesse

nel Giappone agli albori della guerra le sorelle Makioka hanno un grosso dilemma: se Yukiko non trova marito sua sorella più giovane Taeko non potrà sposarsi prima di lei e smettere così di andare a dare scandalo in giro, i miai si avvicendano e ciascuno va a monte per un motivo differente, Yukiko è decisamente ritrosa e un tantino cocciuta, mentre Taeko sa bene quel che vuole e se lo prende senza far caso al parere della casa principale...le d
Jeanne Thornton
Like The Brothers Karamazov, but with more sex, floods, and family secrets uncovered by private investigators. Plot: the Makioka family, a once well respected family in quick decline, tries to find a way to marry off their recalcitrant third daughter. Wonderful scenes (aforementioned flood, rememberance-of-ancestor ceremonies, meet-the-arranged-groom dinner party disasters), wonderful writing, that classic Tanizaki sleaze factor, and some kind of artfully achieved insight into the transition fro ...more
Soooo good. A story about failure, told so gently and unobtrusively you'd think the narrator was naive. The serene (and troubling) last scene is of someone having diarrhea.
I happen to watch a Japanese movie, it’s called the Makioka Sisters. It was released in 1983. It lead me to the book, I read the blue cove one.

I have no idea that why I’m so into it, I haven’t been addicted to a book for a long time. The storyline is quite slow and simple, unlike most of the fictions, there are no strong dramatic conflicts. Definitely it’s not easy to write a novel without a single villain, no wonder it has been called “the greatest cosmopolitan novel since the Meiji Restoratio
Gláucia Renata
Nesse livro Tanizaki retorna à região de Osaka e Kyoto com o objetivo de retratar as tradições culturais japonesas narrando o cotidiano das quatro irmãs Makioka a partir das inúmeras tentativas de casar a terceira irmã, Yukiko. O livro é excelente para te situar nesse ambiente tradicional dos anos quarenta mas o excesso de minúcias e de pequenos acontecimentos cotidianos acabou me incomodando com a leitura. Não leia esse livro se estiver esperando algo parecido com Voragem, aqui temos outra face ...more
Czarny Pies
Sep 27, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in pre-war Japan
Recommended to Czarny by: Sunoko Li
Shelves: asian-literature
The Makioka Sisters is a wildly funny book that will be enjoyed as much by readers who shop in the "bestseller" section as those who shop in the "literarature" department. It describes the efforts of a Kyoto merchant family to maintain its elevated status in society. Most of the action involves efforts by the two eldest sisters to find appropriate husbands for the younger spinster sisters. The tastes of the characters in clothes, food, alcohol, literature, movies and men is treated with exquisit ...more
If 2008 was a mixture of good reading, horrendous reading, abandoned reading, and some brilliant stay-in-your-mind reading, then I wonder what 2009 would bring. If the first book of the year is any indication, then I would settle for more of such classics. The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki is one of the finest books you could ever read.

Tracing the lives of four sisters - Tsuruko, Sachiko, Yukiko, and Taeko (known as"Koi-san"). Tsuruko and Sachiko. Immediately, I was drawn into their worl
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Jun'ichiro Tanizaki (谷崎 潤一郎) was a Japanese author, 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 rather 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 Japa
More about Jun'ichirō Tanizaki...
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“The ancients waited for cherry blossoms, grieved when they were gone, and lamented their passing in countless poems. How very ordinary the poems had seemed to Sachiko when she read them as a girl, but now she knew, as well as one could know, that grieving over fallen cherry blossoms was more than a fad or convention.” 7 likes
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