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Jun'ichirō Tanizaki (1886–1965)

Author of The Makioka Sisters

144+ Works 10,522 Members 247 Reviews 62 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the names: Tanizaki, Tanizaki J, J. Tanizaki, Jow Tanizaki, 谷崎润一郎, Junich Tanizaki, 谷崎 潤一郎, 潤一郎 谷崎, 谷崎潤一郎,, 谷崎 潤一郎, Junikiro Tanizaki, Junchiro Tanizaki, Cuniciro Tanizaki, Cuniciro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanizak, Juniciro Tanizaki, Junchiro Tanizaki, Tanizaki Junichiro, Junichiro Tanizaki, Junchirô Tanizaki, Yunichiro Tanizaki, Yunichiro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Junichero Tanizaki, Junichuro Tanizaki, Jumichiro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Junichoro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Junochiro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanazaki, Junichiro Tanisaki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Juniciro Tanizachi, Cuniçiro Tanizaki, Tanizaki Junichirou, Junichirô Tanizaki, Juničiró Tanizaki, Junichirô Tanizaki, Jujnichiro Tanizaki, Junichiro Tanizachi, Juniichiro Tanizaki, Džuničiro Tanizaki, Jun ichirao Tanizaki, , Janichuro Tanizaki, Džuničiró Tanizaki, JunichirA´ Tanizaki, Junichiro e.a. Tanizaki, Junichirô Tanizaki, d Jun®ichir¯o Tanizaki, Juniçiro Tanizaki, Junichirˆo Tanizaki, Junichirô Tanizaki, Junichirõ Tanizaki, Jun'ichirō Tanizaki, Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Junʼichirō Tanizaki, Junʾichirō Tanizaki, Jun ơichir¿ Tanizaki, Tanizaki Junichiro Dzsunicsiro, Cuniciro Tanizaki Ilker Ozunlu, Jun'ichir¯o Tanizaki, Jun'ichirç Tanizaki, ג'ונאיצ'ירו טניזקי, Дзюнъитиро Танидзаки, ג'וניצ'ירו טניזק, Танидзаки Дзюнъитиро, 潤一郎 (Jun'ichirou) 谷崎 (Tanizaki)

Works by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki

The Makioka Sisters (1943) 2,117 copies
In Praise of Shadows (1933) 1,959 copies
Some Prefer Nettles (1929) 1,041 copies
Naomi (1924) 931 copies
The Key (1956) 768 copies
Seven Japanese Tales (1963) 628 copies
Quicksand (1930) 508 copies
Diary of a Mad Old Man (1965) 498 copies
A Cat, a Man, and Two Women (1936) 368 copies
Childhood Years: A Memoir (1988) 91 copies
The Gourmet Club: A Sextet (2001) 90 copies
The Reed Cutter (1932) 81 copies
Devils in Daylight (2017) 76 copies
The Maids (2017) 60 copies
In Black and White (1928) 53 copies
A Portrait Of Shunkin (1965) 47 copies
De tatoeëerder en andere verhalen (1980) — Contributor — 38 copies
Le meurtre d'O-Tsuya (2005) 36 copies
Deux amours cruelles (1960) 32 copies
Longing and Other Stories (2022) 22 copies
Le pied de fumiko (1998) 20 copies
Morbose fantasie (1994) 20 copies
Captain Shigemoto's Mother (1950) 17 copies
Cuentos de amor (2013) 16 copies
Sulla maestria (2010) 15 copies
Il dramma stregato (1912) 14 copies
Il demone (1995) 12 copies
Tanizaki : Oeuvres, tome 2 (1998) 12 copies
The Key [1984 film] (2009) — Writer — 12 copies
Tanizaki : Oeuvres, tome 1 (1997) 11 copies
Opere (2002) 10 copies
刺青・秘密 (1969) 9 copies
El club dels sibarites (1919) 8 copies
Yoshino (1998) 8 copies
Romans, nouvelles (2011) 8 copies
La morte d'oro (1914) 7 copies
Nostalgia della madre (1917) 6 copies
細雪 中 (新潮文庫) (1955) 4 copies
The Tattooer (1910) 4 copies
小さな王国 (1987) 4 copies
La historia de un ciego (2016) 3 copies
乱菊物語 3 copies
El amor de un idiota (2018) 3 copies
Gold und Silber (2003) 3 copies
Dans l'oeil du démon (2021) 2 copies
La gatta 2 copies
Hyllest til halvmørket (2020) 2 copies
Racconti del crimine: 1 (2019) 2 copies
蓼喰う虫 2 copies
細雪 中 2 copies
細雪 上 2 copies
細雪 下 2 copies
阴翳礼赞 1 copy
The Tattooer 1 copy
Шут 1 copy
Arrowroot 1 copy
Terror (2016) 1 copy
Liebe und Sinnlichkeit (2011) 1 copy
痴人の愛 1 copy
武州公秘話 (2005) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Art of the Personal Essay (1994) — Contributor — 1,345 copies
Black Water: The Book of Fantastic Literature (1983) — Contributor — 490 copies
The Penguin Book of Japanese Short Stories (2018) — Contributor — 329 copies
The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories (1997) — Contributor — 225 copies
Modern Japanese Stories: An Anthology (1962) — Contributor — 161 copies
Wolf's Complete Book of Terror (1979) — Contributor — 73 copies
Tales of the Tattooed: An Anthology of Ink (2019) — Contributor — 26 copies
Murder in Japan: Japanese Stories of Crime and Detection (1987) — Contributor — 19 copies
Modanizumu: Modernist Fiction from Japan, 1913-1938 (2008) — Contributor — 16 copies


20th century (246) aesthetics (116) anthology (257) architecture (82) art (73) Asia (63) asian literature (38) classic (25) classics (34) collection (25) culture (28) essay (101) essays (356) fantasy (71) fiction (1,146) historical fiction (43) horror (37) Japan (1,130) Japanese (484) Japanese fiction (115) Japanese literature (735) Junichiro Tanizaki (36) Kindle (25) literary fiction (25) literature (376) marriage (42) non-fiction (221) novel (279) own (41) philosophy (77) read (91) Roman (52) short stories (322) stories (47) Tanizaki (96) to-read (825) translated (63) translation (133) unread (85) writing (72)

Common Knowledge



“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.”

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki revolves around the once aristocratic and wealthy Makioka family, namely the sisters Tsuruko, Sachiko, Yukiko, Taeko (fondly referred to as “Koi-san” as per custom, meaning “small daughter”), who despite having lost most of their wealth over time, strive to maintain a way of life and uphold the traditional customs of an era slowly fading into history. The novel spans the period between the autumn of 1936 to April 1941. It is a slow-paced and detail-oriented depiction of life in Japanese polite society in the years leading up to WW2. The narrative alludes to historically significant events occurring in that period such as the “China Incident” namely the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Kobe flood of 1938, and the references to the tensions in Europe.
“Meanwhile the world was shaken by new developments in Europe. In May came the German invasion of the Low Countries and the tragedy of Dunkirk, and in June, upon the French surrender, an armistice was signed at Compiègne.”

The eldest Makioka sister, Tsuruko is married to Tatsuo, who works in a bank and after her father’s demise is the head of the family as per Japanese custom. He has also taken the Makioka name. They constitute the “main house” in Osaka and are traditionally regarded as the head of the family who yields authority over the other branches. Sachiko, the second eldest sister is married to Teinosuke, an accountant who has also taken the Makioka name. Together they maintain the Ashiya house on the outskirts of Osaka. Most of the story is described from Sachiko’s perspective. Though tradition dictates that the unmarried sisters live in the “main house”, both Yukiko and Taeko prefer to live with Sachiko’s family in Ashiya, where they are welcome though this is a matter that leads to some tense interactions between Sachiko and her older sister. As per custom, Taeko cannot marry before her elder sister Yukiko who is pushing thirty at the beginning of the novel . Yukiko is yet to find a husband mostly on account of the Makiokas rejecting multiple proposals because the prospective grooms' families were not found suitable in stature, a condition that they are forced to relax in the subsequent years as the proposals for Yukiko’s hand in marriage dwindle over time. The focal point of this novel is the search for a suitable groom for Yukiko - a match that meets the Makioka’s standards, the selection, the meetings, in-depth background investigations and familial consent of the main house.

The author paints a vivid picture of the customs, beliefs, traditions, gender roles as well as the temperament, vanity and class consciousness that was representative of that era. The characterizations of the sisters is superb. The two older sisters, married and settled remain stuck in tradition and prioritize their family standing and all its glory which has long since dimmed considerably. As the story progresses we see a moment when Yukiko is rejected by a suitor that it dawns on Sachiko that their fortunes have truly changed with the realization that they would have to change with the times.
“Never before had the Makiokas been so humbled. Always they had felt that the advantage was with them, that the other side was courting their favor—always it had been their role to judge the man and find him lacking. This time their position had been weak from the start. For the first time they were branded the losers.”

Yukiko, whose marriage (or rather search for a groom) is the focal point of the novel is a graceful quiet, obedient sister whose presence is felt but whose voice is either unheard or drowned out by those of her more vocal sisters. She is also bound by tradition, trusting her elder sisters and brothers-in-law with the responsibility of finding a suitable match and sits through a miai (a formal meeting between a prospective bride and groom) several times. However, despite her fine manners and quiet nature she can convey much through her “tepid” responses and often surprising non-cooperation in interacting with her prospective grooms. Takeo, the youngest who has never experienced the full fame and wealth of the family, is more willful than the other sisters. She has a mind of her own and does not hesitate to do as she pleases and is often the cause of much embarrassment and concern for her older sisters. One incident that is referred to a few times in the narrative is the “newspaper incident” - when the local newspapers carried the story of her elopement with her beau, Okubata but got her name mixed up with Yukiko’s (which was later clarified). The family assumes this to be another reason for which Yukiko’s proposals are fewer than expected. Taeko is ambitious and industrious and attempts to carve a profession for herself - be it earning a living doll making or training as a seamstress , while juggling her romantic relationships. She embodies a modern spirit that is in stark contrast with the mindset of her more traditional sisters and is representative of the changing times and the shift in societal norms and strictures.

Junichiro Tanizaki’s The Makioka Sisters is a beautiful novel, meant to be read slowly. Vivid imagery and fluid narrative make this an easy if quiet read. Though it might seem tedious for many readers, I enjoyed the detailed depictions of the contrasting personalities, the beautiful descriptions of the different places, the cherry blossoms and dragonflies,Japanese culture and customs and the relationship between the sisters. This is a novel I had been meaning to read for a long time and I am glad I finally picked it up.
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srms.reads | 41 other reviews | Sep 4, 2023 |
I'm currently reading The Power of Chowa, wherein Akemi mentions this book in passing.   When i read the name of the writer i was sure i had some of his books in my pile of books waiting to be read, and sure enough, one of those books was this one.

So i put aside The Power of Chowa for a while and gave this a read to fully understand the impression that Akemi was trying to give.

And wow, this is definitely one to put on the shelf next to The Book of Tea.   Both books have wonderful passages of ranting, but it's intelligent ranting fuelled by a genuine passion for something truly precious; and in between the passages of ranting one gets some wonderful, thought provoking passages of delightful, descriptive writing: this book is like a painting in words.

Written in the 1930's, concerning Japan's modernisation it's news to me to read how, even before WWII and the surrender to the USA, Japan's desire to ape American culture was already underway.   But, that aside, i do feel that Junichiro fails to appreciate that even in the west we have lost so many of our own shadows.   It seems that most of my life that here in Europe, we have been hell bent on illuminating everything to ridiculous levels, banishing all shadow wherever it may lurk.

The never ending pursuit of cleaning out the dirt and dust and any corners where it may lurk: banish the shadows for your own health's sake!   The continued insistence on ridiculous levels of cleanliness and sterility within and without our homes, which has lead to ever lower immune function and plenty of allergies along with it.

And it's not just the shadows, it's any semblance of quiet we will blast sound into.   Where now can we truly be quiet and stare into the night sky and see the stars as they truly are?   When was the last time you truly experienced the peaceful quite and shadows of the real world without modern technology to protect and coddle you?   Or are you one of the new people, ever terrified of what unknowns may be lurking there where you hear and see nothing but vague outlines and impressions?

I agree with Junichiro, we have lost something truly precious.

The only thing i would say about this book is that, for me at least, the "Afterword" would be better placed as a "Foreword".   I just feel that it would focus ones attention on certain things a lot more if they had been pointed out before hand instead of afterwards.   I will definitely be reading this again at some point before i die and when i do i will definitely read the "Afterword" first.
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5t4n5 | 50 other reviews | Aug 9, 2023 |
This is written by the author as though a desperate housewife is telling him personally about her affairs and marriage problems.

I gave up about a third of the way in, i couldn't take it any more.

If you're the kind of person that likes reading about chaos in other people's relationships then it might just suit you, but that's not my thing at all.

Awful main character.

Bye for now.
5t4n5 | 13 other reviews | Aug 9, 2023 |
A while back, my brother gave me a book to read. I think I had been lamenting the state of my love life at the time and probably making disparaging remarks about the fairer sex. At any rate, into my hands he thrust a small paperback with the picture of a, to me, not very attractive lady on the front. Inside the cover, he had placed a note, written on some torn notebook paper, which said, "Read this and learn the ways of women!" True to form, I placed the book on my shelf and promptly set about forgetting to read it. That is, until last week, when discovering this foreign book in my possession and the strange note inside, I decided to finally read Junichiro Tanizaki's Naomi.


Read Full Review at Anime.Falseblue.com


If you have any interest in Japanese literature, especially modern, I really think you should read Naomi. It has so much to offer from the cultural commentary to the intriguing and heartrending way a man sacrifices his personhood to the woman he loves which doesn't always work out in his favor.
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tsunaminoai | 21 other reviews | Jul 24, 2023 |



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Edogawa Rampo Contributor
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Seicho Matsumoto Contributor
Lu Hsün Contributor
Robert van Gulik Contributor
Feng Meng-Long Contributor
Edward G. Seidensticker Translator, Introduction
Howard Hibbett Translator
Albert Nolla Translator
Thomas J. Harper Afterword, Translator
John Gall Cover designer
M. Coutinho Translator
Ulla Hengst Translator
Kai Nieminen Translator
David Rintoul Narrator
Suzanne Dean Cover designer
Júlia Escobar Translator
Leiko Gotoda Translator
R. Kikuo Johnson Cover artist
Gerhard Knauss Übersetzer
Sachiko Yatsuhiro Übersetzer
Vincent Torres Illustrator
Ikenaga Yasunari Cover artist
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Ryôji Nakamura Translator
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