Small snow

T. Junichiro
Fine Snow
The action takes place in the thirties and ends in the spring of 1941. The sisters of Makiok belong to an ancient family. At one time, their name was known to all residents of Osaka, but in the twenties the financial situation of Makiyoka’s father was shaken, and the family gradually became poor. There were no sons of Makiyok, therefore, in old age, having retired from business, he transferred the primacy in the house to the husband of Tsuruko’s eldest daughter, Tatsuo. After that, he married a second daughter – Sachiko, she and her husband Tainoske founded a side branch of the genus. Husbands of older daughters, being the youngest sons in their families, took the name of Makiyok. By the time the third daughter, Yukiko, had reached matrimony, their home affairs were already in decline, so his father could not find a good party for her. Soon after his death, Tatsuo undertook to wake Yukiko for the heir of the wealthy family of Saigus, but sister-in-law flatly refused the groom, considering it too provincial. Since then, Tatsuo has been careful not to deal with her destiny. The youngest of the Makioka sisters, Taeko, fell in love with the offspring of the old merchant family of Okubat twenty years and fled with him from home, because by custom she would not have been allowed to marry before Yukiko. Lovers hoped to pity their relatives, but both families showed firmness and returned the fugitives home.
Unfortunately, one of the small Osaka newspapers made this story public, and mistakenly called the heroine of Yukiko’s escape, which cast a shadow on her reputation and seriously complicated the search for a suitable party. Tatsuo insisted on a refutation, but instead the newspaper printed a revised version of the article, calling it the name of Taeko. All this did not mar the friendship of the sisters, but their relationship with the senior son-in-law became more strained. Unmarried sisters lived at Tsuruko’s house in Osaka or at Sachiko’s house in Assiya, a small town between Osaka and Kobe, but after the story with the newspaper, both Yukiko and Taeko prefer to live with Sachiko.
At first, Tainosuke was afraid of the discontent of the “main house” – as is customary for unmarried sisters to live in the house of the elder sister, but Tatsuo does not insist on this, and Yukiko and Taeko live in Asia. Okubata and Taeko still love each other and are waiting for Yukiko’s marriage to ask for consent to her marriage. Taeko makes dolls and starts to do it professionally – she arranges exhibitions, she has pupils. Yukiko pays a lot of attention to her niece – the only daughter of Sachiko. Fragile, shy Yukiko looks very young, although she is already under thirty, and the family understands that one should not be excessively picky when choosing a husband for her.
At first Yukiko did not have a hang-out from the suitors, but now the offers are getting less and less, and the sisters are seriously concerned about her fate. Itani, the owner of a hairdresser in Kobe, wants to serve the sisters of Makiyok and tries to get Yukiko. Sachiko makes inquiries about Sagosi – protean Ethani, consults Tsuruko. Itani wants to introduce Yukiko to Sagoshi as soon as possible. After all, various secondary details can be found later. It is not necessary to arrange a real show-off. Itani will just invite everyone to dinner. In order not to drop dignity, the sisters, under a plausible pretext, postpone their acquaintance to the groom for several days.
But at last everyone meets at the restaurant. Segoshi and Yukiko liked each other, but the fragility of Yukiko inspires the groom fears: Does she suffer any kind of ailment? Tainoske with the consent of the “main house” persuades Yukiko to undergo an X-ray examination. Itani assures him that there is no need, it’s enough of his assurance, but Tainosuke believes that full clarity is better, besides, if the matchmaking is upset, an X-ray photograph may be useful in the future. In addition, the picky fiancé could see Yukiko’s barely perceptible spot above his left eye and would like to find out why it was. The sisters find an article in the women’s magazine that says that such spots usually disappear by themselves after marriage, but in any case they can get rid of them with the help of medicines.
Yukiko is being examined. The medical report together with the X-ray photograph is sent to Itani. Segoshi asks permission to meet Yukiko again, and then asks for her hands. Itani hurries the family with the answer, but the “main house”, not content with the information obtained from the detective agency, decides to send to his home a trusted person who finds out that Sagoshi’s mother suffers from a mental disorder. They refuse the bridegroom. Sachiko gives Itani a gift in gratitude for the trouble, Itani also promises to do his best to correct his mistake and arrange the happiness of Yukiko. Yukiko is unlucky: a year ago, a forty-year-old gentleman wooed to her, who had a mistress whom he did not intend to part with; he only wanted to marry so that this connection would not damage his reputation. Presenting to the candidates for Yukiko’s hands excessively high demands,
Taeko has a student from the family of Russian white emigrants – Katerina Kirilenko. Katerina studied at an English grammar school in Shanghai, and her mother and brother are real Japaneseophiles. At their homes in one room hang portraits of the Japanese imperial couple, and in the other – portraits of Nicholas II and the Empress. Katerina invites Taeko to visit with her sisters and son-in-law. Yukiko remains to watch over his niece, and Tainosuke and Sachiko accept the invitation and together with Taeko come to the house of Kirilenko. Russians dine later than the Japanese, so the guests at first can not understand anything and suffer from hunger, but then they are deliciously and generously treated.
Her husband Tsuruko is appointed director of the Tokyo branch of the bank, and the family must move to Tokyo. Everyone congratulates Tatsuo on his promotion, but Tsuruko suffers: it’s hard to leave the city where she lived for thirty-six years without a break. In Asia, the aunt of the sisters of Makyoka comes. She says that while the “main house” was in Osaka, Yukiko and Taeko could live there and here, now they should go to Tokyo together with the family of which they are officially members. If unmarried sister-in-law remain in Assiya, this may adversely affect Tatsuo’s reputation as head of the house. Tsuruko asks Sachiko to talk with his sisters. Yukiko submissively agrees to move to Tokyo, but misses Asiya: Tsuruko has six children, the house is cramped, and Yukiko does not even have a separate room. After receiving a new proposal, Yukiko immediately agrees to a bride, because it gives her the opportunity to go to Asia. The new fiancé is Nomura, the widower. Before arranging a show, Makioka find out what his wife died from, make inquiries, whether any hereditary ailment was the cause of the death of his children. The detective agency gives them accurate information about Nomur’s earnings. Sachiko doubts that Nomura will like Yukiko: in the photo he looks even older than his forty-six years, however, the brides are an excuse for Yukiko’s arrival in Asia.
Yukiko has not been to Asia for six months and is very happy to meet her sisters and beloved niece. During the viewing, Nomura converses with Teynoske, showing full awareness of all the affairs of the Makiok family: he clearly made inquiries about Yukiko wherever he could, his person even visited the doctor who used Yukiko and the music teacher who gave her lessons. After visiting the restaurant, Nomura invites everyone to her home for a cup of coffee. Yukiko does not like that he brings guests to a niche with photographs of his late wife and children – she sees this as the callousness of his nature. Nomura receives a refusal. Yukiko spends in Asia for more than a month, and Sachiko is already afraid of the discontent of the “main house,” but in mid-April, after going to Kyoto to enjoy the cherry blossom, Yukiko returns to Tokyo.
Okubata comes to Sachiko and tells that Taeko is taking sewing lessons, intending to become a milliner. To do this, she is going to go to Paris for six months or a year. Okubata believes that making dolls is not shameful, but a girl from a respectable family does not have to earn money by sewing. Sisters of Makiok dislike the spoiled barychuk Okubat, but here Sachiko agrees with him and promises to talk with Taeko. In addition to sewing, Taeko is engaged in traditional dances, dreaming to get a diploma that would allow her to open her own school in the future. At the concert, hosted by the Society “Daughters of Osaka”, a pupil of the school “Yamamura” show their art, and a local photographer Itakura, who studied his craft in America, photographing them. A month after the concert, there is a flood. Fortunately, neither the house of Sachiko, nor the school where her daughter Etsuko is studying, were not injured, but Taeko, who was in the house of sewing teacher Noriko Tamaki, almost dies. Ithacura, at the risk of life, saves her. Yukiko hurries to visit the sisters, who have not seen more than two months.
Neighbors Sachiko – the German family Stoltsev, Etsuko is friends with their children Peter and Rosemary. Sachiko hears how during the game the children of Stoltz call the imaginary enemy “Franckraih” – France. She is shocked at how they raise children in German families. Soon the Stolz will return to Germany. They invite Makiyok to his place in Hamburg. Sachiko goes to Tokyo to pursue Stoltzev and to see his relatives. There comes a letter from Okubat, who writes that in her absence, Itakura too often goes to Taeko in Asia. Ithacura is from the bottom, he is not a couple for a girl from a good family. Sachiko worries about Taeko’s reputation. Returning to Assiya, she tells her about Okubat’s letter, Taeko and Itakura agree not to meet for a while, and Sachiko promises Taeko that Tainosuke will discuss with the “main house” the possibilities of her trip to Paris. Tainosuke is afraid that war will not start in Europe tomorrow, so the trip there is not safe. Tatsuo and Tsuruko strongly resist Taeko’s plans to become a milliner. As for her trip to Paris, Taeko’s desire to make it for the money intended for her wedding causes them bewilderment, for they have no amount of money written in her name. In the case... of Taeko’s marriage, they are ready to take on wedding expenses, but are not going to pay for her trip.
Taeko is upset, but it soon becomes clear that Mrs. Tamaki’s plans, with which she was going to go, have changed, but she alone can not go. But Taeko does not give up sewing. She says Sachiko that she wants to marry Ithacura. Comparing it with the empty and frivolous Okubata, she came to the conclusion that he was much more worthy and would be a good husband. She decides to terminate the engagement from Okubata. Sachiko tries to reason with his sister, but the only concession to which Taeko is ready is to wait until Yukiko is woken up.
“Daughters of Osaka” again arrange an evening of ancient dances, and Yukiko comes to Asia to see Taeko’s performance. While Yukiko is in Asia, Taeko decides to go to Tokyo to talk with Tatsuo about the money she wants to open the atelier of the ladies’ dress. Sachiko is traveling with her. But even before the conversation with Tatsuo Taeko learns that Ithacura is seriously ill, and immediately leaves back. Ithacura is dying.
Yukiko lives in Assiya for almost four months and does not talk about returning to Tokyo, but a letter from Tsuruko unexpectedly comes. The elder sister of her husband invites the Makiok family to Ogaki for admiring the fireflies. At the same time, she is going to introduce Yukiko, Mr. Savadzaki, a wealthy widower with three children. This is the first sentence for more than two years, since Nomura’s matchmaking. Tsuruko and Tatsuo do not really believe in the possibility of such an alliance, but they do not want to offend Satsu Tatsuo and are afraid of refusing to scare off future suitors. Meanwhile, Yukiko is thirty-three years old, and we should hurry. Unfortunately, Yukiko does not make an impression on Savazaki. For the first time a young lady from the family of Makyoka turns out to be rejected.
After the death of Ithacur, Taeko again begins to meet with Okubata. Matu? “Okubyata died, the elder brother for expelling his family money drove him out of the house, so now he lives alone Taeko says that he meets with him simply out of pity.” The main house “demands that Taeko spend some time with them in Tokyo, Thaeko flatly refuses to go to Tokyo, and as Tainoske takes the side of the “main house,” she rented the apartment and settled alone and only occasionally visits Sachiko and Yukiko when Tainoska is not at home. tells Sachiko that he met the sconce Katerina, who some time ago left for Germany, now moved to England and entered the insurance company as a secretary: the president of the company fell in love with her, and soon they got married. Sisters argue about how unlike the European manners for Japanese: “No, it just does not fit in the mind – that a thirty-year old bachelor, head of an insurance company, the owner of a luxurious mansion, married a woman who entered his service only six months ago and which he does not know anything at all, if Katerina is a hundred times more beautiful than she is, for a Japanese, for example, such a situation would be absolutely unthinkable. ” Sachiko and Tsuruko are ashamed of unmarried sisters. They are not so picky choose suitors. Prudish Tsuruko says that she would be happy to extradite Yukiko for anyone, even from the very beginning it will be clear that the matter will end in divorce. it just does not fit into consciousness – so that a thirty-year-old bachelor, head of an insurance company, the owner of a luxurious mansion, married a woman who entered his service only six months ago and he knows nothing about it at all! If Katerina is a hundred times more beautiful than she is, for a Japanese, for example, such a situation would be completely inconceivable. “Sachiko and Tsuruko are ashamed of their unmarried sisters: they are not so picky about their suitors.) Tsopuka says she would be glad to extradite Yukiko for anyone, even from the very beginning it will be clear that the matter will end in divorce. it just does not fit into consciousness – so that a thirty-year-old bachelor, head of an insurance company, the owner of a luxurious mansion, married a woman who entered his service only six months ago and he knows nothing about it at all! If Katerina is a hundred times more beautiful than she is, for a Japanese, for example, such a situation would be completely inconceivable. “Sachiko and Tsuruko are ashamed of their unmarried sisters: they are not so picky about their suitors.) Tsopuka says she would be glad to extradite Yukiko for anyone, even from the very beginning it will be clear that the matter will end in divorce.
Itani has not forgotten her promise to find a fiancé for Yukiko and offers to introduce her to the director of a large pharmaceutical company, Hasidara. This is an enviable groom, and Yukiko’s relatives are pleased with the upcoming bridesmaids, but Yukiko is brought up in strict rules and her behavior seems to be Hasidara, accustomed to greater freedom of treatment, insulting and arrogant.
Taeko becomes ill with dysentery. The illness is overtaken by her in Okubat’s house, and the sisters do not know how to be: she is in such a grave condition that it is impossible to transport her home, and to call their family doctor into the house of a single man is embarrassing. As Taeko gets worse and worse, her sisters put her in the clinic of Dr. Kambara, who owes much to their father and treats them with great respect. Taeko begins to recover. The servant Sachiko O-Haru, while the sick Taeko was in Okubat’s house, courted her and brought her friendship with his old housekeeper. The old woman told her that in many of Okubata’s troubles, it was Taeko who was to blame: both money and decorations that disappeared from the store owned by Okubat’s trading house were often found in Taeko. The relationship between Okubat and Taeko has been going on for ten years, and Taeko does not want to completely break with him, nor marry him, so the old lady believes that her first interest is his money. In addition, the old lady saw Taeko more than once drunk and heard Okubata reproach her with some unknown Miyoshi. Sachiko is terrified by this behavior of Taeko: the best thing that can now be done is to give my sister for Okubata quickly. Taeko leaves the hospital. Tainoske had not seen Taeko for almost a year, but realizing that such strictness would only be repelled by a stubborn sister-in-law, he still met with her. In the meantime, Okubata receives an offer to go to Manchuria to serve at the court of the emperor there. The sisters persuade Taeko to go with him, but she keeps silent, and after a while informs that Okubata is not going anywhere. the old lady had not once seen Taeko drunk and had heard Okubata reproach her with some unknown Miyoshi. Sachiko is terrified by this behavior of Taeko: the best thing that can now be done is to give my sister for Okubata quickly. Taeko leaves the hospital. Tainoske had not seen Taeko for almost a year, but realizing that such strictness would only be repelled by a stubborn sister-in-law, he still met with her. In the meantime, Okubata receives an offer to go to Manchuria to serve at the court of the emperor there. The sisters persuade Taeko to go with him, but she keeps silent, and after a while informs that Okubata is not going anywhere. the old lady had not once seen Taeko drunk and had heard Okubata reproach her with some unknown Miyoshi. Sachiko is terrified by this behavior of Taeko: the best thing that can now be done is to give my sister for Okubata quickly. Taeko leaves the hospital. Tainoske had not seen Taeko for almost a year, but realizing that such strictness would only be repelled by a stubborn sister-in-law, he still met with her. In the meantime, Okubata receives an offer to go to Manchuria to serve at the court of the emperor there. The sisters persuade Taeko to go with him, but she keeps silent, and after a while informs that Okubata is not going anywhere. Tainoske had not seen Taeko for almost a year, but realizing that such strictness would only be repelled by a stubborn sister-in-law, he still met with her. In the meantime, Okubata receives an offer to go to Manchuria to serve at the court of the emperor there. The sisters persuade Taeko to go with him, but she keeps silent, and after a while informs that Okubata is not going anywhere. Tainoske had not seen Taeko for almost a year, but realizing that such strictness would only be repelled by a stubborn sister-in-law, he still met with her. In the meantime, Okubata receives an offer to go to Manchuria to serve at the court of the emperor there. The sisters persuade Taeko to go with him, but she keeps silent, and after a while informs that Okubata is not going anywhere.
Itani is going to America, but before leaving wants to make Yukiko happy. It is this time about the secondary son Viscount Hirotica – Mimaki. Convinced that Mr. Mimaki is a decent man, Yukiko’s relatives agree to meet him.
The meeting turns into a real show-off. Finally, both sides are satisfied.
Taeko admits Sachiko that she is pregnant. The father of the future child is Miyoshi. Taeko’s self-disgust is angered by Sachiko: putting everyone in front of the fait accompli, she did not think about the honor of the Makiok family, nor about Yukiko’s future, which is under threat: it is unlikely that the groom’s father will want to be related to the family in which such a debaucher grew up. Sachiko tells all her husband. Tainosuke meets with Miesi, who makes a good impression on him. He is not a man of their circle, but he genuinely loves Taeko. He promises not to seek meetings with Taeko until she is freed from the burden. Taeko is sent incognito to Arima.
“Main House” agrees to Yukiko’s marriage with Mimaki. Yukiko also agrees. Everyone is getting ready for the wedding. O-Haru calls from Arima with the news that Taeko has started deliveries and her life is in danger. Everyone understands that now is not the time to think about the reputation of the family, and Sachiko immediately goes to the clinic where Taeko is. She manages to be saved, but the newborn girl dies. After leaving the clinic, Taeko moves to Miyoshi.


Small snow