Tokyo, 1912. The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite.
Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family - members of the waning aristocracy - but he is not one of them. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new, and his feelings for the exquisite, spirited Satoko, observed from the sidelines by his devoted friend Honda. When Satoko is engaged to a royal prince, Kiyoaki realises the magnitude of his passion....Continua
"They embraced immediately in the shadow of the boat as the sea breeze swirled around them...but even as she felt herself dissolving gradually into the darkness, she felt afraid...they were not lying in the protection of a solid structure or a rocky ridge, but of something fortuitous...had the boat not happened to be beached there at the moment, its heavy shadow would have been no more real than a ghost. She was afraid that...(the boat) might begin to slide noiselessly...even now and plunge into the water and sail away. To follow its shadow, to remain forever within it, she herself would have to become the sea. And at that moment, in a single great surge, she did.”