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In this Japanese melodrama, a young painter struggles in all things to remain true to his art and to his friends, a difficult task in a society where such a quest can lead to a truly disastrous individualism. In his case, in late 19th-century Japan, repression and death surround and follow him as his culture painfully adjusts to the changes sweeping through it. Because he has absorbed some Western ideas about artistic realism, he seeks situations where he can see the things he plans to paint, whether it...more