They learn that Naoji is alive, and when he returns out of the blue, mother's condition deteriorates, Naoji heads straight for the local inn. They also learn that Naoji has become addicted to opium, a habit he had started at school, in imitation of a certain novelist. Kazuko's days are spent tending her mother and knitting, a pale pink wool she uses contrasts with the greyness of the sky, in a descriptive passage I really admired. Whilst her brother is away in Tokyo drinking with novelist Uehara, (this character seems to be the one that could resemble Dazai the most), she decides to tidy her brother's things that are still in the moving crates, she picks up one of his diaries entitled, 'Moonflower Journal', and starts to read what he has written. It could be said that Naoji's character reminds us of Dazai too, Naoji's writing could be seen as being very Dazai like, 'Learning is another name for vanity. It is the effort of human beings not to be human beings', he states in his polemic like entry. As her mother's condition worsens, the doctor's diagnosis that it's T.B and she passes away some days later. Kazuko's increasing anxiety grows, not knowing where things will end up, piece by piece, she has had to sell the family's belongings to get by, her attempt at addressing the problem is by writing letters to Uehara, imploring him to let her become his mistress, she wants his child, she had briefly met him before, whilst trying to sort out her brothers debt with the chemists, and their meeting had ended with him kissing her.
Through depicting the decline of an aristocratic family, themes familiar with those of many of Dazai's stories and novels appear, alienation, isolation, his character's struggle to fit in with society at large, in Naoji, who's use of drink and drugs is an attempt to disguise his inability to live, this soon wears out, he, like Yozo in No Longer Human sees only hypocrisy in the society around him. Although reading Dazai can be a saddening experience, his writing has an inspiriting quality to it. Something I find strange in Dazai's novels, is his character's observations on religion, which is usually the Christian religion, something I'd like to find out more about, Phyllis I.Lyons - The Saga of Dazai Osamu, a book I'd like to read, may offer an explanation. Sixty odd years on from when they were first published, Dazai's novels offer a chronicle of the times he lived in, from an inner perspective and to an extent in this novel an objective one, the dilemmas that face many of his characters still finds a validity in today's world.
Shayo (movie trailer)