Book Review: The Setting Sun, a Tale of Post War Japan


The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai is a masterpiece of post-war Japanese literature, reflecting on the broken pieces left behind by a nation left shattered by conflict.

Hunter Vann, OSBN Executive Producer

After a long weekend I was able to finish the Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai. I have no words to describe the feeling of inescapable despair and suffering that this book imparts upon its readers. To imagine the hopelessness of your fate trapped in the hands of others, being without the strength to free yourself from the ceaseless sufferings of war. In American history, WW2 ends when the bombs fall over Japan; we don’t learn how our actions punished those who, oftentimes, were opposed to the conflict entirely. We hear the tales of victory and conquest, but then are left wondering about the tales of the defeated and conquered, the perspectives of the innocent.

The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai is a true testament to the struggles of Post War Japan. It tells the tragic story of an Aristocratic Family from the perspective of the eldest daughter Kazuko, as their sense of identity and titles have been stripped from them in the wake of Japanese social, and economic reforms. With a dead father, bedridden mother and absent war-torn brother. The book follows her journey as she struggles to find a way out and into some semblance of stability in this changing world.  A stunning perspective, I rate the setting sun a 10/10, there is a reason Osamu Dazai is recognized as a champion in Japanese Literature.