Set in the Taisho era, which might be regarded as Japan's Hippie Phase, Hana no ran is a story about fashionable people without impulse control. :D Much of the action centers on a popular woman writer, the real-life poet Akiko Yosano, and her experiences among the literati of early 20th century Japan. Because of her independent, anti-war and often erotic poetry, she was a lightning rod for revolutionaries and other extremists, many of whom were destined to glamorous, yet ultimately pointless, deaths. The closest parallels might be the Byron/Shelley group or the people drawn to the Beat Generation.
The cinematography is lovely, and sets and costumes are faithful to the era, when old Japan was once again confronted by new styles from the West.
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