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The Wind Has Risen

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The Wind Has Risen (風立ちぬ – Kaze Tachinu) is a Japanese novel by Hori Tatsuo, written between 1936–37. It is set in a tuberculosis sanitarium in Nagano, Japan. The plot follows a main character identified only with the pronoun "I" as he takes care of his fiancée, and then wife, Setsuko, who has been diagnosed with the disease, deciding to stay with her until her death. It was originally serialised in Kaizō. The title comes from a verse from Paul Valéry's poem Le Cimetière marin, "Le vent se lève, il faut tenter de vivre," which the protagonist recites to Setsuko when they meet under a tree while she's painting, as a sudden, strong gust of wind occurs. The main character meditates about life and death as he sees her beloved's condition deteriorating, finally moving with her to a sanatorium surrounded by beauty, and finally discovering that just like the wind rises he can still keep living after her death through the strong bond of their love. Setsuko was modeled after Hori's own wife, Ayako Yano, who died of tuberculosis barely a year after their wedding, and who he accompanied to her death after a stay of a few months at a sanatorium at the foot of Mt. Yatsugatake in 1935. Three films have been produced based on the story. Most recently, Hayao Miyazaki's 2013 film, The Wind Rises ("Kaze Tachinu", Academy Award-nominated for Best Animated Feature), is loosely based on the novel.
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date of publication: 1936 or 1938
genre: romance novel

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