Junichiro Tanizakiâ€™s Some Prefer Nettles is an exquisitely nuanced exploration of the allure of ancient Japanese traditionâ€”and the profound disquiet that accompanied its passing. Â It is the 1920s in Tokyo, and Kaname and his wife Misako are trapped in a parody of a progressive Western marriage. No longer attracted to one another, they have long since stopped sleeping together and Kaname has sanctioned his wifeâ€™s liaisons with another man. But at the heart of their arrangement lies a sadness that impels Kaname to take refuge in the past, in the serene rituals of the classical puppet theaterâ€”and in a growing fixation with his father-in-lawâ€™s mistress. Some Prefer Nettles is an ethereally suggestive, psychologically complex exploration of the crisis every culture faces as it hurtles headfirst into modernity.