Set in the aftermath of World War II and spanning over two decades, Ayako, a work by the renowned comics artist Osamu Tezuka, delves deep into Japan's post-war struggles. Stripping away cartoonish elements, the narrative is laced with a dark and cynical humor, making it a standout in Japanese Naturalist literature. The story revolves around the Tenge family, particularly patriarch Sakuemon, grappling with the unsettling changes brought by the Allied occupation and agrarian reforms. As one son returns from a P.O.W. camp alive, another's leftist leanings ignite further discord. Amidst this turmoil, Sakuemon finds solace in his youngest daughter and granddaughter, Ayako, who becomes a symbol of the hidden turmoil and complexities lingering after the war.

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