An Artist of the Floating World is the story of Masuji Ono, an elderly painter reflecting on his life as a young man in Japan's decadent artistic world and on his decline since World War II. Ono's narration is unreliable and his self-image largely built up by denial, so his version of events is often shaky at best. Ono's revelation that he was a police informant on his fellow artists during World War II seals his faltering reputation.
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