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Kikuji has been invited to a tea ceremony by a mistress of his dead father. He is shocked to find there the mistress's rival and successor, Mrs. Ota, and that the ceremony has been awkwardly arranged for him to meet his potential future bride. But he is most shocked to be drawn into a relationship with Mrs. Ota - a relationship that will bring only suffering and destruction to all of them. Thousand Cranes reflects the tea ceremony's poetic precision with understated, lyrical style and beautiful prose.