MAIN INFO ON MAKEUP:
The manga, like I mentioned to someone, is actually a study of art. Though there is a plot, I mainly wanted a way to put my ideas on life & death, ceremony, and seasons onto paper in the form of a manga. So, the plot probably makes no sense, but it was a way to establish environments to study different aspects and reactions.
For the most part, it is a collection of drawings on sub-subjects inside the plot ^__^
The story is divided into 9 main sections, each with the cover pictures described earlier. These account the story of Yuki(o) and Keiko and is pretty much a conglomeration of a mix of genres: traditional Japanese art, science, religion & philosophy, and a bit of gov't. The last 3 sections are devoted to their children (each one getting a section). The children were Akitsugu, Hayashigawa, and Ayame. Each one of these focuses on a different struggle to overcome and a battle with and against a certain trait. For example, Akitsugu represents purity, which is good, but he also cannot endure a world so full of impurities and causes himself a lot of pain with the conflict.
GENERAL STORY INFO and PLOT:
Yukio was raised in the traditional manner in every respect and appeared as an austere and distant character before others. He was of royal blood, so they told him. Of course, this is taking place in no paticular place in the modern age, so this type of culture does not exist for the nation anymore. But Yukio was not told this. They are trying to recreate the past and maybe even establish a Tokugawa like state or gain control in someother manner, using Yukio as their tool. (As to the details, this is very vauge, but the key is that it is a perfect Tokugawa environment but done in a way for some twisted purpose. They have even manipulated Yukio's genetic creation to further that - thus enter science and ethics! lol)
Slowly, though, he learn about the rest of the area/nation/world through meetings with a nearby shrine. He "sneaks" there to learn the art of the katana, as they will not teach him where he resides. He begins to bring the lady Keiko with him on his walks and they share their music and art. Keiko is surprised to learn how reckless and down-to-earth he really is. They grow very close, and eventually Yukio decides to make her his wife. At about the same time, Yukio challenges the powers who have raised him in this "lie". He wishes to continue his lifestyle to teach others, but not control them. The organization would hear nothing of this and they try to rid him before he spreads news of their plots.
Yukio and Keiko get away and see to the downfall of that organization, though Yukio is now partially blind. They work with the local shrines to teach those arts they had learned: koto, tea ceremony, etcetc and later have three children. Though everything seems ok, it is not long before one religious group targets them for their involvement with the scientific manipulation of Yukio's birth, and they both end up dead (Yukio by forced seppuku), leaving their children alone to deal with the aftermath fate left them.
Akitsugu ends up neutralizing the threat of the group (specifically the man) responsible for his parents death's, but he also ends up giving his life for it. The other son, Hayashigawa, and the daughter Ayame remain to live out full lives passing on traditions and raising families of their own within Japan.