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'One is repeatedly moved by the delicacy of the imagery and the understated precision' New Statesman. The successful writer Oki has reached middle age and is filled with regrets. He returns to Kyoto to find Otoko, a young woman with whom he had a terrible affair many years before, and discovers that she is now a painter, living with a younger woman as her lover. Otoko has continued to love Oki and has never forgotten him, but his return unsettles not only her but also her young lover. This is a work of strange beauty, with a tender touch of nostalgia and a heartbreaking sensitivity to those things lost forever. Beauty and Sadness was Kawabata's final book before his suicide in 1972.
Four stories from two of Japan's most beloved and acclaimed fiction writers.The Izu Dancer was the story that first introduced Kawabata's prodigious talent to the West. This story was originally published in The Atlantic Monthly, in 1958. Stories by Inoue include, "The Counterfeiter," "Obasute," and "The Full Moon." Inoue's stories are at least partially autobiographical, and Inoue's attitudes toward human destiny and fatalism are strongly influenced by his separation from his parents at an early age--yet all of his stories reveal his great compassion for his fellow human being.
Go is a game of strategy in which two players attempt to surround each other's black or white stones. Simple in its fundamentals, infinitely complex in its execution, it is an essential expression of the Japanese sensibility. And in his fictional chronicle of a match played between a revered and invincible Master and a younger, more progressive challenger, Yasunari Kawabata captured the moment in which the immutable traditions of imperial Japan met the onslaught of the twentieth century. The competition between the Master of Go and his opponent, Otak , is waged over several months and layered in ceremony. But beneath the game's decorum lie tensions that consume not only the players themselves but their families and friends u tensions that turn this particular contest into a duel that can only end in one man's death. Luminous in its detail, both suspenseful and serene, THE MASTER OF GO is an elegy for an entire society, written with the poetic economy and psychological acumen that brought Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Centers on a single game of Go between the heretofore invincible Master of Go (Shûsai), and his younger, more modern challenger (Kitani Minoru). The game is the framework for the contest between tradition and change, between the old Japan and the new, and, ultimately, between life and death.
This book captures the decadent allure of this entertainment district, where beggars and teenage prostitutes mixed with revue dancers and famous authors. Originally serialized in a Tokyo daily newspaper in 1929 and 1930, this vibrant novel uses unorthodox, kinetic literary techniques to reflect the raw energy of Asakusa, seen through the eyes of a wandering narrator and the cast of mostly female juvenile delinquents who show him their way of life.
Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata's Snow Country is widely considered to be the writer's masterpiece: a powerful tale of wasted love set amid the desolate beauty of western Japan. At an isolated mountain hot spring, with snow blanketing every surface, Shimamura, a wealthy dilettante meets Komako, a lowly geisha. She gives herself to him fully and without remorse, despite knowing that their passion cannot last and that the affair can have only one outcome. In chronicling the course of this doomed romance, Kawabata has created a story for the ages -- a stunning novel dense in implication and exalting in its sadness.
By day Ogata Shingo is troubled by small failures of memory. At night he hears a distant rumble from the nearby mountain, a sound he associates with death. In between are the relationships that were once the foundation of Shingo's life: with his disappointing wife, his philandering son, and his daughter-in-law Kikuko, who instills in him both pity and uneasy stirrings of sexual desire. Out of this translucent web of attachments - and the tiny shifts of loyalty and affection that threaten to sever it irreparably - Kawabata creates a novel that is at once serenely observed and enormously affecting.
Few novels have depicted the predicament of old age more evocatively than The Sound of the Mountain. <P><P>For in his portrait of an elderly Tokyo businessman, Yasunari Kawabata charts the gradual, reluctant narrowing of a human life, along with the sudden upsurges of passion that illuminate its closing.
With a restraint that barely conceals the ferocity of his characters' passions, one of Japan's great postwar novelists tells a luminous story of desire, regret, and the almost sensual nostalgia that binds the living to the dead. When Kikuji is invited to a tea ceremony by a mistress of his dead father, he does not expect to become involved with her rival and successor, Mrs. Ota. Nor does he anticipate the depth of suffering that will arise from their liaison. But in the tea ceremony every gesture has a meaning. And in Thousand Cranes, even the most fleeting touch or casual utterance has the power to illuminate entire lives-sometimes in the same moment that it destroys them.
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