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Thousand Cranes (Penguin Modern Classics)

Thousand Cranes (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Yasunari Kawabata , Edward G. Seidensticker
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

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.

About the Author

Yasunari Kawabata was born near Osaka in 1899 and was orphaned at the age of two. His first stories were published while he was still in high school and he decided to become a writer. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924 and a year later made his first impact on Japanese letters with Izu Dancer. He soon became a leading figure the lyrical school that offered the chief challenge to the proletarian literature of the late 1920s. His writings combine the two forms of the novel and the haiku poems, which within restrictions of a rigid metre achieves a startling beauty by its juxtaposition of opposite and incongruous terms. Snow Country (1956) and Thousand Cranes (1959) brought him international recognition. Kawabata died by his own hand, on April 16 1972.

Thousand Cranes is translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker (1921-2007), who was a prominent scholar of Japanese literature.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 636 KB
  • Print Length: 106 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0425028690
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Jan 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GB1ICS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #116,064 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Less is more 8 May 1997
By A Customer
Snow Country and Thousand Cranes exemplify Kawabata's mastery of the subtle and not-so-subtle nuances of human psychology. Yet what amazes is his almost Haiku-like precision and pithy brevity. For me, each sentence exploded off the page. When I returned to the first paragraphs of Thousand Cranes I was amazed to see that these few spare sentences somehow contained, or rather encoded like DNA, the whole essence of the novel.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing look at family ties 21 Jun 1998
By A Customer
Kawabata's novel gives amazing insight into the Japanese traditions of family ancestors, as well as insight for anyone who has felt tied to their parents. Kikuji's struggle to find himself and his independence from the memory of his father signify the struggles of youth at the death of a parent in modern times. Brilliantly executed, it is quite possibly one of the best novels to ever come from Japan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book on shadows 2 Oct 2012
This is a wonderfully subtle novel which achieves its effect by defining the characters against the absence of others. We are in effect bought in to the afterglow of a world that is fading from view after the death of the protagonist's father. The tea ceremony, which the whole novel revolves around, is a system in break down after loosing those who gave it its significance. Yet it is precisely against this world in decline that the characters gain their identity.

The book starts with Kikuji on his way to a tea ceremony that has been arranged by Chikako, a former lover of his father. Yet Kikuji himself, far from continuing his fathers passion for the ceremony, purposefully avoids them. Chikako herself only seems to be holding the events in order to cling onto the spirit of Kikuji's father - the water jar, the tea measure and the tea cup that is given to Kikuji are all his fathers. And in fact it is only in the absence of his father that Kikuji manages to exert the social force he does over the other characters. Mrs. Oto, her daughter (Fumiko) and Chikako are all only interested in him insofar as he is his fathers son - insofar as he represents the last refuge of those embers of significance for the world of the tea ceremony - just as later Kikuji is only interested in (until the very end) Fumiko insofar as she resembles her mother. It is as if all are shadows in the light of the previous generations. It is just this light that we watch fade throughout the novel, as Kikuji slowly moves further from the realm of the tea ceremony, and as Chikuko's attitude towards him becomes more vexed. It seems he does not nourish those embers of his father's world that she values so dearly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional 10 Feb 2014
At 100 pages, this book may seem short, but I've spent two weeks poring over it, re-reading, and re-reading again! Elegantly written, simple but never straightforward- I was mesmerised by the poetic quality in Thousand Cranes and pleased by its rather demure plot.
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