Posts Tagged ‘Thousand Cranes’

My second Yasunari Kawabata book in succession. This time it is ‘Thousand Cranes‘. The edition I read has been translated by Edward Seidensticker, who also translated the great Murasaki Shikibu’sThe Tale of Genji‘, the world’s first novel. So I was doubly excited!

In ‘Thousand Cranes‘, a twenty-five year old man is invited for a tea ceremony, by his father’s former mistress. His father has passed away recently. Of course, this kind of meeting never goes as expected. In this particular meeting, another of his father’s mistresses turns up unexpectedly. And then, as happens in a typical Kawabata book, this leads to the Pandora’s Box being opened and all kinds of unexpected surprises start happening. You should read the book to find out what happened next 🙂

Thousand Cranes‘ is vintage Kawabata. It is slim at around 100 pages. There is an unexpected meeting at the beginning, which leads to unexpected events orchestrated by interesting, imperfect characters, which leads to an unexpected ending. I loved the depiction of the relationship between two of the main characters, Kikuji and Fumiko. For want of a better word, I’ll call it a beautiful love story, with lots of things unsaid. I was hoping that this love story would have a happy ending, but Kawabata-San does something strange in the end and I can’t tell whether it was happy or sad. Kawabata’s prose is lyrical and delicate and the description of the Japanese tea ceremony and the way it is intertwined with the story, is a pleasure to read.

I enjoyed reading ‘Thousand Cranes‘. This is the last Yasunari Kawabata book in my collection. Hoping to add more of his books to my collection and read them.

Have you read ‘Thousand Cranes‘? What do you think about it?

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