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Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
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Thousand Cranes (original 1956; edition 1981)

by Yasunari Kawabata, Edward G Seidensticker (Translator)

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990288,659 (3.78)47
Member:andrewreads
Title:Thousand Cranes
Authors:Yasunari Kawabata
Other authors:Edward G Seidensticker (Translator)
Info:Perigee Trade (1981), Paperback, 147 pages
Collections:Your library, Read - owned
Rating:****
Tags:Japanese literature, Japan, Nobel laureate

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Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata (1956)

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» See also 47 mentions

English (24)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (28)
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
This 1952 novel by Nobel-prize winning Yasunari Kawabata is dripping with traditional images Japan--tea ceremonies, mistresses, multiple generations, suicide, and much more besides. I didn't really love it, perhaps unfairly, because of its relatively subtlety and the fact that it felt more like a period piece cultural study than a fully absorbing novel. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
With subtlety and an economy of words the author brought the characters to life. I understood and cared for them deeply.

I highly recommend this book. My full review can be read at http://chapterofdreams.com/?p=4890 ( )
  mlbelize | Jan 27, 2014 |
This is a short novel set in post WWII Japan, but really almost timeless as it is built around the many centuries old tea ceremony. A young melancholy man, Kikuji, must deal with life surrounded by people and objects that have come to him following his father's death. It is a strange philosophical story but very interesting and left me sad. Poor Kikuji is the victim here, primarily due to the machinations of one of his father's mistresses as well as his own failures.

Kawabata received the Nobel prize in literature in 1968. This story was first published in english translation in 1958 but was originally in Japanese from about 1949-1951. ( )
  RBeffa | Nov 10, 2013 |
This was a sad book, a book where the main character was never able to escape his fathers shadow. I have read Palm of the Hand stories and much like those Thousand Cranes feels like a book that happens rather than one you read. ( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
Reseña de Fantasía Mágica

Este es un libro bellísimo. Tengo debilidad por las historias orientales, especialmente las japonesas.
Este es un gran ejemplo de la narrativa nipona, con su ritmo completamente diferente, calmo y pacífico aunque las emociones que se narren sean turbulentas y violentas.

Es el primer libro que leo de Yasunari Kawabata, premio Nobel de literatura "por su maestría narrativa que expresa con gran sensibilidad el espíritu nipón", como dice la biografía de mi edición. Este autor es realmente un maestro en su arte, de esos escritores con la magnífica habilidad de crear una historia atrapante en base a algo muy simple. No será el último libro que lea de él, se los aseguro.

El argumento es simple, como lo es la historia. No hay un gran punto de tensión, ni un conflicto central. Todo el libro es un conflicto pasivo. En Mil Grullas (¿ya dije que me cautivó sólo por el nombre?) lo importante no es la historia sino los personajes, las emociones, lo que pensarán y sentirán a continuación, la nostalgia, la vida, la muerte. Y el té. La maravillosa ceremonia del té, que nos acompañará durante la breve (pero muy sustancial) cantidad de páginas.

Durante una ceremonia del té Kikuyi conoce a la hermosa señorita Inamura, vestida con kimono y portando un pañuelo con mil grullas. Kikuyi es un hombre melancólico que recuerda constantemente la muerte de sus padres. Está solo, y es esa soledad la que lo acerca a quienes fueran las amantes de su padre.
Una de ellas, Chikako, la mujer de la mancha entre los pechos, lo asquea y lo intriga, intenta manipularlo y cuidarlo a su modo retorcido. Pero no es ella el centro de la historia, sino aquella viuda que pasara tantos años junto a su padre, la señora Ota, que parece confundir al hijo con quien fuera su amante, y su hija, mortificada por la vida a la que fue forzada durante toda su infancia.
Las emociones se mezclan entre los personajes, la culpa, el remordimiento, el amor y a veces la obsesión. La vergüenza, un sentimiento tan encontrado en las historias japonesas, está tan presente en cada una de las acciones de los personajes como lo están sus pasiones.

Está dividido en varias partes, y esas partes en capítulos.
Cada sección está nombrada con algo muy específico, con frases breves pero llenas de belleza.

Es una historia melancólica en la que el texto simplemente fluye. Es una narración dulce y poética, donde la naturaleza y el amor por ella están siempre presentes en pequeños comentarios. Leyendo este libro se siente paz, se escucha el silencio de las casas japonesas, se saborea el gusto del té y se siente entre los dedos la belleza de los tazones de cerámica que nos acompañan a lo largo de todo el libro. En muchos momentos me hizo pensar en la película El sabor del Té.

Lo recomiendo a todo aquel que quiera leer algo realmente bueno, una belleza literaria para deleitar la vista.
No es una historia rápida, y el final nos dejará mirando el espacio vacío al final del último párrafo, con un sentimiento de pérdida y de que no tuvimos suficiente.
Belleza. Este libro es belleza para almas sensibles. ( )
  outlanders22 | Sep 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yasunari Kawabataprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Komatsu, FumiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouwehand, C.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouwehand, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seidensticker, Edward G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Even when he reached Kamakura and the Engakuji Temple, Kikuji did not know whether or not he would go to the tea ceremony.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
fine depiction of life in a period randomly captured without pain.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679762655, Paperback)

With a restraint that barely conceals the ferocity of his characters' passions, one of Japan's great postwar novelists tells the luminous story of Kikuji and the tea party he attends with Mrs. Ota, the rival of his dead father's mistress. A tale of desire, regret, and sensual nostalgia, every gesture has a meaning, and even the most fleeting touch or casual utterance has the power to illuminate entire lives--sometimes in the same moment that it destroys them. Translated from the Japanese by Edward G. Seidensticker.



"A novel of exquisite artistry...rich suggestibility...and a story that is human, vivid and moving."--New York Herald Tribune


Kawabata is a poet of the gentlest shades, of the evanescent, the imperceptible. This is a tragedy in soft focus, but its passions are fierce."--Commonweal

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A young man is involved briefly with the two mistresses of his dead father and with the daughter of one of them. In these limited relationships, the limitless human capacity for inertia and illusion is suggested and the infinite strange combinations of human joy and suffering.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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