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A Thematic Study of the Works of Kawabata Yasunari

Author(s): Reiko Tsukimura and Kawabata Yasunari


Source: The Journal-Newsletter of the Association of Teachers of Japanese, Vol. 5, No. 2, Papers
from the 1968 AAS Meetings (Jul., 1968), pp. 22-31
Published by: American Association of Teachers of Japanese
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/488804
Accessed: 03-02-2016 14:53 UTC

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22
A THEMATICSTUDY OF THE WORKSOF KAWABATA
YASUNARI
Reiko

Tsukimura

senshu
wrote:

(University

of Minnesota)

In the "Postscript"
to the second volume of the Kawabata Yasunari
Works of Kawabata Yasunari)
in 1938 Kawabata
(Selected
published
To think of the characteristics
of Japanese
in its
literature
ancient
one of its salient
is the sentiment
features
tradition,
on a journey.
felt
on a journey.
it is sorrow felt
It
Rather,
is in the native
songs of Japan.
A pilgrimage
was a form of spiritual
discipline.
Perhaps it
was so in foreign
but Japanese pilgrimages
were peculiarly
countries,
characterized
of Japan.
To a certain
extent
this
by the climate
climatization
has weakened the literature
of Japan.
But even
and military
lullabies
songs of modern Japan are not free from this
Yet this may contain
to which we have to
peculiarity.
something
I have desired
that I might be able to
give a fresh appreciation.
leave this ancient
strain
to it.l
through returning

Nine years later,


in 1947, Kawabata said in an important
essay,
Aishi
"Since the end of the War I have done nothing
but return
(Sorrow),
to the ancient
The following
sorrow."2
from the same
Japanese
passage
the nature of this ancient
sorrow:
essay explains
The sorrow in Doyo fujin
and the pathos in Genji
(Madam Saturday)
monogatari
(The Tale of Genji) are in themselves
mitigated
by the
consolation
and relief.
We are not made to face squarely
Japanese
the origin
of the sorrow and pathos,
as they do in the West.
I have
never experienced
such bitter
and anguish as belong to the
grief
I have never found that nihilism
West.
and decadence
which are
Western.3
About ten years later
he tells
awareness
full
that he was a writer
he would carry on the beauty of the

how he came to have


of Japanese
traits,
tradition":4
Japanese

but
nothing
and a desire

"a
that

a fanatic
in nor blind love
trust
(During the War) I had neither
for Japan.
I always felt
the sorrow of the Japanese people
through
and that was all.
The defeat
of war seems to have
my own sorrow,
sorrow into my flesh
struck
and bones.
But then, my soul found its
I regard my life
after
the war as a spared life
peace and freedom.
which is not my own, but which reveals
the tradition
of Japanese
And I feel nothing
in this thinking.5
unnatural
beauty.
This paper attempts
to trace the implications
of the words ryoshu and
aishu in the major works of Kawabata.
This attempt will
offer
hopefully
a fresh appreciation
of the ancient
sorrow and show the signifiJapanese
cance of the literature
of Kawabata not only in modern Japan but in the
world.
present

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23
is an intense
emotional
to in the first
quotation
Ryoshu referred
and inThe purity
that you have found a home of your soul.
realization
colors
at the moment of this discovery
the whole experience
with
tensity
a sense of sorrow.
from a sheer feeling
of
Yet this sorrow differs
or loss.
in your heart when you
Rather it is warmness rising
depression
feel you have discovered
a genuine
in nature and human beings.
sign of life
In the tradition
of Japanese
stimulated
literature
nature has frequently
this sorrow.
it is not
nature is utterly
Perhaps this is because
passive;
like human beings who think that they can not only resist
what
but destroy
of nature
comes in their way.
And perhaps it is because
the passivity
a blizzard
enhances
is a symbol of both
its beauty.
To human beings
to
violence
and passivity.
in the storm is likened
What appears violent
a virgin's
is both warmness
intense
and yielding.
The passivity
fear,
a storm.
and purity:
sun after
the snow enwraps the earth under the bright
of Yukiguni
is a part of this pure and
Komako, the heroine
(Snow Country),
In the postscript
to the Sogensha edition
nature.
(1948) of
passive
Yukiguni Kawabata writes:
The author is deep in the character
Komako, and not in Shimamura.
In that sense I am
Rather the author turned his back to Shimamura.
I delineated
perhaps more in Komako than in Shimamura: consciously
Shimamura in the furthest
from myself.
distance
and emotion in the novel are more imaginary
The incidents
than
actual.
or what appears
to be Komako's
the emotion,
Particularly
is nothing
the appeal of the novel
but mine.
sorrow,
Probably
derives
from this.6
Elsewhere

Kawabata writes

on the

role

of

Shimamura:

Shimamura hides deep in the heart his sorrow and remorse about
his incapability
of loving
Because of this void $of
Komako.
Shimamura's emotion)
Komako more pathetically
stands out.
she throws herself
Komako appears
to lead the affair
simply because
into love.
She yields
to its power which is beyond Shimamura and herself,
as nature does to the Laws of the Universe.
as Kawabata's
Furthermore,
own statement
her devotion
to love is emphasized
by Shimamura's
suggests,
is an aesthetic
which induces
the
This detachment
detachment.
necessity
own
reader's
It is the sympathy for Kawabata's
sympathy for Komako.
of life
embodied in Komako's
sorrow felt
about the beauty and fullness
in Shimamura allows
the reader
love.
The aesthetic
detachment
unrewarding
of life.
to perceive
This apparently
the beauty and genuineness
passive
while
of life,
to Shimamura leads to a discovery
response
assigned
in its
life
Komako's complete
to the power of love reveals
passivity
and intensity.
purity
of Izu no odoriko
is an aesthetic
Yukiguni
(Izu Dancer)
development
and the revelation
in a simpler
form the discovery
which presents
(1926),
is a product
of the warmness and beauty of life.
Izu no odoriko,
however,
Kawabata went on the trip to Izu,
of a more naive and personal
necessity:
his severe
after
melancholy
"having become unable to bear the suffocating
and repeated
into
his
which
he
had
considered
to
introspection
disposition

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24
be distorted
The trip was to him an unexpected
by his being an orphan."8
of the goodness
and simplicity
of fellow
human
heart-warming
discovery
In both Yukiguni and Izu no odoriko
of a journey
the setting
beings.
frees
the travelers
from human complications
and puts them in a position
where nature becomes so vivid
and close
to them that they can look at
human life
in an intimate
and symbolic
with nature.
The two
relationship
works are inseparable
from their
in which nature plays an imporsettings
tant role.
But in the earlier
work the discovery
of the beauty of life
and nature is brighter
and happier,
while Yukiguni adds to beauty depth
which creates
the impression
of sorrow.
The trip to Izu is significant
in that it made the traveler
aware of his own capacity
of being so deeply
moved by goodness
and beauty that he shed tears of happiness.
He developed
this capacity
to create
form of Yukiguni where his keen
the aesthetic
can be shared by the reader.
leaves
The author of Yukiguni
perceptivity
to the reader the discovery
of such beauty of life
that induces
sorrow.
This is a form of the male detachment
which heightens
the female
devotion.
The form was attained
for and
adoration
through the author's
fascination
with the innocent
of a woman.9
This adoration
is
passivity
found even in the misanthrope
hero of Kinju (Birds and Beasts)
(1933),
who rejecting
human affection
that complicates
raises
birds and
itself,
When he sees his dog in its complete
and innocent
dogs.
passivity
giving
itself
its first
the misanthrope
up to its master who attends
child-bearing,
recalls
the utter passivity
of his former love,
Chikako.
Years
suddenly
a double-suicide
with Chikako.
But when he saw her lying
ago he attempted
with her legs tied and praying
with her eyes closed,
innocently
suddenly
he was struck with the preciousness
of utter
selflessness
and thought to
himself
that they should not die,
and that he should hold thereafter
a
of gratitude
to that woman.
This feeling
of gratitude
for the
feeling
of a woman's complete
found its aesthetic
preciousness
passivity
expression
in Yukiguni which was started
late in 1934 and completed
in 1947.
In spite
of or rather because
of the glimpse
of Chikako's
image "as
as the bright
sun of summer" (p. 434),
a strong
dazzling
Kinju gives
of pessimism
and irony of the hero's
to
devotion
artificial
impression
birds and animals.
The world the hero lives
in is narrowed down; he hates
to leave his house and his animals are kept there,
from nature.
separated
This narrowed world preceeded
of sympathy
extension
by an almost primordial
in Jojika
in 1932, one and half years earlier
written
than
(Lyric Poetry)
Kinju.
Jojoka is a song of the broadest
sympathy the human heart could
extend to everything
in this world.
the heart is represented
Significantly
The heroine
who is gifted
with a mystical
by that of a woman.
power of
loves a man so deeply
that telepathy
works between the lovers.
presentiment
Her love intensifies
her perception
of the beauty of nature.
But when she
loses
her love and is caught in jealousy
she no longer sees nature.
Then
she regains
the communication
with nature through reading
the Buddhist
which she regards
as "fantasies
of the previous
and the
life
scriptures
life
after
death" and as "a most precious
Now
lyric"
(pp. 403 and 407).
she sees her dead lover in a flower and desires
to become a flower to be
married to him by a butterfly,
for she thinks
be no sad
that there will
between the living
and the dead in the "lyric
of the soul's
separation
and
level
Jojoka exalts
transmigration"
sympathy to a religious
(p. 413).

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25
offers
affinity
subject
having

"The perception
of the
as a consolation
for human sorrow.
and that of human beings
is the eternal
between the fate of plants
of lyric
this subject,
Yukiguni also develops
poetry"
(p. 403).
in the depth of nature,
a supreme lyricism.
its setting
and attains
it

of life.
But as we have seen, what seems lyrical
is a revelation
which allows
us to see beauty in sorrow.
Nature works as a consolation
Our perception
of "the fate of plants"
is a barometer
of our capacity
for
This inseparable
which testifies
to our being genuinely
alive.
sympathy,
and often
instantaneous
between nature and man's intense
relationship
of life
of descriptions
of nature
in
awareness
the predominance
explains
the works of Kawabata.
The lyrical
sentipart in his works is neither
nor irresponsible
in the ease of nature-love.
Inmentality,
indulgence
in a spark.
stead it is a series
of discoveries
and revelations
of life
and
the male detachment
Compassion between a man and woman replaces
the female passivity
in the works after
In Sembazuru compassion
Yukiguni.
is sharply
contrasted
to the scheming ugly mind of Chikako and is carried
to the point beyond good and evil where the scale
of morality
is unbalanced
and only the acceptance
of evil
effaces
the evil.
Mrs. Ota's love for
his bitterness
toward his father who loved Mrs. Ota herself.
Kikuji cleansed
sense of sin in his relationship
with Mrs. Ota is
Furthermore,
Kikuji's
inceslifted
Fumiko's
love for him.
by her daughter
obviously
Kikuji's
tuous relationships
and even beautified
beyond morality
are, however,
because
of the tenderness
and genuineness
of the two women's love for him.
But compassion
the
takes different
shapes in Namichidori
(Wave-plovers),10
of Sembazuru, which traces
continuation
of the strange
relationthe affect
ships on Kikuji and Fumiko, who have become able to look at the "whirlpool
of love"ll
and attempt
a new life,
to
to start
Kikuji through his marriage
and Fumiko through her
Yukiko, the girl with the sembazuru furoshiki,
to the native
town of her dead father.
journey
Namichidori
offers
another
from the journey convey
letters
Buddhist pilgrimage.
After she
from a bridge
into a small hole
in her letter:
Fumiko writes
all,

use of a journey
for the setting.
Fumiko's
a
Buddhist
the journey resembles
serenity;
heard a story of a little
girl who fell
made with three rocks,
but was not hurt at

I was not able to help my mother live.


But when I think of
is
that made me live on, my prayer for your happiness
something
even
I feel
that there must be a place of salvation
strengthened.
and sins,
as there was for the
among the rocks of human disgrace
from the bridge.12
girl who feel
her solitary
she describes
Later in the same letter
through
journey
and she closes
her
Kuji Heights where once were holy grounds for pilgrims,
to
"I feel
with the words:
that I have also made a pilgrimage
description
I am happy and contented."13
Nature and the simplicity
the holy grounds.
on her trip enabled Fumiko to restore
of the people whom she encountered
that
her peace of mind and to have calm sympathy for Kijuji
which recalls
of Jojoka attained.
sympathy which the heroine

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26
and water-jar
accelerate
In Sembazuru the tea-cups
compassion.
of love.
In her
But in Namichidori
they are freed from the entanglement
Fumiko asks Kikuji to free himself
from all that happened with her
letter
which had belonged
and from the Oribe tea-cup
to
mother and herself
Fumiko's father
and later was given to Chikako by Kikuji's
father.
Kikuji
the tea-cup
sells
that w?s given by Fumiko
with the water-jar
together
to Yukiko why he sells
the tea-cup:
after
her mother's
He explains
death.
That tea-cup
has a fine life
of its own, so I would like to make
freed from us.
itself
has powerful
...
it live
The tea-cup
beauty,
human attachments
..
which should not be entangled
with unhealthy
.
I
to pass it down to the hands of a healthy
owner.
It is better
be beautiful
in the
feel happy to think that the Oribe tea-cup will
hands of someone else even after
our deaths.14
and completeness
of an artifice
The eternity
compensates
and
and sorrow of human life.
It is a relief
incompleteness
and a symbol of a life
of beauty,
strength,
purity,
dignity,
ness.
artifice
the pathos in the
Thus, the eternal
heightens
of that innocent
which led to the incestuous
virtue
tenderness
as well as the delicate
Excellent
art objects
beauty
ships.
of Japan
come to gain greater
in the works after
importance
of Kawabata's
which bridges
the pre-war and post-war
periods

for the
consolation,
and tenderbeauty and
relationof the nature
Yukiguni,
career.

In Namichidori
of a seemingly
comes to work on the level
compassion
of love."
feels
not in the "whirlpool
daily
life,
peaceful
Kikuji
deep
to his innocent
wife for her sympathy and tenderness.
Her
gratitude
and devotion
in their
husband sustain
to her sorrowful
purity
peacefulness
Yama no oto (The Sound of the Mountain),
life.
which was written
daily
almost simultaneously
from 1949 to 1954,
with Sembazuru and Namichidori,
describes
a similar
delicate
between a man and woman.
compassion
Shingo,
the major male character
of this novel,
is married to the young sister
of
a beautiful
woman whom he adored in his youth.
He has nothing
to complain
of in his marriage,
of his wife haunts
but the image of the dead sister
him.
The delicate
beauty of the young wife of his son evokes that image
of his youthful
adoration.
Kikuko, his son's wife,
though unhappy in her
of her husband's
never complains
but forgives
misconduct,
marriage,
him,
in the tenderness
of her father-in-law.
consolation
finding
Shingo and
for each
Kikuko, unhappy in the depth of their
exchange compassion
hearts,
other through their common delight
in the beauty of nature.
Yama no oto is
an achievement
in restoring
to Japanese
life
after
the war the beauty
daily
a medium
of nature which had been in the tradition
of Japanese
literature
of man and woman.
to communicate between the hearts
Koto (The Old Capital),
which appeared in the Asahi Shimbun from
1961 to January,
to describe
delicate
October,
attempt
1962, is a further
to the beauty of nature and the Japanese
tradition.
The novel
sensitivity
in Kyoto, where nature and art speak to the sensitive
is located
heart
about the tradition
of Japanese beauty.
textile
The traditional
products
as well as the numerous ancient
festivals
Both
this beauty.
symbolize
this novel and Yama no oto deal with the theme that parental
affection
a beautiful
creates
The beautiful
of Shingo's
sister
wife was
daughter.

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27
The magnificent
loved by her father who was fond of plants.
maple which
her image
take care of always accompanied
the father made his daughter
on Kikuko made
The parental
love that was lavished
that haunted Shingo.
for the unhappy old fatherher an affectionate
and consolation
daughter
her birth
soon after
in-law.
the heroine
of Koto, was discarded
Chieko,
store.
and raised
wholesale
The
by a young couple who run an old textile
and tender daughter who
a beautiful
foster
love has created
parents'
in the rapid
lost
and encourages
the old parents
who feel
sympathizes
between parental
This theme of the relationship
changes of modern Japan.
a deeper theme, that
seems to suggest
and a beautiful
affection
daughter
and that beauty is strength
to
beauty can be created
through affection,
of the theme
in this world.
The theme is a development
our life
sustain
life.
of sympathy and its extension
to our daily
in Yama
A balance
is established
between male and female characters
Yama no oto
which was
no oto.
But a change is noted in the works after
in the Shincho from
in April,
1954.
Mizuumi (A Lake) appeared
completed
in
of Japanese
The novel deals with a teacher
1954.
January to December,
of an affair
with a student.
because
who is dismissed
a girls'
high school,
of his
recollections
of the hero's
remorseful
The story consists
strange
and sounds.
the
visions
with hallucinatory
women.
It is filled
Girpei,
cousin whom he
is pursued by the image of a beautiful
hero of the novel,
from
student
loved in his boyhood.
Her image overlaps
that of his girl
These female images emerge out of
whom he was separated
by her parents.
of a girl.
This subconsciousfor the innocence
his subconscious
longing
ness urges him to pursue women and drags him into a grotesquely
ugly
is at the same time a spring
But that subconscious
longing
degeneration.
the novel.
whose water heals deep sorrow that permeates
in the Shincho from January
Nemureru bijo (Sleeping
Beauty) appeared
the sixty-six
to June, 1960 and from January to November, 1961.
Eguchi,
to stay
a strange
inn where only old men are allowed
year old hero, visits
and spends a night with a girl who is put to sleep with sleeping
pills.
The purity,
to the girl.
to do any violence
But the old men are forbidden
of the girl
and youthfulness
tempt him to break the regulation.
beauty,
is an ephemeral
But he knows that "to have a peaceful
sleep with the girl
He even feels
in
the
of
a
life
for
the
past."15
joy
pursuit
consolation,
the thought
has sadness which invites
that "the youthful
body of the girl
of
of death in an old man."16
Beauty and youth are gone and only visions
reof his past approaches
The old man's recollection
the past return.
for the old
of the girl who is put to sleep
The utter passivity
pentance.
in whom
about harlots
Buddhist
man makes him recall
legends which tell
of
The defenselessness
the world.17
to correct
himself
Buddha incarnated
and he sees
the regulation,
desire
to violate
slackens
the girl
Eguchi's
of nothingness
"the deep darkness
spread itself."18
for the sleeping
beauty deepens sorrow in old age,
pursuit
Eguchi's
in
results
for the lost beauty and purity
as in Mizuumi Gimpei's
longing
around the male
Mizuumi and Nemureru bijo center
life.
an ugly decadent
for a woman's beauty
adoration
the irony of their
particularly
characters,
as is the male
is aesthetic,
and purity.
This focus on male characters
a darker
reveals
concentration
in Yukiguni.
And this aesthetic
detachment
of the reality
of life.
aspect

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28
Kataude (One Arm), which was serialized
in the Shincho from August,
1963 to January,
of the irony of the male
symbolization
1964, is another
for beauty,
innocence
and tenderness.
The symbolization
is more
longing
than that in Nemureru bio.
The beauty and tenderness
of a
exquisite
woman is embodied by her right arm.
Pessimism
hovers like the fog that
home the arm in order
hangs over the streets
through which the hero carries
to spend a night with it.
An immediate communication
and contact,
which
to have in Nemureru bijo,
exist
between the arm and
Eguchi is not allowed
the hero.
Yet the arm also evokes visions
of the hero's
The arm
past.
with the visions:
"I have come to you
says to him when he is frightened
in order to dispel
he replaces
his right arm
your visions."19
Finally
with the female arm.
no inter-flow
At first
he feels
of blood between the
arms.
But he falls
when he begins
to feel the throb
newly-united
asleep
of blood running through his shoulder
and the female arm.
A sad irony
lies
at the end of the novel.
The following
morning he wakes up to find
at his side.
It is his own arm taken from his shoulder
the
something
He violently
off the female arm to put back his
snatches
night before.
own.
The story ends with the hero sorrowfully
in his arms the
embracing
discarded
female arm.
The work is an achievement
of the author's
long
of the sorrow of a man and that of a woman.
contemplation
In the works of Kawabata there is no villain;
no
disastrous;
nothing
such enmity or antagonism
in a calamity.
that results
Chikako in Sembazuru
is more vividly
remembered by the symbolic
on her breast
birthmark
than by
Yama no oto contains
herself.
elements
that could be developed
into a
But the family
life
with no tragic
It is
family
tragedy.
passes
changes.
as if there were some instinctive
desire
to avoid tragedy working on the
characters.
It is even in the young irresponsible
He
Shuichi.
husband,
has seen enough disaster
in the war.
effort
to
Nobody makes any strenuous
solve
the problem of Fusako who has left
her delinquent
husband and gone
bact to her parents.
On reading
in the newspaper about her husband's
unsuccessful
double-suicide
with another woman, Fusako's
father,
Shingo,
thinks
to himself
that time has solved
the problem.
This apparently
unlife
eventful
is what Kawabata finds as the reality
of an ordinary
family
life
in Japan.
It is a different
matter to argue that the members of the
One may want to discover
the
family should face their problems squarely.
life
where nothing
can
beauty and sorrow of the human heart in our daily
be solved.
really
No character
created
to project
Rather
himself.
by Kawabata struggles
he gives
himself
He seems to give up rational
up to what comes over him.
and critical
of himself
and the situation
in which he is put.
analysis
He recollects
his past which sometimes
his life
and sometimes
brightens
leads him to regret
and remorse.
In the depth of his heart lies
his subconscious
for the eternally
and tender.
longing
beautiful,
pure, innocent,
He forgives
rather
than accuses.
Compassion and sympathy rule out bitterness of criticism.
He discovers
affinities
between nature and man, and
in the beauty of nature and art.
The impact he gives
to
gets consolation
the reader is tinged with sorrow and beauty,
to the reader the
revealing
home of the soul and enabling
him to extend his sympathetic
understanding
of the fellow
human beings.

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29
a collection
Rakka ryisui
Flowers and Flowing Water) (1966),
(Falling
of a woman taxiof the most recent
essays
by Kawabata, has an episode
in a
in New York.
One night after
two o'clock
Kawabata was riding
driver
and the
He stroked
the driver.
its ears,
taxi and found a dog beside
But
said to him, "She likes
driver
to have her ears stroked."
pleasantly
became sullen
and said:
"The dog knows only me.
She
the driver
suddenly
is shy."
Kawabata sensed the woman driver's
Looking at the old
jealousy.
woman and her
coat which wrapped the tired
shoulders
of the middle-aged
sorrow.
out the window, he felt
dog which was now looking
unexplainable
He describes
in
Elsewhere
this sorrow with the word kySshu "nostalgia".20
the same book he writes:
"What moves my heart on the journey are the
of poor working people and those who look as if crushed with lonesights
class
arts of all times
the first
beautiful
liness,
women, boys and girls,
and places
and nature."21
These are the things
(including
architecture),
that move the reader of his works.
this paper I would like
to mention my recent
conversation
To conclude
that Japan had changed
When I expressed
with Mr. Kawabata.
my impression
with a sudden full gaze into my face he said, almost as if to give
greatly,
me a lesson,
"No. Japan has not been changed.
It seems changed because
that
I understood
the words had implications
you look at it that way."
Then the words reminded me of those said
the human mind is not changed.
by Eugene Ionesco:
There is something
that changes and something
that cannot change:
and that is why the No plays,
and Shakespeare's
tragedies
Sophocles'
dramas are the kind of theater
that can be understood
by men everywhere.22
and kyoshi
What the words ryoshu,
aishi
imply in the works of Kawabata
of that
is an intense
Yasunari
emotion at the moment of the discovery
which cannot change.
said of his works,
Ionesco
something
"By expressing
We recall
I express
obssessions,
humanity."23
my deepest
my deepest
"I always felt
Kawabata's words,
the sorrow of the Japanese people
through
His journeys
his compassion
have extended
my own sorrow."24
beyond Japan;
in countries
outside
he has discovered
the sorrow of human beings
Japan.
The sorrow and
His works have been translated
into several
languages.
as
readers,
beauty that his works evoke have been shared by international
the No plays have been.

Notes
in his
1Quoted by Furuya Tsunatake
Critical
Biography of Kawabata Yasunari)
1967),
p. 163.
2Quoted in Kawabata Yasunari,
Shob5 shinsha,
pp. 192.
1952),
3bid.,

p.

ed.

Hyoden Kawabata Yasunari


(A
no Nihonsha,
(Tokyo: Jitsugyo

Mishima

Yukio

(Tokyo:

Kawade

193-194.

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30
volume of the Shinchosha
to the first
4Quoted from the "Postscript"
in Kindaibunaku
kansho
zenshu (1948) cited
Kawabata Yasunari
edition
Series:
Literature
koza: Kawabata Yasunari
(Modern Japanese
Appreciation
Kawabata Yasunari)
pp. 197.
(Tokyo: Kadokawa Shoten,
1959),
5Ibid.,

p.

198.

6Taken from the "Postscript"


added at the end of the Iwanami
Shoten,
1952),
pp. 177-178.

volume

7Ibid.,
p. 180.
Originally
of the Shinchosha
edition

8Kawabata Yasunari
shu
(Tokyo: Kawade Shobo, 1967),
the text.

to the Sogensha edition


(1948)
Yukiguni
Bunko edition
Yukiguni
(Tokyo: Iwanami

written
in the "Postscript"
zenshu.
Kawabata Yasunari

to the

sixth

Works of Kawabata Yasunari)


(The Collected
the book will be cited
Hereafter
p. 396.

in

in the seemingly
9The author's
adoration
is mirrored
detached
and an admirer
observer
Shimamura.
Shimamura is both a devoted
observer
of female devotion.
is so subtly
revealed
But Shimamura's admiration
of his statehad to question
that the author himself
the appropriateness
in
ment in the "Postscript"
to Yukiguni
(1948) that he was reflected
Komako rather
of
than in Shimamura.
(See the Iwanami Bunko edition
A similar
of detachment
and admiration
is
combination
Yukiguni,
p. 180.)
in Meijin,
observationfound in the observer
which is based on Kawabata's
of the last match of the great go master,
records
Honimbo Shusai Meijin,
in 1942 and completed
in its
in 1938.
which was started
The novel,
Meiiin,
ficfinal
form in 1954, is the author's
favorite
work.
It is the least
and a crystallization
of his sharp observation
tional
among his writings
and admiration
for his subject.
of and compassion
While reading
the work,
one experiences
the deep emotion that came over the author when he saw the
to the art of go.
devotion
Kawabata writes
that he was moved by
Meijin's
of the great
because
"he gave himself
that devotion,
up to the observation
master"
(p. 354).
of the Shosetsu
in the following
10Namichidori
issues
shincho:
appeared
and December, 1953 and March, 1954.
October,
April,
May, June, September,
in the present
The quotations
The work has not been completed.
paper are
from the parts which appeared between April and October,
1953, and which
in Kawabata Yasunari
Works of Kawabata
were collected
senshu (The Selected
1956).
Yasunari)
(Tokyo: Shinchosha,
Kawabata Yasunari

11"Namichidori,"

12Ibid.,

p.

231.

Ibid.,

p.

232.

p.

253-254.

14Ibid.

senshu,

p.

229.

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31
15 & 16Nemureru
1967),
p. 58.

bijo

(Shinchosha

Bunko edition)

(Tokyo:

Shinchosha,

to in Kawabata's
17The legends were referred
early work, Asakusa
Kurenaidan
See the Shinchosha
(The Crimson Gang of Asakusa)
(1929-1930).
of Asakusa Kurenaidan
Bunko edition
(Tokyo: Shinchosha,
pp. 69-73.
1955),
1Nemureru
19Ibid.,

bijo,
p.

p.

(Tokyo:

24See

p.
note

Shinchosha,

1966),

p.

204.

210.

22Eugene Ionesco,
(New York: Grove Press,
23Ibid.,

96.

133.

20Rakka ryusui
21Ibid.,

p.

Notes and Counter


p. 126.
1964),

Notes,

tran.

Donald

Watson

49.
5 above.

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Minat Terkait