Thursday, August 08, 2013

Snow Country

Snow Country is a 1947 novel by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata. This is a quick, easy read with interesting characters and a beautifully described setting, but it's not a simple story. I find it thought-provoking. Trying to define the characters' relationships to each other is a challenge for me. Wikipedia describes this book as
a stark tale of a love affair between a Tokyo dilettante and a provincial geisha, which takes place in a remote hot-spring town somewhere in the mountainous regions of northern Japan. It established Kawabata as one of Japan's foremost authors and became an instant classic
and says, "Snow Country is one of the three novels cited by the Nobel Committee in awarding Yasunari Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968." He committed suicide in 1972.

from the back of the book:
To the snow country, isolated from the rest of Japan through the long winter months, comes the cynical Shimamura, drawn there by the warmth of a young geisha, Komako. Their story is the foundation for one of the finest novels in modern Japanese literature.
This Japanese Literature blog has an examination of its merits.

I read this as part of the Japanese Literature Challenge.


  1. Anonymous6:43 PM

    How cool to find out about the Japanese Literature Challenge!

    1. i've forgotten now how i came across this challenge. when i click on the participants' links there, though, they take me to the blogs and not to the particular posts on this challenge, so i haven't participated except by reading this book.

  2. I just read The House of Sleeping Beauties by Kawabata, it was reall more of a short story than a book. But, I was fascinated with the description of Japanese life, and the subtle ways his writing portrayed important messages many of which I'm still trying to figure out. It had to do with aging and beauty, not always easy subjects to define. Anyway, I want to read this book you reviewed. I always enjoy love stories. It reminds me a bit of The Sound of Waves by Mishima who also committed suicide in the 70's. you may enjoy that book next, and to compare to this, and it isn't long.

    I'm sorry the links don't represent the posts to reviews as they ought to. Some of the participants have only put their blog rather than their review, it it seems to be getting better on the site ( Thanks for reading with us!

    1. i'll look for those. thanks for the recommendation :)

      the links were not a problem, except i couldn't find the posts to leave comments on. thx for the link and for adding my post to it. i'll look around there tomorrow. i look forward to getting more suggestions there.