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Yasunari Kawabata

Awards: Nobel Prize in Literature-1968

Born: 11/06/1899 in Usaka, Japan

Died: 17/04/1972 in Zushi City, Japan. Committed suicide by inhaling  gas from a bathroom water heater.

Citizen: Japanese

Language: Japanese

 Yasunari Kawabata was born in a doctor's family. A series of untimely deaths struck Kawabata household soon after his birth which left him lonely, brooding and introvert. He became an orphan when he was only four and lost his sister when he was 11. He was, thus, left in the care of grand parents. His grandmother died when he was seven and grandfather died when he was fifteen. He had to be moved to a boarding house for further studies.

 Kawabata graduated from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924 in  English and started working as a news reporter. Even while in the University, he revived the Tokyo University  literary magazine. After passing out, he contributed short stories, articles to various magazines and caught attention of noted writers of his time.

  His entry into literary world was through his novel "The Izu Dancer", a semi-autobiographical story of the association of a young student with a traveling dancing girl. This was published in a journal The Artistic Age. He wrote many novels, but his arguably the best known work is Yukiguni-English ( Snow Country-1957) which describes the romantic liasion between a city intellectual and a country geisha. The shadow of the Second World War on Japan made him more gloomy and most of his works silently echo the pain and torment of loneliness and suffering.

    Landmarks: The First Japanese author to receive the Award.

Notable Works: Izu no Oderike-The Izu Dancer1926/1955) ;Suisho Genso- Crystal Vision(1931), Asakusa Kurendaiden-The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa(1929-35); Yukiguni-Snow Country(1956/1996) ;Meijin-The Master of Go(1954/1972);Senbazuru-Thousand Cranes(1952/1958) ;Yama no Oto- The Sound of the Mountain(1954/1970)

Yasunari Kawabata

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