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.
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.
Izu no Oderike-The Izu Dancer1926/1955) ;Suisho
Genso- Crystal Vision(1931),
Asakusa Kurendaiden-The Scarlet Gang of
Master of Go(1954/1972);Senbazuru-Thousand
;Yama no Oto-
The Sound of the Mountain(1954/1970)
Order Yasunari Kawabata's Books below