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Yasunari Kawabata quotes (showing 1-30 of 166)

“Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.”
Yasunari Kawabata
“As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“Cosmic time is the same for everyone, but human time differs with each person. Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.”
Yasunari Kawabata
“The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Palm-of-the-Hand Stories
“Put your soul in the palm of my hand for me to look at, like a crystal jewel. I'll sketch it in words...”
Yasunari Kawabata
“I suppose even a woman's hatred is a kind of love.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Beauty and Sadness
“Does pain go away and leave no trace, then?’
‘You sometimes even feel sentimental for it.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Thousand Cranes
“Time passed. But time flows in many streams. Like a river, an inner stream of time will flow rapidly at some places and sluggishly at others, or perhaps even stand hopelessly stagnant. Cosmic time is the same for everyone, but human time differs with each person. Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Beauty and Sadness
“Now, even more than the evening before, he could think of no one with whom to compare her. She had become absolute, beyond comparison. She had become decision and fate.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Thousand Cranes
“I wonder what the retirement age is in the novel business.

The day you die.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Beauty and Sadness
“But even more than her diary, Shimamura was surprised at her statement that she had carefully cataloged every novel and short story she had read since she was fifteen or sixteen. The record already filled ten notebooks.
"You write down your criticisms, do you?"
"I could never do anything like that. I just write down the author and the characters and how they are related to each other. That is about all."
"But what good does it do?"
"None at all."
"A waste of effort."
"A complete waste of effort," she answered brightly, as though the admission meant little to her. She gazed solemnly at Shimamura, however.
A complete waste of effort. For some reason Shimamura wanted to stress the point. But, drawn to her at that moment, he felt a quiet like the voice of the rain flow over him. He knew well enough that for her it was in fact no waste of effort, but somehow the final determination that it had the effect of distilling and purifying the woman's existence.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“Lunatics have no age. If we were crazy, you and I, we might be a great deal younger.”
Yasunari Kawabata
“A poetess who had died young of cancer had said in one of her poems that for her, on sleepless nights, 'the night offers toads and black dogs and corpses of the drowned.”
Yasunari Kawabata, House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories
“Because you cannot see him, God is everywhere.”
Yasunari Kawabata
“The road was frozen. The village lay quiet under the cold sky. Komako hitched up the skirt of her kimono and tucked it into her obi. The moon shone like a blade frozen in blue ice.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“It's remarkable how we go on year after year, doing the same old things. We get tired and bored, and ask when they'll come for us”
Yasunari Kawabata, The Sound of the Mountain
“In the depths of the mirror the evening landscape moved by, the mirror and the reflected figures like motion pictures superimposed one on the other. The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted into a sort of symbolic world not of this world. Particularly when a light out in the mountains shone in the centre of the girl's face, Shimamura felt his chest rise at the inexpressible beauty of it.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“They were words that came out of nothing, but they seemed to him somehow significant. He muttered them over again.”
Yasunari Kawabata, The Sound of the Mountain
“The baby understands that its mother loves it. [...] Words have their origin in baby talk, so words have their origin in love.”
Yasunari Kawabata, First Snow on Fuji
“Perhaps they don't realize where they were, so they went on living.”
Yasunari Kawabata, The Old Capital
“After all, only women are able really to love.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“Long accustomed to a life of self-indulgent solitude, he began to yearn for the beauty of giving himself to others. The nobility of the word 'sacrifice' became clear to him. He took satisfaction in the feeling of his own littleness as a single seed whose purpose was to carry forward from the past into the future the life of the species called humanity. He even sympathized with the thought that the human species, together with the various kinds of minerals and plants, was no more than a small pillar that helped support a single vast organism adrift in the cosmos-- and with the thought that it was no more precious than the other animals and plants.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Palm-of-the-Hand Stories
“After he became the Master, the world believed that he could not lose, and he had to believe it himself. Therein was the tragedy.”
Yasunari Kawabata, The Master of Go
“You've always been fond of understanding people too well."
"They should arrange not to be understood quite so easily.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Thousand Cranes
“People have separated from each other with walls of concrete that blocked the roads to connection and love. and Nature has been defeated in the name of development.”
Yasunari Kawabata
“It was a stern night landscape. The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night clolour. The layers of the Border Range, indistinguishable one from another, cast their heaviness at the skirt of the starry sky in a blackness grave and somber enough to communicate their mass. The whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“But, drawn to her at that moment, he felt a quiet like the voice of the rain flow over him. He knew well enough that for her it was in fact no waste of effort, but somehow the final determination that it was had the effect of distilling and purifying the woman's existence.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“A child walked by, rolling a metal hoop that made a sound of autumn.”
Yasunari Kawabata, Palm-of-the-Hand Stories
“Was this the bright vastness the poet Bashō saw when he wrote of the Milky Way arched over a stormy sea?”
Yasunari Kawabata, Snow Country
“A secret, if it’s kept, can be sweet and comforting, but once it leaks out it can turn on you with a vengeance.”
Yasunari Kawabata, The Lake

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