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Thousand Cranes

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  5,753 Ratings  ·  459 Reviews
Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata’s Thousand Cranes is a luminous story of desire, regret, and the almost sensual nostalgia that binds the living to the dead.
While attending a traditional tea ceremony in the aftermath of his parents’ deaths, Kikuji encounters his father’s former mistress, Mrs. Ota. At first Kikuji is appalled by her indelicate nature, but it is not l
Paperback, 147 pages
Published November 26th 1996 by Vintage (first published 1952)
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Feb 09, 2016 Afshar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
انگار هربار که دستش تکان می خورد، گل سرخی در دستش می شکفد
و انگار هزار درنای کوچک و سفید دور و برش پرواز می کنند


کشور ژاپن و فرهنگش همیشه برام اسرارآمیز بوده
چه کیمونوهای زیبا و چه شکوفه های گیلاس و حتی آن خودکشی از نوع سامورایی
از همان کودکی با دیدن کارتون افسانه توشیشان عاشق افسانه ها و داستان های این سرزمین شدم
و در نوجوانی با فیلم هفت سامورایی آکیرا کوروساوا
و همچنین آن فیلم ارواح یعنی کوایدان که از افسانه های ژاپنی گردآوری شده توسط «لافکادیو هرن» برگرفته شده بود و این یکی بدجور منو ترساند

:و بع
Apr 21, 2015 Dolors rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Don't wait, just walk
Shelves: read-in-2015, asian
In my country, there is a generalized tendency to glorify the heritage left to us by our ancestors. With the loss of God, children are regarded as the bearers of eternal life that infuse meaning into our perishable existence.
But what about the sins of the parents? Are they also bequeathed to their children in order to be atoned for?
Kawabata explores the ongoing dichotomy of love versus duty to our progenitors through the prism of the Japanese ancient traditions, mining the deceptively simple sto
Mar 21, 2012 B0nnie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The memory of that birthmark on Chikako’s breast was concrete as a toad.

The sins of the fathers is an old theme, found in the Bible, Euripides, Shakespeare, and countless other works. It's used here too in this slim book of Kawabata's but this is probably the only time it is acted out using bits of pottery, cloth and tea. True, the characters aren't exactly holding these items and making them talk. There's a sparse background on which they have plenty of room to act on the imagination. Kawabat
Mar 19, 2013 Praj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yk, にほん
With emerald shades,
Dance eternal cranes.
In the pristine rains,
A warm koicha shared.
Upon poignant chests.
Tranquil prayers knelt

Just as Bolaño teases my psyche, Kawabata plays with my rhythmic senses. In his words I find songs of a wintry heart waiting for a prosperous spring. I cannot refrain myself from scribbling lost thoughts in the shadows of Kawabata’s characters. Speaking of shadows; what an enigmatic delusion? The more you walk into it the more it grows; a loyal companion who never depar
Ian "Marvin" Graye
Mar 21, 2013 Ian "Marvin" Graye rated it really liked it
Traditional Values

"Thousand Cranes" is about the continuity of tradition and the conformity by individuals with traditional values.

At the heart of the novel is the Japanese Tea Ceremony. While tea has been drunk in Japan since the ninth century, it only became a part of a formal ceremony with religious significance around the 12th century.

An elaborate set of equipment is used in the Tea Ceremony. Often the equipment, such as drinking bowls, is artisan-made and is kept in a family for periods as
Jr Bacdayan
Aug 21, 2016 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There used to be a time when the beauty of a single flower was enough to give a man pleasure, a time when a lone star in the dark expanse of the night gave delight to a wanderer gazing up above, a time when the exquisite beauty of a piece of pottery was enough to evoke the feeling of longing, when the graceful movements of a woman pouring tea stirred the heart. Those times have passed. Appreciation for the elegance found in the simple is now dulled by the seduction of the exciting, the novel, an ...more
Aug 20, 2016 Paul rated it it was ok
Shelves: japan
2.5 stars
My first venture into anything by Kawabata; this novella centres on the tea ceremony. Kikuji has lost his father and mother; he is a young man and there is the question of his father’s two mistresses and the possibility of whether he ought to marry. There is a great deal of consideration, in an oblique way, of the importance of inheritance and the continuation of tradition. The novel is set in the 1950s in a time of great change in Japan. The prose is precise and describes well the sens
Parastoo Ashtian
به نظر من آدم نمی تونه با کشتن خودش کارهای اشتباه و نادرستی رو که توی زندگی اش مرتکب شده، جبران و رفع و رجوع کنه. این طور مردن فقط سوء تفاهم ها رو بیش تر می کنه. هیچ کس نمی تونه همچین آدمی رو ببخشه.

از متن کتاب
Mar 24, 2011 Mariel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: waking giant
Recommended to Mariel by: sleeping giant
I've been reading most of the day. Yesterday, too. I've been distracted, if not altogether impatient, and wanting (need? want?) an urgent yet unassuming emotional life in books. All the reflection my brain can eat. The situation was right; thunderstorms and a day off and nothing I couldn't put off for another day. It still felt wasteful. Shouldn't I be doing something else with this luxury? I was really waiting for my Kawabata books to arrive in the mail. The mail doesn't come until around 4:30 ...more
Celeste Corrêa
A Cerimónia do Chá, hoje, como há séculos, parte integrante da vida social japonesa, é o pano de fundo de “MIL GROUS” (1952) . Yasunari Kawabata (YK) recebeu o Prémio Nobel da Literatura, em 1968, “pela mestria da narração e pela final sensibilidade com que exprime a essência do espírito japonês.”. Suicidou-se quatro anos mais tarde com a idade de 72.

Dele só conhecia um pequeno excerto de “A Casa das Belas Adormecidas”, epígrafe de “Memória Das Minhas Putas Tristes” de Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

A e
Jan 19, 2016 RK-ique rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, kawabata
What happens when traditions start to fall apart? when a new generation has let the old ways of their parents drop. What was the value in those ways? How can the value be retained when the tradition has been smashed?

The pieces cannot be put back together. When we try, like Nietzsche, to philosophize with a hammer, we may be left with only shards and those shards can leave painful wounds.

There's a love story here but in the new world, the love must remain unrequited. It becomes impossible and i
Jun 27, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit, translation

Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Yasunari Kawabata was the first Japanese author to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968 "for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind." In awarding the prize, the Nobel Committee cited three of his novels, Snow Country, The Old Capital and this novel, Thousand Cranes. In 1972 he joined the list of celebrated Japanese authors (including Akutagawa, Dazai and Mishima) to have c
Jan 14, 2010 N. rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan
Thousand Cranes offers a compelling study on the interplay of tatemae (the public face that one puts on for propriety's sake) and honne (one's true feelings and desires), as well as on the present's constant struggle against the constraints of the past. The novel is very much about the quiet tempests raging underneath the seemingly peaceful and polite surface of a propriety-obsessed society.

The intricacies of the characters' relationships are presented with the grace and extreme subtlety of tra
Jul 31, 2013 Jonfaith rated it liked it
Shelves: nippon
Yasunari Kawabata adheres to some stoic code. He employs the game of Go and tea ceremonies. These are tacit traditional affairs. They mask such terrible behavior. Thousand Cranes depicts self-possession under such threat. This is a novel where tradition attempts to check waves of resentment, and it does to varying results. The events begin in the wake of a man death. His son finds himself at a tea ceremony with his father's two mistresses. Thus begins a series of triangles and slights. Seldom is ...more
Feb 17, 2015 Gearóid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a curious and unusual book!
It is a very short read and there is a real sense
of calm and peace reading it.
It is really beautifully and simply written.
But even though it is very calming and nice to read it
is jam packed with symbolism and some really complex emotive
I can't even begin to understand it all but I would gladly
read it again and again and each time I think I would understand
the symbolism and complexity of these characters relationships more.

It really is very captivating and un
Apr 22, 2016 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-novels
Well, this feels like something of a classical masterpiece.

Thousand Cranes is almost the lovechild of Ernest Hemingway and post-war Japan. I feel like this book isn't for everyone -- it's a bit like green tea, some people find it too bitter, some people find it too strong.

But Kawabata is something of a master, like I said. There is no word in this novel that is not intentional, and so I found myself rereading a lot of the same passages over and over, examining each word, each slice of dialogue.
Tanuj Solanki
Oct 09, 2011 Tanuj Solanki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favorites, japan
"In a masterpiece there is nothing unclean"

An achingly simple story, unfolding in conversations that are tantilizingly
suggestive of its character's histories.

Each nuance, each action is laden with emotional weight. Even the atmosphere, whenever described, serves to add to that mystical aura behind which - the reader knows - hide intentions, destinities, and fates.

Kawabata's narrative can be best described as a floating, fleeting sort, which gives a feeling of sparseness and economy; although it
Thoughts before reading:

I have a question after reading two Yasunari Kawabata's novels and on my way to read the third: Is that just this Kawabata guy, or is it common for men in general to keep thinking about this perfect but unreal phantom of a beautiful woman (whom they can't be with for one reason or another), even when they already had a solid but flawed wife or girlfriend (they are flawed because all humans are flawed) by their sides?

Any menfolk bothers to answer me?

Thoughts after readi
May 27, 2011 AC rated it really liked it
Fine book - but very strange, very japanese, austere to the point of the vanishing point... a series of strange love affairs are reduced to identifications with three-hundred year tea bowls fired in the kilns of 9th cen. tea masters. The underlying idea is quite fascinating, however. The tea-ceremony (Seidensticker explains) allows the drinker to sit briefly at the intersection of time and eternity, as he contemplates -- while he sips his tea, in his quiet rustic cottage -- the permanence of the ...more
Zohreh Hanifeh
درناهای سفید از روی بقچهی دختر پرکشیدند و از برابر خورشید غروب که هنوز پیش چشمهایش بود، پرواز کردند. ...more
Jasmine S
Jan 23, 2015 Jasmine S rated it really liked it
Shelves: reread-completed
“Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life.”

-The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

There is a man in the house. He is trapped. The walls that surround him are dripping with tainted memories; the
Dec 25, 2012 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Kikuji's father died it seemed he inherited not only his material properties--the house and the antique tea bowls. His father's mistresses seemed to claim their hold onto him too. At the beginning of the novel, his father's first mistress Chikako sought him out to participate in a tea ceremony. But it seemed there was more to her invitation than tea drinking. She was arranging for Kikuji to meet a young beautiful woman as a marriage prospect. Mrs. Ota, his father's second mistress, with who ...more
Alja (alyaofwinterfell)
Lyrical and poignant, Thousand Cranes is a Japanese classic that centers around the tea ceremony as well as the ideas of change and inheritance.

It was a beautifully written story, invoking vivid and yet subtle images of silk, tea and japanese gardens.

We follow Kikuji, a young man who is caught between the new modern world and the traditional values, an allegory that depicts the times of Japanese transition from a traditional society to a modern one post WW2.

Besides the theme of change, the theme
Oct 04, 2009 Bobby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This beautiful short novel reads like a poem. The story is rather sentimental and melodramatic, but is told in a spare, restrained, exquisitely controlled style that reminds me of a noh play or a haiku. Much is left unsaid, and passions are always kept just below the still surface. Kawabata conjures up a delicate sense of melancholy and nostalgia through impressionistic language exploring the theme of human impermanence in the midst of the permanence of tradition and the recurring cycles of natu ...more
Sep 03, 2016 Sinem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
sade ve derin. klasik bir japon örneği.
Infelizmente não me entusiasmou por ai além...
The second novella from Kawabata for me. Yet again, I really wanted to like it in its entirety more than I did. But, unfortunately, the sum of its parts was less than I desired. Rather, one might say, the separate parts were that great, that, put together, nothing could compare? Take, for example, Kawabata's prose.

Twisting to the right, she was about to fall. The side of her face would be against his chest -- but she turned supplely away. The touch of her left hand on his knee was unbelievably

Rating: 3/5

O mie de cocori este o lectură în care autorul Yasunari Kawabata pune accent ca de cele mai multe ori pe tradițiile care se practică în Japonia, de această dată fiind în centru ceremonia ceaiului dar și legăturile familiale. Împărțită în cinci părți (O mie de cocori, Pâlc de copaci în amurg, Vasul Shino, Rujul mamei, Stea dublă), cartea ne familiarizează ca de obicei cu stilul minimalist, simplist, al lui Kawabata, atrăgându-ne atenția asupra unor lucruri mărunte din viața de zi cu zi
Nov 01, 2012 Scott rated it it was ok
One reviewer (on Goodreads) wrote that one must read this with focus and with the purpose of analyzing the passions/development of the characters. While I don't think that books should be read cavalierly, I do think that one must have an appreciation for tea ceremony and Japanese culture to read this book and enjoy it.

I rated this book two stars because the characters, the plot, and the props were all so alien to me that I could not even say that I enjoyed the book. A Japanese man attends a tea
Apr 03, 2010 Ali rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: japanese enthusists, poets, deep thinkers
Shelves: required
Well, Thousand Cranes is quite the interesting read to say the least. Kawabata's language is beautiful and subtle, as is its plot line and his characters.

A word of caution however: this book is not meant for those wanting a feel-good, light read. This short novella, although only 147 pages in my copy, reads like a thick, frustrating block of text. While you read it, you must be focused and you must analyze, otherwise the meaning and the intent are lost in unfamiliar, foreign ritual.

For those of
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Yasunari Kawabata (川端 康成) was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award. His works have enjoyed broad international appeal and are still widely read.

Nobel Lecture: 1968
More about Yasunari Kawabata...

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“Does pain go away and leave no trace, then?’
‘You sometimes even feel sentimental for it.”
“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.” 45 likes
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