Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Kota Tua” as Want to Read:
Kota Tua
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Kota Tua

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  2,484 Ratings  ·  213 Reviews
Novel ini, satu dari karya-karya terakhir sebelum kematian Kawabata, menguji tema yang selama ini akrab digelutinya - jurang di antara gender dan kecemasan identitas, menghadirkan kemurnial ideal, ikatan antara manusia dan alam, setting dan karakter - jejaring dimana Kota Tua menawarkan gelombang pepat, mengeksplorasi ironi, bahkan sering menghasut, hubungan di antara inov ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published March 2006 by Penerbit Alenia (first published 1962)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Excellent. It's funny how Kawabata can drone on about cherry blossoms and camphor trees and local Kyoto festivals and yet keep one reading. A large part of the fascination is looking into this foreign world that one's never known before. The customs, traditional mores seemingly under siege by callous modernity. His touch is so light. The emotional depths Kawabata plumbs with just the tiniest bits of dialogue -- this concision most of all -- holds us in thrall.

The is the story of an abandoned ch
Aug 25, 2013 Praj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yk, にほん

The sting of the needle was lost in the delicate crimson stream. Not a wince or a slight whimper. The strange words bounced in my ears resembling songs of exasperated crickets. The harshness of the sun did not bother my skin anymore, neither the rain puddles that ruined my shoes. Not a drop of tear, not a speck of anger. Could this happening so soon? The one thing I feared the most. Did Kawabata finally overwhelm me? Did the silence consume me like a ravenous shokujinki? As I walked home, the fr
Michael Finocchiaro
Nobel Prize winner Kawabata draws a beautiful period piece about Kyoto and the geisha period. I have been lucky enough to have been to Kyoto once and seen geishas (rare these days) taking a promenade, not unlike in this wonderful book. SOOO much better than the Golding Geisha book!
Mar 27, 2011 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you read
Recommended to Mariel by: I read
Edit- I suck. I didn't say why I loved this book. I loved the sweetness before the sadness. It was like when you're in love before the shit flies. Sitting in groves and watching growth (any other nature nerds?), the trying to get to know someone whom you suspect is quite beautiful. The love ends and I was all alone. It's a heartbreaker it is. My broken heart tends to wallow and go into deny deny deny. And then it's the go back and over all the details to prove it ever really happened. I love you ...more
I will tell you why I really liked this book, nothing more. It captures traditional Japanese culture wonderfully. Central to Japanese life and culture is the importance of beauty. I am referring to the value of weaving a beautiful cloth, the value of looking carefully at a tree or a leaf or a stone and capturing the essence of the beauty that object emanates. For me Japanese art removes all the unnecessary; it rips away what is superficial and leaves you with the bare essential. What is beauty? ...more
Andrei Bădică
Nov 10, 2016 Andrei Bădică rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un roman excepţional!
3.5 stars. Kyoto is the real main character of this book. I should have read this book before visiting this ancient city last year.

Reading this book is a relaxing, smoothing experience, we travel with the characters through the four seasons of Kyoto: sakura for spring, woodland for summer, red leaves for autumn, snow for winter. Alongside those characters (especially the heroine Chieko), we taste the delicate, fainting flavor of young love, beauty, guilt and confusion.


(Link: htt
Kawabata published this short novel in 1962, just six years before receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature. Situated in post-World War II Kyoto, it tells the story of Chieko, the foundling daughter of a wholesale fabric dealer and his wife who run a business in decline. Devoted to her adoptive parents, Chieko wrestles with questions about her parents of origin, about marriage, about relationships, finally meeting the girl who is her twin sister.

The novel explores issues of tradition and moderni
Kawabata refers to the type of shop that Takichiro and Shige own (they are Kimono wholesalers) -- the old style shop of Kyoto with lattice work and a curtain door. Kyoto, of course, was the city that received the least bomb damage during WWII, and many 19th cen. houses, even Pre-Meiji, survived.

Below is a picture of a fabric shop in Nara that perfectly illustrates Takichiro's Kimono shop:

(It is hard to make sense out of these later novels of Kawabata when reading them in translation.They must be
Laura Leaney
Jun 05, 2013 Laura Leaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is like the pearlescent veneer inside an abalone shell. If you turn it one way, the nacre looks blue. Turn it the other direction and the shell shines pink and cream. It's an empty thing, but the beauty is so moving that you feel impelled to keep it, so you put the shell in a drawer. You want it but you don't know why.

Kawabata's novel is like that. The story is about a young girl of twenty - two young girls actually - but is really about the inevitable loss that accompanies change and
Nov 25, 2012 طَيْف rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

أسرتني الرواية

بأجوائها العذبة في رسم الشخصيات واندماجهم في تلك الطبيعة الساحرة الخلابة...بلغة رائقة شفافة...ونكهة مميزة...وحوارات هادئة تتماشى مع الشخصية اليابانية التقليدية

إنها رواية يابانية بامتياز

تحكي قصة "تشيكو"...الباحثة عن جذورها...بعد أن أخبرها والديها أنها لقيطة تركت أمام باب محلهم والدها تاجر الجملة ومصمم الزنانير"تاكيتشيرو"..وفي مرة أخرى تخبرها والدتها أنها سرقتها كي لا تفطر فؤادها بأنها منبوذة من قبل والديها الأصليين

على مهل يروي الكاتب الأحداث بأناقة...و يستدرجنا في جولات ممتعة ونزها
Sep 01, 2010 L.S. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is the best fiction book I read this year. The first Chapter is simply amazing. I saw myself there, really breathing spring's air. Each page has a scent of deep loneliness, a tourmenting sadness. If I had to give it a color, this book would be bluey-gray.

Vechiul oraş imperial este una dintre cele mai bune cărţi pe care le-am citit anul acesta. Este o poveste despre iubire, aşa cum o poartă un suflet japonez: blândeţea şi duioşia dragostei de mamă pentru fiica ei, dragostea ren'ai a soţiei
Jan 25, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-red-circle
Kawabata's gone a bit 'Carrie Bradshaw' with this one. I liked it, but it didn't feel as significant as The Master of Go or as emotionally engaging as Beauty and Sadness or The Sound of the Mountain.

I knew Japan had been weird about twins! In your face "The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet":
"Twenty years ago it was not only that her parents would have been embarrassed at having twins,"
"'Twenty years ago twins weren't accepted, but now it's nothing,'"

This is very interesting from Persona: A
Deniz Balcı
Feb 26, 2016 Deniz Balcı rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japon-edebiyatı
Kawabata'nın çok özel bir anlatımı var. Sükunete çağırıyor okuyucuyu. Belli belirsiz söylemler, üstü kapalı konuşmalar, silik tasvirler ve en çok da insanın içine işleyen bir incelik var romanlarında. Hem kahramanlar, hem olaylar hem de sonuçlar sanki incecik cam bir fanusmuş ve ilk incinmede paramparça olacakmış hissi veriyor. Kitabı okurken kendi halime bile dikkat ediyorum. Oturduğum yerde derinden bir arınma yaşıyor, sakinleşiyorum.

Bir romancı için fazla büyük laflar gibi gelebilir bunlar.
Nek0 Neha (BiblioNyan)
The Old Capital written by Yasunari Kawabata is an #OwnVoices Japanese fiction novel about the modernisation practices that began to spread across Japan post-WWII, and the struggle that many older generation Japanese society had with compromising their traditions and customs for the sake of a new era. It's told through the eyes of a young girl named Chieko, who is the adopted daughter of a kimono maker and his wife. Through the adventures she partakes in in Kyoto, we learn a lot about this cul ...more
Jul 28, 2016 umberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, novel
One of the best by Yasunari Kawabata, the first Japanese recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Cited as one of his three works by the Oslo committee, it has been accompanied by "Snow Country," and "Thousand Cranes" as mentioned in the synopsis by its title and front page cover above.

A bit busy, therefore, I would find time to say more why this novel is far more distinct and superb than his others I have read and enjoyed to a certain degree, but this one is simply greater. I would definitel
THE OLD CAPITAL. (1962). Yasunari Kawabata. ***.
Kawabata was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, and this novel was one that was specifically mentioned in the award presentation. I’ve read several of his works, but I have to admit that this novel is one that has me confused – almost baffled. It is a short work that tells the story of a young woman, Chieko, who suddenly learns from her ‘parents’ that she was not their biological descendent. She got at least two stories from them: eith
Beautiful novel; Chieko is the young daughter of a Kyoto kimono designer/seller Takichiro and his wife Shige; losing his "inspiration" and believing his business in some trouble, Takechiro (who is grooming Chieko to follow him in the business) 'retires" to a monastery for a little quiet, while Chieko is troubled by the recent revelation that she has been adopted and not only that but her parents 'stole" her as a newborn baby on the steps of a temple; courted by two and soon three young men (a ch ...more
Isa Martínez
Es el segundo libro que leo de Yasunari Kawabata y tras leerlo tengo clara una cosa, lo más importante en sus libros son las descripciones. Unas descripciones muy cuidadas, escritas con mimo, que consiguen transportarte e imaginarte cualquier cosa que te describa. Pero dentro de sus descripciones hay que destacar unas, las de los espacios donde se desarrolla la historia. Describe los paisajes de una forma exquisita, te transporta a los lugares en los que transcurre la historia. En este caso t
May 22, 2013 Francisco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are books that are not for everybody because they are so seemingly complex. And there are books that are not for everybody because they are so seemingly simple. This book falls in the latter category. Kawabata is an acquired taste. I like his books because of their understated beauty - the kind you don't see unless you look carefully and pay attention and your mind is quiet enough to hear. What happens in this book? It almost doesn't matter. A young adopted daughter meets a sister she neve ...more
Cris N.
Reading through the first half of "The Old Capital", I thought I was going to give it 4 stars because it was pretty nice. The best thing about Kawabata is that he has this relaxing, dreamy writing style with good imagery. However, in the last half I started getting impatient with the slow pace. The slow-paced style was acceptable in the first half, but once significant things started happening after Chieko met her sister Naeko (biggest event of the book), it felt like the story should have becom ...more
Jun 05, 2008 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Scott by: Patricia
Shelves: 1960s, japan
At the end of The Old Capital, Kawabata leaves his readers savoring that uniquely Japanese sentiment of wabisabi, a feeling of pleasant melancholy brought on by an unobtainable desire for the past, completion, and resolution. Set in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, Kawabata's novella introduces Chieko, a young woman who must come to terms with her mysterious birth. But Chieko's story is only part of a narrative that takes the reader on a nostalgic tour of a city steeped in artistic tradition ...more
Nov 13, 2011 Teresa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-japao, e2
As duas estrelas com que classifico esta leitura, não são para o livro mas para mim, por não conseguir apreciar este tipo de obras.
Yasunari Kawabata, galardoado com o Nobel da literatura, escreveu um livro cuja personagem principal, em meu entender, é a cidade japonesa de Kyoto.
Durante a leitura fui à internet procurar fotografias da cidade e fiquei espantada pela forma tão real com que o autor a descreveu – os campos de tulipas, os bosques de bambus, as avenidas de árvores de cânfora, os pomare
Jun 04, 2011 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The grove of cherries inside the main gate to the left of Ninnaji was overflowing with blossoms.

Whenever I see the lovely straight cedars at Kitayama, my spirit feels refreshed.

A small tree stood at the water's edge on the far side; the reflection of its crimson leaves shivered in the flow of the river.

If a novel can be built on haikus, then The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata, translated by J Martin Holman, is one. The sentences have the profound simplicity of the form. The narrative is b
Jul 07, 2012 Fairynee rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
Saya memberi bintang tiga untuk buku ini dengan berat hati. Bukan karena karya Kawabata, si peraih nobel sastra tahun 1968 ini tidak bagus dalam kacamata saya, tapi karena terjemahannya yang sangat (teramat) membuat lelah, untuk mata dan kepala saya. Ada banyak kejanggalan dalam susunan kalimatnya. Saya sampai bosan dan terkantuk-kantuk ketika mulai membaca novel ini. (Saya berharap ada penerbit yang mau mendengar keluh kesah ini, sehingga di kemudian hari, buku terjemahan yang sampai ke tangan ...more
Mar 23, 2012 Amalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-literature
If you interested in Prize winning novels or want to read the best of Yasunari Kawabata (who was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 60's) should read the following novels: The Old Capital (this novel), Snow Country and Thousand Cranes. They are the three novels cited specifically by the Nobel Committee. After reading this, I like is much better than, the more famous "Snow Country".

The magic in his novels are, as I'm beginning to learn, in his prose. I've not stepped foot on the old c
Jan 27, 2015 CA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Amo la forma en la que está escrito este libro, tan relajante y pausado, es cierto que es lento, pero leerlo me hizo tan feliz y con gusto leería 500 páginas más sobre Chieko.

Su final abierto no me molestó, en cuanto me di cuenta que el autor era el mismo de La casa de las bellas durmientes, esperaba un final de ese tipo y de hecho se lo agradecí porque ya veía que esto terminaba en boda y en ese caso sí que me hubiese quejado.
(view spoiler)
Ayleen Julio
Nov 29, 2015 Ayleen Julio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritísimos
Yasunari Kawabata es uno de esos autores a los que siempre vale la pena volver cuando hay saturación de occidente, pues a través de una escritura reposada, contemplativa y etérea nos pone de frente a una historia que en una aparente planicie va desplegando varios niveles, que van desde las turbulencias emocionales que atraviesan sus sujetos, casi incapaces de decidir por sí mismos hasta la belleza de lo cotidiano, el arte, el amor y el deseo. Como los grandes poemas, la pluma de Kawabata suaveme ...more
Sadam Faisal
Karena ga ngerti tentang budaya Jepang pada masa buku ini terbit (masa sekarang juga sih) jadi ya biasa aja perasaan nya & ga bisa menikmati pas baca buku ini. Rasanya datar datar aja gitu.
Nicoleta (The Cover Hoarder)
This book is so beautiful.

In my opinion, this book is split into two parts. The part in which the narrator describes Japanese culture and tradition and the part dedicated to the plot.

Through the lush detail through use of visual images, the part dedicated to Japanese culture and tradition presents an almost heavenly picture of 1950s Japan. Being a westerner and being influenced by Western tradition all my life, I’ve always felt that Japan is a very beautiful place on Earth. Sure it has its own
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Quicksand
  • The Three-Cornered World
  • The Wild Geese
  • The Waiting Years
  • The Hunting Gun
  • Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale (Japanese Studies Series)
  • After the Banquet
  • Fires on the Plain
  • A Dark Night's Passing (Japan's Modern Writers)
  • Tales of Moonlight and Rain
  • Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
  • Kappa
  • The Diary of Lady Murasaki
  • Black Rain
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...

Share This Book

“Perhaps they don't realize where they were, so they went on living.” 17 likes
“- No pienso que estoy tejiendo obis que serán usados y transmitidos por generaciones. En este momento, tejo obis que una muchacha pueda usar, feliz, apenas un año. (Hideo a Takichiro)” 0 likes
More quotes…