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The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,755 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Influential Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata has constructed an autobiography through his fiction with this new collection of stories that parallel major events and themes in his life. In the lyrical prose that is his signature, these 23 tales reflect Kawabata's keen perception, deceptive simplicity, and the deep melancholy that characterizes much of his work.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 29th 1998 by Counterpoint (first published 1953)
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“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.”
― Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

The Dancing Girl of Izu
looking from afar
wishing to break the silence
that haunts them tonight

Full review

Diary of My Sixteenth Year
lonely child
forced to grow
as leaves fall

crowded oil
fading away
amid the ashes

The Master of Funerals
existence whispers
ancient songs of winter times

solitude lingers

Full review

Gathering Ashes
old dust
makes the nose bleed
when cicadas cry

Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: yk, にほん
"As death approaches, memory erodes. Recent memories are the first to succumb. Death works its way backward until it reaches memory's earliest beginnings. Then memory flares up for an instant, just like a flame about to go out. That is the "prayer in the mother tongue."

A string of solemn words sprint from my mind onto my lips at slight picture of a funeral that passes on the street. With my hands pressed palm to palm; expressing gratitude to the death a prayer in the mother tongue, “Bless the de
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars for this book and I can't decide, because I liked some of the stories, others depressed me, while one in particular was horrifying. I mostly feel like a superficial and uninitiated reader who stood at the foot of a complex work, but was not able to grasp it. Moreover, I let my personal weaknesses flood my perceiving of Kawabata's writing, judging it and condemning it for the uncomfortable and unbearable feelings he aroused inside me.

I don't even know whom to re
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Relato breve de Kawabata. Describe el corto viaje de un estudiante que se encuentra en su camino unos músicos ambulantes.

En realidad no se puede decir mucho de este libro, o lo mismo, se puede decir tanto de él, pero es irrelevante. Llamar impresionista a esta obra es la mejor forma de describirla. Puesto que solo quien la lea, y como la lea, podrá llegar sentir el mensaje de amor y soledad que entrega.
Naseeba Deeqa Mohamed
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everytime i read for "Yasunari Kawabata" i get that feeling of being impressed and depressed at the same time ... there was a dark shadows that haunted me for days after reading this book .
I preferred the Yasushi Inoue story,'Obasute', beginning..." When on earth was it that I first heard the legends about abandoning the old people on Mount Obasute?"
Mar 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japonesa
La danzarina de Izu es una buena opción para aproximarse al universo de Kawabata. Se trata de un relato breve en el que se narra un enamoramiento juvenil entre un estudiante tokiota de viaje por la península de Izu y una joven percusionista, una bailarina para él, que se encuentra por la zona trabajando con su familia, un grupo de músicos ambulantes.

¿Por qué digo que es una buena manera de acercarse a Kawabata?

En primer lugar porque ya se entrevé aquí, siendo esta su ópera prima, escrita a los 2
Anina e gambette di pollo
Autore: giapponese (1899-1972). Racconto.

Conosco troppo poco la narrativa giapponese per poter capire il ruolo innovativo di Kawabata e conosco abbastanza bene la natura americana per non prendere per buona la dichiarazione di Donald Keene sul fatto che gli americani capivano Kawabata più del giapponesi.
Ma a Keene possiamo perdonare l’entusiasmo vista la sua carriera decennale di esperto iamatologo.

Il racconto è breve e, come già presente nei suoi temi, riguarda un viaggio. Un giovane studente i
Emeraldia Ayakashi
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-in-japan
5 new exemplary beauty, sometimes tight and will require breaks and reflection (or even several readings) to understand the full meaning. 5 news that we speak of love with subtlety and unspoken, old age and beauty of death exacerbates sensations and feelings.
5 new contemplative and poetic that emphasizes the impermanence and transience of happiness in life.

"The danseuze Izu" is the first publication of Kawabata. This new, published in 1926, made him famous man who would become one of the greates
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: big-red-circle
Five stars for "The Dancing Girl..." Classic Kawabata in many respects, but there's also sobbing on a random schoolboy at the end.

The rest of the stories were lacking in sustenance, I felt. Shikoku had a few mentions, about which I was a faintly excited, but they've rather put me off the other Palm-of-the-Hand Stories. And without them I'll never achieve "Kawabata Completion"! Is it just me, but does "palm-of-the-hand" sound like they're supposed to be a bit raunchy?
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan
I’ve longed to read “The Izu Dancer” by Yasunari Kawabata but I couldn’t find one till last November. The book was a bit disappointing due to such thrifty length, merely 21 pages, of the mentioned title as well as three obscure stories, except the title of “The Counterfeiter” casually seen somewhere, by Yasushi Inoue. So whenever I leafed through the stories, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Inoue who?” since his name was unfamiliar to me till I couldn’t recall reading any of his works before. Th ...more
Akemi G
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh, here is one of my fav of Kawabata: Diary of My Sixteenth Year. When I first read it, I was astonished of the power of these simple words.
The Dancing Girl of Izu is very popular in Japan. Not sure what else are included in this English translation, but if you like Kawabata, this should be a good read.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The stories are hit or miss but the title story, "the dancing girl of izu" is a subtle yet powerful coming-of-age story of a young man experiencing young love. Usually these stories are cheese but this one was very good. The other stories were generally just okay to me with some of them feeling like diary entries. If you liked his "palm of the hand stories" you may end up liking some of the other material in this book.
Feb 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
For anyone who has watched a loved one slip away from dementia, old age, or illness, the autobiographical story "Diary of My Sixteenth Year" contained in this book will be both painfully familiar and oddly comforting. The other stories are also beautiful and haunting - I especially like the Money Road. The collection of short, short stories at the end are all challenging - their meaning isn't always clear, but they are beautiful and will stay with you for a long long time.
Mohammed Samih
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it
الكتاب العربي بعنوان " راقصة آيزو " لدار الفارابي عن ترجمة بسام حجار.
خمس قصص قصيرة للروائي الياباني ياسوناري كواباتا، من سنوات عمل مختلفة، تناقش وبشكل عام مشاكل الوجود البشري، التعلق، الفقدان، والخوف من الموت.
راقصة آيزو ****1/2
تلاقي ***
مرثاة ***1/2
القمر في المياه **
عاشق الحيوان **
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

This collection of short stories can be described as semi autobiographical.
If you read up on Kawabata's life leading up to the early 1920's you'd find that he has scattered pieces of himself throughout the book.

The title tale will fill you with longing and melancholy nostalgia.

The several stories of death and funerals will impart what the author was going through during the time of writing.

He even hints at the eroding beauty of old Japan, which is on the course of hurtling towards devel
Muhammad Bahrul Abid
Seperti saya baca di bagian yang menceritakan latar belakang Yasunari Kawabata, cerpen-cerpen (edit: novelet-novelet) di dalam buku ini banyak mengisahkan kesunyian, kematian. Ada cinta yang tak terungkap, ada cinta bertepuk sebelah tangan, kiranya begitu.

Yang saya suka dari buku ini adalah Yasunari Kawabata menuliskan kata-katanya dengan indah dan luwes. Namun, saya memang sedikit sukar memahami buku terjemahan, sebagaimana saya membaca karya terjemahan Jostein Garrder. Perasaan saya sama: lebi
Mafalda Afilhado
Ao inicio fiquei confusa porque esperava uma narrativa num todo mas só depois me deparei que este livro era de facto um livro de contos japoneses (3 contos)
Quanto ao primeiro conto que em conclusão foi o meu preferido, talvez aquele que eu mais me entreguei revelou-se muito personalizado de uma maneira boa e bonita, tanto como os espaços, sentimentos e personagens
O segundo conto achei muito confuso pelo facto, também de eu estar a querer estabelecer uma ligação com a história anterior
e o ter
Dec 31, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
Pasiunea pentru animale, plante, iubiri, singurătăţi, război.
عيّن خالد.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
رواية جميلة، اعتقد بداية جيّدة لي مع الادب الياباني..

استمتعت بالرواية لكن م جذبتني لأن قصتها مو مثيرة بجد! بس اقدر اقول ان كتابة بعض التفاصيل والاحداث بالرواية يقدر يخليك تسوي لها مانجا براسك من صنعك انت
Cris N.
I originally read Kawabata's story "The Dancing Girl of Izu" about an year ago as a separate work from this particular book. The story has to do with the interactions between a young male student from Tokyo, and a small group of travelling performers that he meets while touring the Izu Peninsula. The student falls in love with a girl from the group and only later realizes that she's actually a child, so she's not "of age" yet (I'm not sure how the student failed to notice that from the start). S ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
The most impressive narrative/short story is "The Dancing Girl of Izu." I never had a passion for Kawabata's work compared to someone like Osamu Dazai, but still, I admire his poetic ability with the narrative. The beauty of his work (as well as Dazai) is his ability to convey his life as a work of fiction. Reading these stories, one can just presume that this is memoir writing - yet, it's not. It's fiction. Dazai is a huge influence on my writing, with respect that one can use their life, and p ...more
Gertrude & Victoria
This collection of short stories by Kawabata Yasunari demonstrates his meticulous attention to detail. The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories are an exquisite blend of artistry and imagination. The popular title story, set in a rustic landscape between sea, mountain and sky, The Dancing Girl of Izu is beautiful look into the world of a dancing troupe and their customs of work, rest and play.

Kawabata, the first Japanese novelist to win the Nobel Prize is more like a sculptor than a painter, in
Faiza Sattar
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
The mystifying aspect of the book is perhaps lost entirely to poor translation. I enjoyed bits and parts of the book where I felt the translator's sentences did justice to what the author was saying. But the prose mostly fell flat and brazen and failed to evoke sentiments in me which I'm sure were due had I read the original or a better translation.

Japanese literary mindset is one which holds beauty and mystery quite similar to the literary culture of Latin America but this unfortunately could
mehran memarzadeh
Mar 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The Dancing Girl of Izu", (Japanese: 伊豆の踊り子, izu no odoriko) published in 1926, was the first work of literature by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata to achieve great popular and critical acclaim. The short story was first translated into English by Edward Seidensticker and published in an abridged form in The Atlantic Monthly in 1952. A complete English translation of the story was made by J. Martin Holman and appeared in a collection of Kawabata's early literature published as The Dancing Girl ...more
P.H. Wilson
Jun 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Real rating: 7/10
A collection of short stories by the great Kawabata. Through these pages the reader meets the picturesque melancholy of being that is Kawabata's work, his rhythmic poetic flow cascades through out and offers to us the realisation that death, love, and sex all ride the same lines. They are pure states of being that leave us as the being we are. From the opening pages of the dancing girl we are brought into this world where the philosophical nature of being is brought to light. Th
Mina Soare
Jan 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a Christmas present from a friend, that is, I don't usually read this kind of books so I can't compare it to a better one. For me it was a five star. In a very close personal manner you get to know the simple, ordinary workings of a student, of an old wife, of an abandoned lover, of a young wife who lived in innocence, and a naive girl who never knew she'd been in love, of countless other people that you see through the narrator's mind's eye.
I only like a few of the "palm of the hand" stories that make up the second half of this book, but I still have to give the 4 stars because of how much I love the title story (The dancing girl of Izu), which I've read now maybe 4, 5, or 6 times in the last 25 years. One of my favorite short stories of all time for sure, and I would definitely give it 5 stars if it were published by itself.
Veronika KaoruSaionji
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The Dancing Girl of Izu is beautiful story about tender and pure love young boy for young girl. It is so cute! I does not like heterosexual romance, but I very like it. The other stories are similar nice. This and Sound of the mountain is my favourite by Kawabata.
Dec 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, translation
Ternyata oh ternyata buku ini ada juga di Goodreads. Seingat saya waktu membacanya beberapa tahun lalu cerita-cerita di dalamnya cukup unik (ini cara lain mengatakan kalau saya nggak begitu ngerti ceritanya, hehehe).
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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...
“Oh, to be laughed at when I have the courage to speak my heart. I don't want to live in a world like this."

-from "Diary of My Sixteenth Year”
“What seemed strangest to me when I found this diary was that I have no recollection of the day-to-day life it describes. If I do not recall them, where have those days gone? Where had they vanished to? I pondered the things that human beings lose to the past"

-from "Diary of My Sixteenth Year”
More quotes…