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

The Old Capital

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  3,370 ratings  ·  328 reviews
The Old Capital is one of the three novels cited specifically by the Nobel Committee when they awarded Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. With the ethereal tone and aesthetic styling characteristic of Kawabata's prose, The Old Capital tells the story of Chieko, the adopted daughter of a Kyoto kimono designer, Takichiro, and his wife, Shige.

Set in the traditio
...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published 2006 by Shoemaker & Hoard (first published 1962)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,370 ratings  ·  328 reviews


Filter
 | 
Sort order
William2
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
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
...more
Praj
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، رمانِ "کیوتو" از آن دسته از کتابهایی نیست که موردِ پسندِ همگان باشد، مگر آنکه به شناختِ فرهنگ و آدابِ مردمانِ ژاپن علاقه داشته باشید
شهرِ کیوتو، پیش از توکیو، پایتختِ ژاپن بوده است که در سدهٔ هشتم میلادی، این شهر را بر اساسِ نقشه و طرحِ شهرِ "شنگن د تانگ" که پایتختِ چین بوده، ساخته اند... نویسندهٔ کتاب <کاواباتا>، با نوشتنِ این داستان، به نوعی حال و روزِ شهرِ کیوتو را پس از جنگِ جهانیِ دوم و ورودِ تمدنِ غربی به ژاپن، بررسی نموده است.. این موضوع که تمدنِ غرب و وجودِ ساختمانه
...more
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!
Mariel
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Andrei Bădică
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un roman excepţional!
Mizuki
Edited@13/01/2018: rating has been upgraded from 3.5 to 5 stars.

You have to understand this: I am a person who has little to none tolerance for love triangles. So if a novel about the love triangles among two men and one woman can hold my interest from start to end, it has to have something good in it.


It is the second time I read The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata, it is one of the novels which gained the novelist his Noble Prize. This re-reading helps me to appreciate the moving grace in Mr.
...more
Chrissie
Dec 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
J. Watson (aka umberto)
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, fiction
Second Review:

I simply reread this fine novel by Yasunari Kawabata for two reasons, that is, 1) to find if I could enjoy reading it for the second time and to what extent; 2) to see if there is some fidelity as compared with its YouTube counterpart entitled "Twin Sisters of Kyoto (Koto) 1963"; its website has been attached in No. 1 End Notes (First Review). As for 1), I still found it irresistibly readable and went further in more detail, for instance, from Takichiro's explanation to Chieko:
"Chi
...more
Bruce
Aug 29, 2016 added it
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
...more
طَيْف
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
description

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
...more
AC
Jan 24, 2014 rated it liked it
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
...more
عواطف عبدالعزيز
“ لن يأتي وقت أبدا يتحول فيه خيال جميل إلى خيال قبيح”

عبارة عن رواية تتحدث عن تشيكو الفتاة اللقيطة والتي تدّعي والدتها بأنها سرقتها حتى لا تشعر بأنها منبوذة، وتتحدث أيضًا عن العادات والتقاليد والمهرجانات اليابانية. فيأخذنا كاوباتا في نزهات طويلة وسط حدائق النباتات ومهرجانات كيوتو الكثيرة بصحبة تشيكو ووالدتها ووالدها الذي كان يعاني من الحظر الإبداعي “artist block” .

“كانت البنفسجة العليا والبنفسجة السفلى، منفصلتين عن بعضهما بمقدار قدم تقريبا. هل ستلتقي البنفسجة العليا والبنفسجة السفلى أبدًا؟ هل تع
...more
Joanito_a
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5
Το Κιότο ξεκινάει ρομαντικά για να καταλήξει σε μία υπόγεια μελαγχολία.
Ένα βιβλίο για την πόλη της Ιαπωνίας με πολλές ( κι άλλες πολλές) περιγραφές για τη φύση και τις γιορτές της.
Η ιστορία που μας περιγράφει (δύο δίδυμες αδελφές που ξαναβρίσκονται μετά από 20 χρόνια) παρουσίαζει ενδιαφέρον αν και στο τέλος μας αφήνει μια πικρή, λυπητερή γεύση, ένα απότομο τέλος , όπως τα λουλούδια.
"Τα λουλούδια έχουν ζωή. Ζωή σύντομη, που όμως δεν περνάει απαρατήρητη".

Laura Leaney
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Shaghayegh
نميدونم يجوري بود،من كه نتونستم باهاش ارتباط برقرار كنم
Meltem Sağlam
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kitabın arka kapağındaki tanıtımın, içeriğine çok da uygun olmadığını düşünüyorum. Aslında varoluşçu felsefenin izlerinin taşıyan, bir aşkın değil, yalnız bir ruhun, ruhların romanı. "Mutluluk kısa, yalnızlık ise uzundur." (Sf. 219). Özenli kurgusu ve akıcılığıyla, okuduğum en güzel Kavabata romanı. Sadece içerdiği Japon geleneği anlatımının, tanıtıma varan ısrarı, hikayenin bölünmesine ve akıcılığının kesintiye uğramasına neden olmuş. Bu romanında ilk kez, yazarın yakın arkadaşı olan ve benim h ...more
Reem Ghabbany
الكتاب كان ممتع الى حد ما رغم الترجمة الركيكة
تحدث اكثر شي عن المهرجانات اليابانية وعن الفتاة تشيكو التي تحب الذهاب اليها
Deniz Balcı
Feb 26, 2016 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.
...more
L.S.
Sep 01, 2010 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
...more
مهدیه
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
داستان دل انگیز باغهای ژاپنی، شکوفههای گیلاس، درختان کافور، جشنها و جشنوارههای محلی و رسوم سنتی آن کشور است. بازتاب فلسفی افول فرهنگ سنتی ژاپن و مرثیه خواندنی کاواباتاست بر از دست رفتنِ هنرِ خلقِ لباسهای سنتی ژاپن: هنر کیمونو.
پایتخت قدیم داستان چیه کو، تنها دختر صاحبان فروشگاهی در کیوتو است؛ پدر و مادری که به او گفتهاند که آنها او را از پدر و مادر واقعیاش هنگامی که نوزادی خفته در زیر درخت گیلاس بوده؛ به سرقت بردهاند، اما با این حال، دیدار چیکو با یک زن از روستای سروهای کیتایاما حقیقت را در مورد
...more
Nuno Simões
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
não considero excepcional, embora seja superior ao que já li do autor. é, por outro lado, tremendamente marcante - foi a primeira vez que me deu real vontade de visitar o Japão e concretamente a cidade de Quioto. entre o muito bom e o excelente, classifico por excesso.
SilviaG
Un relato poético que te sumerge en el paisaje japonés, en sus tradiciones y en sus modos de vida. Ya conocí a este autor con el País de Nieve, y aunque me fascinó como describía todo y su relato costumbrista, el argumento no me pareció tan redondo como me ha parecido Kioto.
Neko 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
David
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
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,"
and
"'Twenty years ago twins weren't accepted, but now it's nothing,'"

This is very interesting from Persona: A
...more
Liviu
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
Francisco
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Victoria Mars
Chieko sintió que se le desgarraba el corazón.
Su deseo de ir a la aldea y contemplar la bella Kitayama... ¿era el llamado del espíritu de su padre?


Lo primero que leí de Kawabata fue País de nieve y no conectamos. No sé si fue tanta la nieve que quedé aplastada bajo la historia o no me gustó la edición, la traducción, vaya a saber uno.

Sin embargo, puedo decir que amé Kioto. Su belleza, sus paisajes, la prosa, todo en él es maravilloso. Y la historia puede incluso pasar a segundo plano, o también
...more
Ray
May 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Identical twins orphaned and then separated shortly after birth. One stays near the home village and works on the land, the other is adopted by a middle class shopkeeper and his wife.

After twenty years or so the girls meet again. Cue confusion amongst suitors and a slow dawning realisation that their paths have diverged too much for the genetic bonds to hold. all against the backdrop of a Japan that is modernising rapidly and changing from the old ways.

Interesting and beautifully written but a b
...more
Silvery
0,4 estrellas

Una historia narrada con absoluta delicadeza. Los personajes y la ciudad se fusionan, las estaciones y sus estados anímicos convergen en uno, convirtiendo a esta novela en una absoluta delicia.

Bella y sublime.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Quicksand
  • The Three-Cornered World
  • A Dark Night's Passing (Japan's Modern Writers)
  • The Wild Geese
  • Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale
  • Fires on the Plain
  • Anthology of Japanese Literature: From the Earliest Era to the Mid-Nineteenth Century
  • The Hunting Gun
  • Masks
  • After the Banquet
  • The River Ki
  • Shipwrecks
  • Kinshu: Autumn Brocade
  • Hiroshima Notes
  • Black Rain
  • Self Portraits: Tales from the Life of Japan's Great Decadent Romantic
1,969 followers
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 today.

Nobel Lecture: 1968
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prize...
“Perhaps they don't realize where they were, so they went on living.” 24 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…