Sunday, September 06, 2009

Snow Country

Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
Literature in Translation

Snow Country is a novel about the three visits of Shimamura, a wealthy man of leisure to a hot springs mountain resort on the western side of Japan. It is spring the first time and he meets a local geisha, Komako. She is reluctant to be a geisha but feels she needs a 'protector'. Komako is immature, chatty and highly emotional.

The next visit is in the fall, Komako has grown and matured. She finds the relationship a struggle.

The final visit is in the winter and Shimamura and Komako argue and grow further and further apart. Shimamura is now attracted to Yoko, a friend of Komako. The reader wonders if the cycle will repeat itself.

This book is very lyrical. The descriptions are very well done and very detailed. The book is a love story. It starts off with young love, progresses on to a more adult type of love and finally starts to die off.

First Line: "In the winter, cold winds blow down from Siberia, pick up moisture over the Japan Sea, and drop it as snow when they strike the mountains of Japan."



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