Friday, August 3, 2012

Sakura In Arashiyama, Kyoto - A Page From Yasunari Kawabata

I have started reading "The Old Capital" by Yasunari Kawabata, the first Japanese writer who was awarded the Nobel for Literature, in 1968. The novel, "Koto" in original, was among the three titles mentioned by the Nobel jury. It is his masterpiece, and two films were based on this book.

The location is Kyoto, called Koto in the past, and the beginning of the book is as beautiful as a Zen painting. The first pages display the beauty of sakura in Arashiyama, and the atmosphere is familiar to me since I was lucky to see those places in spring.  Arashiyama is a district in Kyoto and its name 嵐山 means "Stormy Mountain." It is designated a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan.

Its train station:

It is a charming place.

On the very first page of the book, Chieko admires few violas hidden in a tree, just like these ones I would imagine:

A rickshaw, nowadays hired only by tourists:

A solitary man in this splendid scenery:

This novel describes the beauty of the Japanese spring so accurately.

A pond of lotuses would look like this in mid-April:

After 50 pages, a wedding is already on the horizon in the book. And here is a real one - a beautiful couple in a romantic spot by the Ooi River.

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