Thousand Cranes (Japan)

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Yasunari Kawabata was the very first Japanese writer to ever earn the Novel Prize in Literature, and the nomination committees specifically mentioned Thousand Cranes as one of the major factors in their decision-making process. It is a luminous story of desire, regret, and the almost sensual nostalgia that binds the living to the dead.

While attending a traditional aftermath of his parents’ deaths, Kikuji encounters his  father’s former lover, Mrs. Ota. At first Kikuji is appalled by her indelicate nature, but it is not long before he succumbs to passion—a passion with tragic and unforeseen consequences, not just for the two lovers, but also for Mrs. Ota’s daughter, to whom Kikuji’s attachments soon extend. Death, jealousy, and attraction convene around the delicate art of the tea ceremony, where every gesture is marked with profound meaning.

Ultimately, the novel is not a study of the power men have over women, but a work filled with loneliness and disorientation at the failure of art, literature and even the tea ceremony to create a more ideal world.

Vocabulary:

Questionnaire:

  • Would you read this book? why?

Session 1

Welcome to this activity created by Junior Advisor Mr. Juan Manuel Loya Del Valle from Narvarte Branch. Take note of all the pink words, read the text, watch the video and answer the question in the comment section below.

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