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The Old Capital

A Novel

List Price: $15.95

January 10, 2006 | Paperback |  5.5 x 8.2, 160 Pages | ISBN 9781593760328
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"It's an intensely poetic story in which much is evoked, little stated or concluded." —Publishers Weekly

The Old Capital is one of the three novels cited specifically by the Nobel Committee when they awarded Yasunari 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 traditional city of Kyoto, Japan, this deeply poetic story revolves around Chieko who becomes bewildered and troubled as she discovers the true facets of her past. With the harmony and time-honored customs of a Japanese backdrop, the story becomes poignant as Chieko’s longing and confusion develops. The book is translated by J. Martin Holman

About Yasunari Kawabata, J. Martin Holman

YASUNARI KAWABATA born in 1899 in Osaka, Japan, was orphaned at the age of two. He established a reputation as Japan’s leading novelist in the prewar years with such novels as Snow Country. After the war he continued to produce major novels, including Thousand Cranes and The Sound of the Mountain. He was the first Japanese artist to be recognized by the Nobel Committee. On receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, he said that in his work he sought a harmony among man, nature, and emptiness. He committed suicide in 1972.

J. MARTIN HOLMAN has taught Japanese and Korean literature at Wakayama University in Osaka, Japan. He has translated the works of both Korean authors and Kawabata’s The Old Capital and Palm-of-the-Hand Stories.


“…an intensely poetic story in which much is evoked, little stated or concluded.” —Publishers Weekly


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