web site hit counter The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories

Availability: Ready to download

Influential Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata has constructed an autobiography through his fiction with this new collection of stories that parallel major events and themes in his life. In the lyrical prose that is his signature, these 23 tales reflect Kawabata's keen perception, deceptive simplicity, and the deep melancholy that characterizes much of his work. Influential Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata has constructed an autobiography through his fiction with this new collection of stories that parallel major events and themes in his life. In the lyrical prose that is his signature, these 23 tales reflect Kawabata's keen perception, deceptive simplicity, and the deep melancholy that characterizes much of his work.


Compare

Influential Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata has constructed an autobiography through his fiction with this new collection of stories that parallel major events and themes in his life. In the lyrical prose that is his signature, these 23 tales reflect Kawabata's keen perception, deceptive simplicity, and the deep melancholy that characterizes much of his work. Influential Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata has constructed an autobiography through his fiction with this new collection of stories that parallel major events and themes in his life. In the lyrical prose that is his signature, these 23 tales reflect Kawabata's keen perception, deceptive simplicity, and the deep melancholy that characterizes much of his work.

30 review for The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jim Fonseca

    This book (I read the ebook) consists of four short stories; the first, the story of the title, is by Kawabata; the other three are by Inoue. All four are exceptionally different in theme. In The Izu Dancer a male university student is bumming around in the summer and falls in love with a young dancer and drummer in a group of traveling performers. He joins up with them just to have company while he travels. Apparently itinerant performers were considered low-class as they act honored to have th This book (I read the ebook) consists of four short stories; the first, the story of the title, is by Kawabata; the other three are by Inoue. All four are exceptionally different in theme. In The Izu Dancer a male university student is bumming around in the summer and falls in love with a young dancer and drummer in a group of traveling performers. He joins up with them just to have company while he travels. Apparently itinerant performers were considered low-class as they act honored to have the student with them. The time period is uncertain because it seemed to me an ancient time – traveling by foot on dirt roads and drinking from streams – but then the young girl asks him to take her to a movie. So perhaps early 1900’s? At the public baths he discovers the girl is really a child and the girl’s mother won’t let him take her to a movie. It’s a love that cannot be and as such reminds me of poignant moments in Death in Venice, where the older German man is pursuing a young boy, or the moment in Colm Toibin’s The Master when Henry James waits outside a young man’s window and turns away… I thought the best story in the book was also the longest and most developed. The Counterfeiter is about a man hired by the family of a famous deceased artist to write his biography. The man has been writing this biography on and off over ten years (! – interrupted by WW II, but still!). As he visits private homes where his subject’s scroll paintings are housed, he learns many are counterfeit. His real interest shifts to the counterfeiter. In the introduction, we are told that Inoue’s work had themes of orphanhood, loneliness, fate, predestination, the arts, newspaper writing and his home province of the Izu Peninsula. All of these work their way into the story. In Obasute we learn that there is an ancient Japanese myth or legend about taking elderly people (over 70, so I’m eligible) to the top of this mountain and leaving them to die. There is a mountain in Japan, Mt. Kamuriki, the story is about, and it has been renamed from Ubasate which apparently means something like “leaving to die.” Anyway, this story is focused on how a family deals with their elderly mother who starts talking about “it’s time to carry me up Obasute.” The Full Moon is about office politics in corporate Japan. The CEO or President has just been fired by the board. The incoming president surrounds himself with sycophants and mistresses just as the former president did. It’s about money, power, women and decorations (awards) in that order. The outcome is predictable. I usually write a brief note about the author(s). The book is oddly structured with one story by Kawabata and three by Inoue. The book gives us an introduction and a brief biography of Inoue but nothing about Kawabata. So I looked up Kawabata on Wiki and discovered a lot of info that matches that given in the biographical info about Inoue – that Kawabata was the son of an army physician, orphaned at an early age, and raised by a grandmother on the Izu Peninsula south of Tokyo. But that’s the same info given for Inoue in the translator’s intro! Then I started thinking that maybe Inoue was a penname that Kawabata had used in the past --- look at the similarities in their first names: Yasunari and Yasushi. But no, they have different birth and death dates. (Kawabata 1899-1972; Inoue 1907-1991. Apparently no one carried them up the mountain.) Could the translator have been so sloppy that he mixed up Inoue's bibliographical information with Kawabata's? Or more likely, Wiki is mixed up? After an hour of trying to figure it out, I gave up. Hopefully the pictures I used are accurate. A landscape on the Izu Peninsula from A scroll of "Old Japan Dying Cave" from alchetron.com/cdn/ubasute Yasunari Kawabata from nobelprize.org Yasuushi Inoue from Goodreads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Florencia

    “When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.” ― Tennessee Williams, Camino Real The Dancing Girl of Izu looking from afar wishing to break the silence that haunts them tonight Full review Diary of My Sixteenth Year lonely child forced to grow as leaves fall Oil crowded oil fading away amid the ashes The Master of Funerals existence whispers ancient songs of winter times solitude lingers Full review Gathering Ashes old dust makes the nose bleed when cicadas cry H “When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.” ― Tennessee Williams, Camino Real The Dancing Girl of Izu looking from afar wishing to break the silence that haunts them tonight Full review Diary of My Sixteenth Year lonely child forced to grow as leaves fall Oil crowded oil fading away amid the ashes The Master of Funerals existence whispers ancient songs of winter times solitude lingers Full review Gathering Ashes old dust makes the nose bleed when cicadas cry Hurrah two loners meet and start their journey throughout Japan The Princess of the Dragon Palace sinners pay they soon became two lines destined never to meet The Honey Road memories of loss break into the mind as a whitened pond sings into the night They say paradise is far away. Chastity Under the Roof I wonder what to say about this one long sigh moving on The Moon thoughts so heavy that dig his clogs into the snow ...one who intends to join her life with mine. Enemy a woman sees a line of enemies inside her screen A Woman where the gourds lie, a sullied sword pierced a tombstone to purify itself Frightening Love do the heavens punish too much love? * heavens punish too much doubt Horse Beauty ravishing horse galloped off leaving the cosmos flowers behind The Sea stop hesitating bring your silence and walk with me 'Please take me where I can't look at the sea.' Hands silent hands evoke her death pomegranate flower He believed that in this way his unexpressed feelings could somehow be communicated to others. The Third-Class Waiting Room Tokyo Station has the feeling she's not coming The Watch a lawyer meant to talk can't find the words in his avalanche of thoughts We mustn't condemn the vanity of these two. Vanity happened to give this man, who had groveled in fear of women, a little courage for love. ...perhaps, this thing called love is so absurd that it will manifest itself regardless of the means. History open your eyes now under the fallen oak leaves lie real intentions Birthplace financial transactions exhaust me yet they brought the boy back to his land Burning the Pine Boughs the sounds of fear cover the night of the first sparrow A Prayer in the Mother Tongue the mind remembers as it says goodbye 'Perhaps Kayoko is something like a mother tongue to me.' The Setting Sun don't look at my past she said to the poet near the blossoms * the samurai's sword grabbed a life and broke it in two your silence is sharper Jan 01, 16 * First review of 2016. One can only hope... ** Also on my blog.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Χαρά Ζ.

    This is a collection of short stories by Kawabata. The title of the book comes from the first story called "The Dancing Girl of Izu" In general all of the stories had a strange feeling, very distant from me and yet very human. I enjoyed all of them quite a lot. I don't think this is for everyone though. Be well folks <3 This is a collection of short stories by Kawabata. The title of the book comes from the first story called "The Dancing Girl of Izu" In general all of the stories had a strange feeling, very distant from me and yet very human. I enjoyed all of them quite a lot. I don't think this is for everyone though. Be well folks <3

  4. 5 out of 5

    Praj

    "As death approaches, memory erodes. Recent memories are the first to succumb. Death works its way backward until it reaches memory's earliest beginnings. Then memory flares up for an instant, just like a flame about to go out. That is the "prayer in the mother tongue." A string of solemn words sprint from my mind onto my lips at slight picture of a funeral that passes on the street. With my hands pressed palm to palm; expressing gratitude to the death a prayer in the mother tongue, “Bless the de "As death approaches, memory erodes. Recent memories are the first to succumb. Death works its way backward until it reaches memory's earliest beginnings. Then memory flares up for an instant, just like a flame about to go out. That is the "prayer in the mother tongue." A string of solemn words sprint from my mind onto my lips at slight picture of a funeral that passes on the street. With my hands pressed palm to palm; expressing gratitude to the death a prayer in the mother tongue, “Bless the departed soul and forgive all the mortal sins”; escapes in the melancholic air. Forgiveness, they say, is the only medicine that cures an infected heart. A prayer; a hope for betterment flickers as the mind enters into an empty abyss. When death approaches, it fetches the long lost past; nostalgia slowly creeps with the facade of first love; the fragments of a faded childhood and the tattered pages of life’s desolation are pasted in a sentimental embrace even as the empathetic mother tongue binds the corpse in ropes of convention. As a child, I was terrified of funerals. But, it all changed on the day my grandfather died. The elders thought as I was too young to see the dead and so I was sent to the neighboring apartment. I never got to witness my grandfather’s silent face; his last physical memories of this world. Not a single tear was dropped when I came back to an empty room and even today funerals never make me grieve. At funerals, I sit by the dead and stare blankly at the soundless face, searching for a fragmentary goodbye of my grandfather as my anguish never got the merited privilege of closure. Does death complete the emptiness that life always dwells in? Can death really erase all the mistakes and sins of mortality? When does a man rob the virginity of his life and then later, why does he regret it as a reckless act? Did my grandfather recollect his first spoken words in his mother tongue? The virginal call to his mother. Will I remember my first words on my deathbed? The choreographed beats of a drum lingered from a nearby tea house. As I sat on the old steps, waiting for the youth, whom they called ‘Master of funerals’, I heard the heart wrenching cries of a child as his poured the oil out of the lamp, lit in front of the dead. The boy despised the mere smell of the oil; rapeseed to be precise. The oil was cruel enough to play tricks on the child’s mind. The lingering sweet odor brought back the dead. Unaware of his quandary, it would not be long till he smelled the rapeseed oil once again. Will he then offer a hundred lights at the altar to honor his parents? Ask the boy for whom death permeates through the viscous oil. A middle-school teen who had come to honor the dead sat besides me. He did not felt the need to put on a solemn mask like several others at the funeral. Just like me, he could not grieve the death. The rituals commenced with the entry of the ‘master of funerals’. The youth was neither a temple priest nor a shaman. The fellow was in his 20s who unfortunately had seen more funerals than celebratory sacraments of life; his kimono smelled like a grave. Amid the chants, to the horror of the mourners, the teen slammed a book in my palm. “Please, read it carefully”, he pleaded. Words were jammed up in my throat. How could he do such a disgraceful thing in the middle of the funeral? Doesn't he respect the dead? Tears flooded his aching eyes and I knew it right then, I had to read his penned diary of the sixteenth year. I could not bring myself to give him an unenthusiastic answer; I had to revere his words the way his belief resided in my approval. The boy’s grandfather was on the brink of death. Maybe, it was fate giving me a second chance to pronounce my own unsaid goodbyes. Maybe, his word would lessen the weight of my onerous memories. Nevertheless, will the teen himself be able to unload his baggage? Will the sorrow of his loneliness vanish like the tears from his grandfather’s hopeful eyes? Similar to his grandfather, would his heart stand strong for seventy-five years while the wounds of failure bled? Ask him on his 27th birthday. The pristine images of the flowing white fabrics floated the virginal essence of life that conquered the departed soul. The soft waves of the sea murmured the melancholy of breathing memories. The urn to be used for gathering the ashes rested peacefully on the wooden mantle that once was a proud owner of an authentic Japanese watch symbolizing the courage of love. Love is certainly a funny thing. It dawns from sheer vanity of beauty and crumbles in its opulent absurdities.Frightening love. Love that dwells on fringes of insanity; love that consumes the very essence of its purity to the advent of insanity. Is love a bastard child of lunacy or an orphan seeking a home in fostered hearts? Ask the man who patiently waited for the bitter blade to touch his warm neck. The boy, who had come with a smartly wrapped parcel containing some of his mother’s old kimonos along with his belongings, kept smiling as the birthplace bid a sorrowful adieu to one its children. Amid the ritualistic chants, the funeral proceeded onto the pompous street that prided in its mountains of silver and copper coins. The coins fell swiftly as pearls from a necklace. By honoring the dead,the honey road became an illusionary plaque of a melancholic heaven. Is then, paradise a distant path or is it found in the boots of the beggar who tonight will feast on a scrumptious sea bream and sake; the red comb a gift on her wedding night. The outlandish screeching of the cicadas interrupted the funeral procession as the villagers glanced at each other. The cries of the cicadas from the hill in the park metamorphosed into the merciful whimpers of a woman dwelling in the realms of her chastity under the roof. Once again the villagers glanced at each other. The rumor of a woman who lost her virginity three times preceded the procession.The woman who stood behind me in a white kimono grinned as only she knew the absolute truth. She had lost her virginity at the very sight of a wrinkle resting near her eye and the sting of her sagging breast bled for the first time. Not a single memory, just a flimsy shadow. Is old age the inevitable enemy of beauty that life prides upon? Do the baggage of our memories become detrimental as we head towards the dusk of our lives? Ask the woman who lost her virginity for the fourth time. Vile gossip is an illusion stemming from a nascent self-hatred .Like a chimerical ballet liberated from human errors, fantasy takes refuge into the arms of realism. Isn't it true that at times we choose to dwell in our rose-tinted prejudices? Ask the man standing in the shadow of a pilgrim in the third-class waiting room at the station. The voice of the drums seems to get closer. The procession took a final turn on a narrow road that led to the ‘Mountain Peach Bath’; a man- made paradise. Suddenly, a wild uproar halted the funeral procession. “You worms. It's a small road just wide enough for automobiles to pass. If you were so shocked when you first realized what kind of intentions that road had, you had better open your eyes while you can and think about the intentions that lie behind that highway.", howled an infuriated young man. The public bath gave way to a newly built private bath and the Mountain Peach Bath’ could only be found in the history archives of fading memories. Somewhere, the crickets zealously chirped in a jar. The persistent odor that oozed from burning the pine boughs brought happiness to a gloomy heart. Did the ashes of the burned pine boughs cleanse the heart from the burdensome memories? Did the heart become a pictograph of purity, once again? Ask the heart who was anxious to eradicate the embedded orphan complex. Underneath the persimmon trees, unaware of the large procession; the children played with their newly discovered half-sword. The blunt piece reminiscing in the memory of its sharpness lay on beneath the ancestral shrine. The samurai sword was chastised for tasting the blood of a grief-stricken woman. Did the sword have the right to take a genuine life? Who made the sword a messiah of justice? Ask the broken piece that drew blood. “Hurrah! Hurrah!” yelled the sisters at the gate of the inn. Did they express the similar sentiments of the soul that had just departed from a sullied body? Or were these words of encouragement bestowed on the woman who in the memory of her father embarked on a journey of residing in the inns throughout Japan. Did the inn represented her unfulfilled dream or bear the burden of her unkind memories? Akin to the way I struggle to find my grandfather’s face in the dead. The deafening sounds of the drum were excruciating to my emptiness. As I peeked into the tea house, I lost track of the funeral. An adolescent dancing girl in her teens was happily playing the drums, entertaining the tea house patrons. A virginal beauty daunting to the eyes of her admirers; the dancing girl of Izu was a nomad of beauty and cleanness; a girl yet to be christened as a woman; someday. Nearly after a somber hour, the funeral procession came to its end. Reminiscent to a soul noiselessly leaving a body in all its glory, the setting sun slipped into its watery grave leaving its memories in a violet sky. The soft waves of the sea melodiously hum a lullaby to the princess of the dragon palace who slept in the cerulean depths whilst a fairy tale was penned on a lover’s grave. On my way back from the cremation, weary laborers walked from the mountains into the village; a girl sat terrified of the sea, wondering if there would be someone caring enough to take her away from this place. The nightfall glistened in the moonlight. The moon shimmered in its loneliness; its virginal baggage getting heavier with every star that cropped up in the nightly ecstasy. As the moon pondered on its forlorn fate, the horse beauty flew like an arrow towards the moon. The drums of the dancing girl welcomed a new life in to this world as it gave its first virginal cry. That day, I had witnessed both, the echo of life and the stillness of death; everything in between lay scripted in the unread pages of the diary that fervently fluttered in my lap. "Put your soul in the palm of my hand for me to look at, like a crystal jewel. I'll sketch it in words..." When I embarked on the Kawabata journey, I was determined to read each of his literary works, come what may. I desired to view Kawabata’s primary strokes of his literary painting. A writer’s first work resembles the monochromatic background splashed on a bare canvass; its image yet unknown. To discover the root after cherishing the grandeur, the essence of the root is placed on a critical dais. Alas, I had seen the painting first and not the bare canvas. I was handed a completed art and as I sat there trying to decipher and classify every color that amalgamated in the quest for a divine nothingness , I listened to the silence that lingered between the scripted words, comprehended the lingering sentiments and the opulent beauty that flowed with every stroke on the bare canvas. At times when the silence consumed me, I could observe the anguish of a soul that shimmered like a crystal jewel amongst the sketched words. To comprehend the meaning of nothingness, a cry of a lonely heart, to evaluate a character without any prejudices, the quest for a virginal soul, to hear the earthly grave that now bestows the divinity of a grain that feeds sons and grandsons; a need for the “ears of a Buddha”. A privilege that Kawabata sometimes bestows.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ema

    I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars for this book and I can't decide, because I liked some of the stories, others depressed me, while one in particular was horrifying. I mostly feel like a superficial and uninitiated reader who stood at the foot of a complex work, but was not able to grasp it. Moreover, I let my personal weaknesses flood my perceiving of Kawabata's writing, judging it and condemning it for the uncomfortable and unbearable feelings he aroused inside me. I don't even know whom to re I'm hovering between 3 and 4 stars for this book and I can't decide, because I liked some of the stories, others depressed me, while one in particular was horrifying. I mostly feel like a superficial and uninitiated reader who stood at the foot of a complex work, but was not able to grasp it. Moreover, I let my personal weaknesses flood my perceiving of Kawabata's writing, judging it and condemning it for the uncomfortable and unbearable feelings he aroused inside me. I don't even know whom to recommend this book to - people in a joyful state might see their happiness slip through their fingers, while people who are already sad will find themselves on the brink of depression. I might recommend it to the few that are in possession of a clear, balanced mind, as only they could appreciate the disjointed, chaotic world peopled by Kawabata's troubled characters. There is not one single happy soul in this collection of short stories, with themes like alienation, loss, deception or cruelty. The wife of a scientist, whose husband is obsessed with having children, is unhappy in her marriage and feels attracted to a younger girl; a man literally on fire is brought to a hospital full of dying people, with a sad story of their own; a girl abandoned by her lover talks to his soul after he dies; survivors of war, homeless and starving, can no longer find their place in the post-war Japan; a widow remembers how she used to project the world in a mirror, for the comfort of her dying husband. The sole exception among these plagued characters might be the orphaned student who becomes infatuated with a teenage dancing girl; he is not yet damaged by life, although he is pursued by melancholy. The Dancing Girl of Izu was my favorite story, along with Moon in Water. It seems wrong though to use notions as 'like' or 'enjoy' regarding Kawabata's stories in this collection. They are tormenting, unsettling and guarantee for the most unpleasant of reading experiences. The most horrifying was the story about a collector of birds who assumes the role of God with his live possessions, with power of life and death upon them. It's disturbing to enter this man's mind and taste his indifference towards life, whether it's the beating heart of a puppy or that of a bird. I felt sick while reading this. I feel my review is not doing justice to this book, but I might come back to these stories after reading some more Kawabata novels. I might understand them better. I might even surpass my weaknesses. I wish I could.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nissy

    Everytime i read for "Yasunari Kawabata" i got that feeling of being impressed and depressed at the same time ... there was a dark shadows that haunted me for days after reading this book, now that i also read for "Natsume Soseki" and " Yokio Mishima" i started to believe its a Japanese thing. Everytime i read for "Yasunari Kawabata" i got that feeling of being impressed and depressed at the same time ... there was a dark shadows that haunted me for days after reading this book, now that i also read for "Natsume Soseki" and " Yokio Mishima" i started to believe its a Japanese thing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Back in early 2016 I happened to read kawabata's 'Snow Country', a work filled with a prose of such subtle, provocative, and dreamlike beauty. It was my first time reading the Nobel Prize recipient, and it probably remains the best Japanese novel I have read to date. I'd always been meaning to read more of his novels, but, as is generally the case, there are always so many other books that catch my eye, I never read him again, until now. I came across this collection of short stories cheap in a Back in early 2016 I happened to read kawabata's 'Snow Country', a work filled with a prose of such subtle, provocative, and dreamlike beauty. It was my first time reading the Nobel Prize recipient, and it probably remains the best Japanese novel I have read to date. I'd always been meaning to read more of his novels, but, as is generally the case, there are always so many other books that catch my eye, I never read him again, until now. I came across this collection of short stories cheap in a used bookstore and thought, yes, why not. Written as fiction but with autobiographical elements throughout, I found the best stories were featured in the first half of the book, 'The Dancing Girl of Izu', Diary of my Sixteenth Year', 'Oil', and 'The Master of Funerals' were really good, with death and ageing being a strong theme in most of them. His writing has melancholic tones, but still carries a delicate beauty that never feels despondent. Whereas in the second half the stories seemed to get shorter and shorter, dealing with loss and memory which felt more like snippets than stories. 'The Honey Road', The Moon', Horse Beauty' and 'Burning the Pine Boughs' weren't bad. But the others didn't get off the ground to really have an impact on me. I don't read Japanese literature that often now, and find it really helps to either have visited Japan, or have some good general knowledge of their culture and pastimes to truly get the best out of their books. This was one of the more easier reads, and I do love his spare and reposeful style.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fabfabian

    I preferred the Yasushi Inoue story,'Obasute', beginning..." When on earth was it that I first heard the legends about abandoning the old people on Mount Obasute?" This theme is also dealt with in the movie ' The Ballad of Narayama' I preferred the Yasushi Inoue story,'Obasute', beginning..." When on earth was it that I first heard the legends about abandoning the old people on Mount Obasute?" This theme is also dealt with in the movie ' The Ballad of Narayama'

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emeraldia Ayakashi

    5 new exemplary beauty, sometimes tight and will require breaks and reflection (or even several readings) to understand the full meaning. 5 news that we speak of love with subtlety and unspoken, old age and beauty of death exacerbates sensations and feelings. 5 new contemplative and poetic that emphasizes the impermanence and transience of happiness in life. "The danseuze Izu" is the first publication of Kawabata. This new, published in 1926, made him famous man who would become one of the greates 5 new exemplary beauty, sometimes tight and will require breaks and reflection (or even several readings) to understand the full meaning. 5 news that we speak of love with subtlety and unspoken, old age and beauty of death exacerbates sensations and feelings. 5 new contemplative and poetic that emphasizes the impermanence and transience of happiness in life. "The danseuze Izu" is the first publication of Kawabata. This new, published in 1926, made him famous man who would become one of the greatest Japanese authors. The five that make up the new collection here this all revolve around the subject of love, the beauty of women and death, as we frequently find in his work. The danseuze Izu (1926): This first novel, which gives its name to the collection, inspired by the personal experience of the author. In 1918, Kawabata on a trip to Izu. During his journey on foot, he meets a traveling theater troupe. We find the same frame in the story where the narrator is fascinated by the beauty of one of the young actresses. It gives its way to that of the company, binds friendship with the leader, Eikichi to get closer to her sister, the beautiful Kaoru which will prove very young. " Pour conserver ce reflet du monde, il aurait sacrifié sa vie. Certain jour, après une forte averse, tous deux contemplaient la lune reflétée dans une flaque d'eau. Cette lune, dont on pouvait à peine dire qu'elle fut l'illusion d'une illusion, resurgit dans le coeur de Kyoko. " " On ne connait que le reflet de son visage ; ces traits qui vous sont personnels, uniques, vous demeurent invisibles. On se touche la figure chaque jour, comme si les traits que renvoie le miroir étaient ceux de votre vrai visage..."

  10. 5 out of 5

    David

    Five stars for "The Dancing Girl..." Classic Kawabata in many respects, but there's also sobbing on a random schoolboy at the end. The rest of the stories were lacking in sustenance, I felt. Shikoku had a few mentions, about which I was a faintly excited, but they've rather put me off the other Palm-of-the-Hand Stories. And without them I'll never achieve "Kawabata Completion"! Is it just me, but does "palm-of-the-hand" sound like they're supposed to be a bit raunchy? Five stars for "The Dancing Girl..." Classic Kawabata in many respects, but there's also sobbing on a random schoolboy at the end. The rest of the stories were lacking in sustenance, I felt. Shikoku had a few mentions, about which I was a faintly excited, but they've rather put me off the other Palm-of-the-Hand Stories. And without them I'll never achieve "Kawabata Completion"! Is it just me, but does "palm-of-the-hand" sound like they're supposed to be a bit raunchy?

  11. 5 out of 5

    Smiley

    I’ve longed to read “The Izu Dancer” by Yasunari Kawabata but I couldn’t find one till last November. The book was a bit disappointing due to such thrifty length, merely 21 pages, of the mentioned title as well as three obscure stories, except the title of “The Counterfeiter” casually seen somewhere, by Yasushi Inoue. So whenever I leafed through the stories, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Inoue who?” since his name was unfamiliar to me till I couldn’t recall reading any of his works before. Th I’ve longed to read “The Izu Dancer” by Yasunari Kawabata but I couldn’t find one till last November. The book was a bit disappointing due to such thrifty length, merely 21 pages, of the mentioned title as well as three obscure stories, except the title of “The Counterfeiter” casually seen somewhere, by Yasushi Inoue. So whenever I leafed through the stories, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Inoue who?” since his name was unfamiliar to me till I couldn’t recall reading any of his works before. Then, I’ve known Edward Seidensticker and read many of his fine translations from Japanese but the name Leon Picon as a new translator has started to worry me. Probably more well-known to international readers than other Japanese writers since some 48 years ago, Kawabata awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in literature in 1968 has written something enchantingly sentimental, I think, in most of his novels I’ve read so far. As we can see and imagine the seemingly loving bond initiated by the nineteen-year-old narrator ‘I’ when he again meets such a young, pretty girl named Kaoru, a dancer traveling as a member in a group to another town [“I had seen the little dancer twice before.” (p. 10)]. This might be quite a simple, ordinary story between a young man and his fledging love after seeing her but Kawabata has own ways of narrating to induce his readers to read on and wonder if his love is shared and ended happily. From the context, we can’t help wondering on the dancer’s age in some excerpts that follow: “The little girl turned over the cushion she had been sitting on and pushed it politely toward me. … She was perhaps sixteen. Her hair was swept up in mounds after an old style I hardly know what to call. …” (p. 9) In fact, she is far younger than that, as we can see from this dialogue: “I’m afraid not. That’s my wife, the older of the two women. She’s a year younger than you. She lost her second baby on the road this summer – it only lived a week – and she isn’t really well yet. The older woman is her mother, the girl is my sister.” “You said you had a sister thirteen?” “That’s the one. I’ve tried to think of ways of keeping her out of this business, but there were all sorts of reasons why it couldn’t be helped.” He said his own name was Eikichi, his wife was Chiyo-ko, the dancer, his sister, was Kaoru. … (pp. 18-19)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Akemi G.

    Oh, here is one of my fav of Kawabata: Diary of My Sixteenth Year. When I first read it, I was astonished of the power of these simple words. The Dancing Girl of Izu is very popular in Japan. Not sure what else are included in this English translation, but if you like Kawabata, this should be a good read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Faiza Sattar

    The mystifying aspect of the book is perhaps lost entirely to poor translation. I enjoyed bits and parts of the book where I felt the translator's sentences did justice to what the author was saying. But the prose mostly fell flat and brazen and failed to evoke sentiments in me which I'm sure were due had I read the original or a better translation. Japanese literary mindset is one which holds beauty and mystery quite similar to the literary culture of Latin America but this unfortunately could The mystifying aspect of the book is perhaps lost entirely to poor translation. I enjoyed bits and parts of the book where I felt the translator's sentences did justice to what the author was saying. But the prose mostly fell flat and brazen and failed to evoke sentiments in me which I'm sure were due had I read the original or a better translation. Japanese literary mindset is one which holds beauty and mystery quite similar to the literary culture of Latin America but this unfortunately could not emanate from this collection of semi-autobiographical short stories. Many times the stories seem vague in themselves, most ending abruptly much to my annoyance. Only the author's relationship with his grandfather invoked emotions in me and that too just lasted the first few pages of the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Terri

    For anyone who has watched a loved one slip away from dementia, old age, or illness, the autobiographical story "Diary of My Sixteenth Year" contained in this book will be both painfully familiar and oddly comforting. The other stories are also beautiful and haunting - I especially like the Money Road. The collection of short, short stories at the end are all challenging - their meaning isn't always clear, but they are beautiful and will stay with you for a long long time. For anyone who has watched a loved one slip away from dementia, old age, or illness, the autobiographical story "Diary of My Sixteenth Year" contained in this book will be both painfully familiar and oddly comforting. The other stories are also beautiful and haunting - I especially like the Money Road. The collection of short, short stories at the end are all challenging - their meaning isn't always clear, but they are beautiful and will stay with you for a long long time.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    The stories are hit or miss but the title story, "the dancing girl of izu" is a subtle yet powerful coming-of-age story of a young man experiencing young love. Usually these stories are cheese but this one was very good. The other stories were generally just okay to me with some of them feeling like diary entries. If you liked his "palm of the hand stories" you may end up liking some of the other material in this book. The stories are hit or miss but the title story, "the dancing girl of izu" is a subtle yet powerful coming-of-age story of a young man experiencing young love. Usually these stories are cheese but this one was very good. The other stories were generally just okay to me with some of them feeling like diary entries. If you liked his "palm of the hand stories" you may end up liking some of the other material in this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nilu

    4.5 Stars This collection of short stories can be described as semi autobiographical. If you read up on Kawabata's life leading up to the early 1920's you'd find that he has scattered pieces of himself throughout the book. The title tale will fill you with longing and melancholy nostalgia. The several stories of death and funerals will impart what the author was going through during the time of writing. He even hints at the eroding beauty of old Japan, which is on the course of hurtling towards devel 4.5 Stars This collection of short stories can be described as semi autobiographical. If you read up on Kawabata's life leading up to the early 1920's you'd find that he has scattered pieces of himself throughout the book. The title tale will fill you with longing and melancholy nostalgia. The several stories of death and funerals will impart what the author was going through during the time of writing. He even hints at the eroding beauty of old Japan, which is on the course of hurtling towards development. He is a master story teller and his work will make you weep for all the right reasons.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Polansky

    Several lovely stories about youth, yearning, love and disappointment, and a bunch of strange, short parables. I was gearing up to not like this because the Old Capital wasn't really my jam but I was happily disappointed. These were varied and excellent. Several lovely stories about youth, yearning, love and disappointment, and a bunch of strange, short parables. I was gearing up to not like this because the Old Capital wasn't really my jam but I was happily disappointed. These were varied and excellent.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Pontus Alexander

    Seidensticker’s translation (although abridged) for Kawabata’s short story is excellent and Kawabata’s style is beautiful and alluring (and it was easier to follow compared to Snow Country ). Yasushi Inoue’s stories surprised me in a good way. I had not heard of him before getting this book, but his stories were very well written and strangely captivating. The Counterfeiter was my favourite of the three.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tosh

    The most impressive narrative/short story is "The Dancing Girl of Izu." I never had a passion for Kawabata's work compared to someone like Osamu Dazai, but still, I admire his poetic ability with the narrative. The beauty of his work (as well as Dazai) is his ability to convey his life as a work of fiction. Reading these stories, one can just presume that this is memoir writing - yet, it's not. It's fiction. Dazai is a huge influence on my writing, with respect that one can use their life, and p The most impressive narrative/short story is "The Dancing Girl of Izu." I never had a passion for Kawabata's work compared to someone like Osamu Dazai, but still, I admire his poetic ability with the narrative. The beauty of his work (as well as Dazai) is his ability to convey his life as a work of fiction. Reading these stories, one can just presume that this is memoir writing - yet, it's not. It's fiction. Dazai is a huge influence on my writing, with respect that one can use their life, and put it into "Fiction." Kawabata does the same. Or does he? I would say yes. My other attraction to "The Dancing Girl of Izu" is that the island Izu Oshima is mentioned throughout that short story. Although nothing takes place there, the characters bring up that location, and it is a place that I'm going to shortly. I want to write about the island, so I'm just trying to do as much research as possible. Oh, and "Diary of my Sixteenth Year" is great, but very painful read - especially if one had to take care of family or a love one that is getting older or ill. It's pretty realistic in issues dealing with the aged.

  20. 4 out of 5

    mehran memarzadeh

    The Dancing Girl of Izu", (Japanese: 伊豆の踊り子, izu no odoriko) published in 1926, was the first work of literature by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata to achieve great popular and critical acclaim. The short story was first translated into English by Edward Seidensticker and published in an abridged form in The Atlantic Monthly in 1952. A complete English translation of the story was made by J. Martin Holman and appeared in a collection of Kawabata's early literature published as The Dancing Girl The Dancing Girl of Izu", (Japanese: 伊豆の踊り子, izu no odoriko) published in 1926, was the first work of literature by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata to achieve great popular and critical acclaim. The short story was first translated into English by Edward Seidensticker and published in an abridged form in The Atlantic Monthly in 1952. A complete English translation of the story was made by J. Martin Holman and appeared in a collection of Kawabata's early literature published as The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories. The story has been filmed several times in Japan, including one version starring Momoe Yamaguchi. Today, part of the story's name, odoriko ("dancing girl") is used as the name of express trains to the Izu area. Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Danc..."

  21. 5 out of 5

    Gertrude & Victoria

    This collection of short stories by Kawabata Yasunari demonstrates his meticulous attention to detail. The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories are an exquisite blend of artistry and imagination. The popular title story, set in a rustic landscape between sea, mountain and sky, The Dancing Girl of Izu is beautiful look into the world of a dancing troupe and their customs of work, rest and play. Kawabata, the first Japanese novelist to win the Nobel Prize is more like a sculptor than a painter, in This collection of short stories by Kawabata Yasunari demonstrates his meticulous attention to detail. The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories are an exquisite blend of artistry and imagination. The popular title story, set in a rustic landscape between sea, mountain and sky, The Dancing Girl of Izu is beautiful look into the world of a dancing troupe and their customs of work, rest and play. Kawabata, the first Japanese novelist to win the Nobel Prize is more like a sculptor than a painter, in that he takes away rather than adds. His style is ever so delicate, like the sakura that bloom in spring. His prose achieves a poetic elegance in a manner that maintains the intergrity of his traditions more than any other writer of his time and since. In this regard he is without peer in his native country of Japan.

  22. 4 out of 5

    P.H. Wilson

    Real rating: 7/10 A collection of short stories by the great Kawabata. Through these pages the reader meets the picturesque melancholy of being that is Kawabata's work, his rhythmic poetic flow cascades through out and offers to us the realisation that death, love, and sex all ride the same lines. They are pure states of being that leave us as the being we are. From the opening pages of the dancing girl we are brought into this world where the philosophical nature of being is brought to light. Th Real rating: 7/10 A collection of short stories by the great Kawabata. Through these pages the reader meets the picturesque melancholy of being that is Kawabata's work, his rhythmic poetic flow cascades through out and offers to us the realisation that death, love, and sex all ride the same lines. They are pure states of being that leave us as the being we are. From the opening pages of the dancing girl we are brought into this world where the philosophical nature of being is brought to light. This is a lovely semi-autobiographical tale from a man who dare not finish a story in case it burdens the piece with the inauthenticity of fiction.

  23. 5 out of 5

    P.H. Wilson

    Real rating: 9.8/10 This story may not be Kawabata's legacy or his great masterpiece, but it is Kawabata doing what he does best. The tale of a man uncertain with his life going to onsens. The writing and prose is an imagists dream and it flows with a simplistic structure that drives home the reality of all those involved in the tale. It is reality or as close to it as fiction can be before it drifts off into the doldrums of overly stylized journalism, that ironically bears only the faintest hint Real rating: 9.8/10 This story may not be Kawabata's legacy or his great masterpiece, but it is Kawabata doing what he does best. The tale of a man uncertain with his life going to onsens. The writing and prose is an imagists dream and it flows with a simplistic structure that drives home the reality of all those involved in the tale. It is reality or as close to it as fiction can be before it drifts off into the doldrums of overly stylized journalism, that ironically bears only the faintest hints of truth.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marcos

    The story of the interactions between a young Tokyo student and a small group of artists traveling from the nearby island of Oshima, whom he meets during a tour of the Izu Peninsula. The student sees the group several times and focuses on the beauty of the youngest dancer. He considers how to be on the same road as these traveling artists was exciting. Later, he finds them again at a teahouse, but upon hearing that they were leaving for the next city, he struggles with the thought of chasing the The story of the interactions between a young Tokyo student and a small group of artists traveling from the nearby island of Oshima, whom he meets during a tour of the Izu Peninsula. The student sees the group several times and focuses on the beauty of the youngest dancer. He considers how to be on the same road as these traveling artists was exciting. Later, he finds them again at a teahouse, but upon hearing that they were leaving for the next city, he struggles with the thought of chasing them. Sensitive and poetic.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mina

    This was a Christmas present from a friend, that is, I don't usually read this kind of books so I can't compare it to a better one. For me it was a five star. In a very close personal manner you get to know the simple, ordinary workings of a student, of an old wife, of an abandoned lover, of a young wife who lived in innocence, and a naive girl who never knew she'd been in love, of countless other people that you see through the narrator's mind's eye. This was a Christmas present from a friend, that is, I don't usually read this kind of books so I can't compare it to a better one. For me it was a five star. In a very close personal manner you get to know the simple, ordinary workings of a student, of an old wife, of an abandoned lover, of a young wife who lived in innocence, and a naive girl who never knew she'd been in love, of countless other people that you see through the narrator's mind's eye.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Unfortunately this did not resonate with me, I felt very indifferent about this collection of short stories. This is not a fault of the author however, as I am starting to quickly understand that I simply do not particularly enjoy reading short stories. I must say however, that despite this i did enjoy the first story, 'The Dancing Girl of Izu' and can appreciate the author's writing style and what he was trying to achieve with most of his written pieces. Unfortunately this did not resonate with me, I felt very indifferent about this collection of short stories. This is not a fault of the author however, as I am starting to quickly understand that I simply do not particularly enjoy reading short stories. I must say however, that despite this i did enjoy the first story, 'The Dancing Girl of Izu' and can appreciate the author's writing style and what he was trying to achieve with most of his written pieces.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    I only like a few of the "palm of the hand" stories that make up the second half of this book, but I still have to give the 4 stars because of how much I love the title story (The dancing girl of Izu), which I've read now maybe 4, 5, or 6 times in the last 25 years. One of my favorite short stories of all time for sure, and I would definitely give it 5 stars if it were published by itself. I only like a few of the "palm of the hand" stories that make up the second half of this book, but I still have to give the 4 stars because of how much I love the title story (The dancing girl of Izu), which I've read now maybe 4, 5, or 6 times in the last 25 years. One of my favorite short stories of all time for sure, and I would definitely give it 5 stars if it were published by itself.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Veronika KaoruSaionji

    The Dancing Girl of Izu is beautiful story about tender and pure love young boy for young girl. It is so cute! I does not like heterosexual romance, but I very like it. The other stories are similar nice. This and Sound of the mountain is my favourite by Kawabata.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Motorcycle

    I read some of these stories, including The Dancing Girl of Izu to my students. I like Kawabata, but find his style of confessional autobiography a little unsettling some times. I was once like that.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Weina

    The titular story was timeless, subtle, and poignant, and the mythical stories were still charming and mysterious, although I couldn't say I understood all of them. The titular story was timeless, subtle, and poignant, and the mythical stories were still charming and mysterious, although I couldn't say I understood all of them.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.