Yasunari Kawabata – The Old Capital (Kioto)

Original Title: 京都
Author: Yasunari Kawabata
Genre: Drama

Written by Yasunari Kawabata, who won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968 (First Japanese, and only?). In fact, this was one of the books mentioned (but I didn’t know this). Sadly, he killed himself four years later.

Kyoto (sorry, can’t type it with an “i” — damn these Spanish titles) is a book about nothing. There’s no BOOM by the end of the story, yet it is a surprisingly good read. You know? Like one of those films that is about a little bit of everything but nothing at all? Just like that. But just so you know exactly, the back of the book says it’s about a 20-year-old girl named Chieko in Post-War Kyoto, daughter of a Kimono maker, who discovers she was an abandoned child, despite her “parents’” story. Then one day, she discovers something while attending one of the many festivities in the city.

Though the Spanish translation seems good enough, it does lose some UMPH. And it makes me wonder how it would look with the use of Japanese honorifics. I mean, they already used words such as geisha, and maiko, so why not keep the honorifics too? I think it would’ve been a better read.

The book gets very nostalgic at points, there are also some funny moments here and there, and there are parts that I don’t think I really got, which requires me to read it again. xD All in all, this book is a keeper, and I want to check out other books by Kawabata.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Get it on Amazon: The Old Capital | Kioto (Spanish Edition)


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

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