Kyoto (The Old Capital) by Yasunari Kawabata

September 26, 2008 — Leave a comment

Actually name of the book in Spanish is “Kioto,” but I can never get used to writing Kyoto with an “i” –  I don’t think I can write “Tokio” either, there’s just something odd for me…

Anyway, I bought this book on Monday… short one, “The Old Capital,” it’s called in English, from the original Japanese title “Koto,” referring to Kyoto which was Japan’s capital back in the day~ xD – I bought this book because I’m superficial and buy books by their covers. LOL’ ~ I had seen a bunch of books in the store, and read a bunch of synopsis, but eventually returned them to the rack… but not this one, because I liked the cover. xD

Written by writer from Osaka, 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 4 years later.

Kyoto (sorry, can’t type it with an “i”) is a book about nothing. There’s no BOOM by the end of the story, but yet it is a surprisingly good read. You know? Like one of those films that is about a little about 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.

When I first began reading, I had a picture in my mind of how Chieko looked like (you may have an idea of who)~~ But then, I decided to look it up online, and found out that there was a made-for-tv-movie done for this, and OH SADNESS! I was kinda disappointed with the choice of Chieko~ T_T

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’s 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.

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