Yasunari Kawabata Quotes

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All quotes by Yasunari Kawabata: Heart Moon Mountain more...
  • Because you cannot see him, God is everywhere.

    "Home Before Dark: A Personal Memoir of John Cheever by His Daughter". Book by Susan Cheever, 1985.
  • In the depths of the mirror the evening landscape moved by, the mirror and the reflected figures like motion pictures superimposed one on the other. The figures and the background were unrelated, and yet the figures, transparent and intangible, and the background, dim in the gathering darkness, melted into a sort of symbolic world not of this world. Particularly when a light out in the mountains shone in the center of the girl's face, Shimamura felt his chest rise at the inexpressible beauty of it.

    Girl   Mirrors   Light  
    "Snow Country". Book by Yasunari Kawabata, 1948.
  • But a haiku by Buson came into his mind: 'I try to forget this senile love; a chilly autumn shower.' The gloom only grew denser.

    Autumn   Mind   Trying  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “The Sound of the Mountain”, p.210, Vintage
  • Maybe vagueness has been good for me. The word means two different things in Tokyo and Osaka, you know. In Tokyo it means stupidity, but in Osaka they talk about vagueness in a painting and in a game of Go.

    Mean   Games   Two  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2015). “The Master of Go”, p.87, Random House
  • They were words that came out of nothing, but they seemed to him somehow significant. He muttered them over again.

    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “The Sound of the Mountain”, p.79, Vintage
  • The winter moon becomes a companion, the heart of the priest, sunk in meditation upon religion and philosophy, there in the mountain hall, is engaged in a delicate interplay and exchange with the moon; and it is this of which the poet sings.

    "Japan, the Beautiful and Myself". Yasunari Kawabata's Nobel Lecture, www.nobelprize.org. December 12, 1968.
  • A poetess who had died young of cancer had said in one of her poems that for her, on sleepless nights, 'the night offers toads and black dogs and corpses of the drowned.

    Dog   Cancer   Night  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2017). “House of the Sleeping Beauties and Other Stories”, p.12, Vintage
  • But, drawn to her at that moment, he felt a quiet like the voice of the rain flow over him. He knew well enough that for her it was in fact no waste of effort, but somehow the final determination that it was had the effect of distilling and purifying the woman's existence.

    Yasunari Kawabata, Rudyard Kipling, Sinclair Lewis (1971). “Nobel Prize Library”
  • Seeing the moon, he becomes the moon, the moon seen by him becomes him. He sinks into nature, becomes one with nature. The light of the "clear heart" of the priest, seated in the meditation hall in the darkness before the dawn, becomes for the dawn moon its own light.

    Heart   Moon   Light  
    "Japan, the Beautiful and Myself". Yasunari Kawabata's Nobel Lecture, www.nobelprize.org. December 12, 1968.
  • I suppose even a woman's hatred is a kind of love.

    Yasunari Kawabata (1996). “Beauty and Sadness”, Vintage Books
  • The labor into which a heart has poured its whole love--where will it have its say, to excite and inspire, and when?

    Heart   Inspire   Labor  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Snow Country”, p.157, Vintage
  • And I can't complain. After all, only women are able really to love.

    "Snow Country".
  • The road was frozen. The village lay quiet under the cold sky. Komako hitched up the skirt of her kimono and tucked it into her obi. The moon shone like a blade frozen in blue ice.

    Moon   Blue   Ice  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Snow Country”, p.77, Vintage
  • A child walked by, rolling a metal hoop that made a sound of autumn.

    Children   Autumn   Sound  
  • THE TRAIN came out of the long tunnel into the snow country.

    Country   Tunnels   Long  
    Yasunari Kawabata (1969). “Snow Country and Thousand Cranes”
  • I wonder what the retirement age is in the novel business. The day you die.

    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Beauty and Sadness”, p.114, Vintage
  • Our language is primarily for expressing human goodness and beauty.

  • The woman was silent, her eyes on the floor. Shimamura had come to a point where he knew he was only parading his masculine shamelessness, and yet it seemed likely enough that the woman was familiar with the failing and need not be shocked by it. He looked at her. Perhaps it was the rich lashes of the downcast eyes that made her face seem warm and sensuous. She shook her head very slightly, and again a faint blush spread over her face.

    Eye   Needs   Faces  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Snow Country”, p.21, Vintage
  • The true joy of a moonlit night is something we no longer understand. Only the men of old, when there were no lights, could understand the true joy of a moonlit night.

    Night   Men   Light  
  • A secret, if it's kept, can be sweet and comforting, but once it leaks out it can turn on you with a vengeance.

  • Does pain go away and leave no trace, then?’ ‘You sometimes even feel sentimental for it.

    Pain   Going Away   Doe  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Thousand Cranes”, p.31, Vintage
  • The snow on the distant mountains was soft and creamy, as if veiled in a faint smoke.

    Snow   Mountain   Ifs  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Snow Country”, p.66, Vintage
  • Put your soul in the palm of my hand for me to look at, like a crystal jewel. I'll sketch it in words.

    Hands   Jewels   Soul  
  • Lunatics have no age. If we were crazy, you and I, we might be a great deal younger.

    Crazy   Age   Might  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “The Sound of the Mountain”, p.111, Vintage
  • From the way of Go the beauty of Japan and the Orient had fled. Everything had become science and regulation.

    Japan   Regulation   Way  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2015). “The Master of Go”, p.57, Random House
  • Now, even more than the evening before, he could think of no one with whom to compare her. She had become absolute, beyond comparison. She had become decision and fate.

    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Thousand Cranes”, p.145, Vintage
  • People have separated from each other with walls of concrete that blocked the roads to connection and love. and Nature has been defeated in the name of development.

    Wall   Names   People  
  • Along the coast the sea roars, and inland the mountains roar – the roaring at the center, like a distant clap of thunder.

    Sea   Mountain   Roaring  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Snow Country”, p.159, Vintage
  • The sound of the freezing of snow over the land seemed to roar deep into the earth. There was no moon. The stars, almost too many of them to be true, came forward so brightly that it was as if they were falling with the swiftness of the void. As the stars came nearer, the sky retreated deeper and deeper into the night color. The layers of the Border Range, indistinguishable one from another, cast their heaviness at the skirt of the starry sky in a blackness grave and somber enough to communicate their mass. The whole of the night scene came together in a clear, tranquil harmony.

    Stars   Fall   Moon  
    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “Snow Country”, p.44, Vintage
  • It's remarkable how we go on year after year, doing the same old things. We get tired and bored, and ask when they'll come for us

    Yasunari Kawabata (2013). “The Sound of the Mountain”, p.138, Vintage
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    Yasunari Kawabata quotes about: Heart Moon Mountain