Snow Country


Edward Seidensticker, noted scholar of Japanese literature whose English translation of the novel was published in 1957, described the work as "perhaps Kawabata's masterpiece." According to him, the novel reminds of haiku, both for its many delicate contrapuntal touches and its use of brief scenes to tell a larger story.

As Shimamura begins to understand his place in the universe, the idea of mono no aware is also quite apparent.

Nobel Prize

Snow Country is one of the three novels cited by the Nobel Committee in awarding Yasunari Kawabata the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the other two works being The Old Capital and Thousand Cranes.


Another Japanese novel, also titled Snow Country but spelled in katakana as opposed to the original kanji, references this work. In the homage to the original, a Japanese student undertakes translating a book from English into Japanese for summer homework. The student does not realize he is in fact translating a translation of the original work.

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