‘The Sound of the Mountain’: Yasunari Kawabata’s slow-burning meditation on getting older


By Louise George Kittaka

The first Japanese winner of the Nobel Prize in literature in 1968, Yasunari Kawabata, deals with the gradual decline that comes with aging in “The Sound of the Mountain.”

Family patriarch Shingo Ogata, a businessman nearing retirement, lives with his wife, son and daughter-in-law in Kamakura. Shingo has an affinity for the natural world, which serves as a metaphor for his feelings and reactions to events around him.

He is forced to ponder his own past performance as husband and father when both the marriages of his adult children run into trouble: Daughter Fusako leaves her husband, arriving home with her two small daughters, while her brother, Shuichi, neglects his own wife, Kikuyo, and brazenly carries on an affair. Read more

Source: The Japan Times

Advertisements