Shimamura is tired of the bustling city. He takes the train through the snow to the mountains of the west coast of Japan, to meet with a geisha he ...Show synopsisShimamura is tired of the bustling city. He takes the train through the snow to the mountains of the west coast of Japan, to meet with a geisha he believes he loves. Beautiful and innocent, Komako is tightly bound by the rules of a rural geisha, and lives a life of servitude and seclusion that is alien to Shimamura, and their love offers no freedom to either of them. "Snow Country" is both delicate and subtle, reflecting in Kawabata's exact, lyrical writing the unspoken love and the understated passion of the young Japanese couple.Hide synopsis
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Story is ?old fashioned? to Western eyes, in that it is a love story about a (then)?modern? man and a geisha. My background in Asian studies doesn?t go deeply enough to know if this relationship would be possible nowadays in Japan, but I doubt it.
Still, the story is tender and vividly describes the lives of the people of the time. The man is the problem in this story ... a self-centered, somewhat shallow person who has enough money to do what he wants, but doesn?t really know what he wants.
The geisha figure is intelligent and unfortunate in her birth circumstances, and, in Japanese society (probably even now), doomed to her position vis-a-vis men.
Worth reading for its insights into a very different culture and time.
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