Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972)

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Written by Nurel Javissyarqi
Translated by Agus B. Harianto

Yasunari Kawabata was born in Osaka June 14, 1899, died in Kamakura, April, 16, 1972. Japanese novelist who through his prose of lyric won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968. Became orphans at two years old, and then lived with his grandparents. His grandmother died when he was 7 years old, his sister was only once met after the death of his parents, and his sister died when Kawabata at 10 years old, and his grandfather too, when he was 15 years old. He moved to his mother’s family. In January 1916, he went to a boarding school, junior high school level, which made him to back and forth go by the train. After graduated in 1917, he went to Tokyo and hoped that he could enter examinations of Dai-ichi Koto-gakko’, the university under the Imperial University of Tokyo. And he successfully graduated at the same year, and then he entered to the Faculty of English Literature. He graduated from High school in July, 1920, and started to get knowledge in the Imperial University of Tokyo, beside wrote as a journalist for Mainichi Shimbun in Osaka and Tokyo. He refused the military spirit that covered The World War II. He was also not impressed to political reforms after the war. Kawabata committed suicide in 1972, poisoned his body with the gas. Many theories told the cause of it, his health deteriorated, and he had dark romance, also he shocked to Yukio Mishima committed suicide in 1970. Unlike Mishima, he did not leave a note, so his motive was not clear.
He published short stories Shokonsai Ikkei, the masterpiece that until now famously known in its literary value. When in college, he shifted to majors Japanese Literature, his thesis entitle “A Brief History of Japanese novels,” passed in March, 1924. October, 1924, with Kataoka Teppei, Yokomitsu Riichi and a number of young writers, he started literary journal Bungei Jidai. It was the first reaction after a long school of thought of Japanese literature, especially Naturalism, and at the same time contradictory with labor literature of Socialist. This is the movement of art for art, which was influenced by European Cubism, Expressionism, Dada and the modernist style. Shinkankaku-ha was often mistakenly interpreted as Neo-Impressionism. This term was used by Kawabata for his philosophy, his movements focused to give the new impression in the writing of literature. (Okubo Takaki [2004]-Utsukushi Yasunari Kawabata Nihon no Watashi. Minerva Shobo).
He got acknowledgement on a number of his short stories no longer after he graduated, and he was famous known with the dancer girl Izu at 1926, a story of exploring the eroticism of growing youth. Then the days explored similar themes. One of his famous novels is Snow Land, published piece by piece at 1935-1937. He was one of great Japanese authors and in at once to be classic, who described by Edward G. Seidensticker “it is the masterpiece of Kawabata.”
After The World War II his success novels Seribu Burung Bangau (Thousand Stork), Suara Gunung (Voice of Mountain), Rumah Gadis-Gadis Penidur (House of Sleeper Girls), Kecantikan dan Kesedihan (Beauty and Sadness), also Ibukota Lama (The Old Capital). What deemed as the best, Empu Go (Master Go 1951), in contrast to his other works, it’s half-fiction of game Go at 1938, which reported by Mainichi newspaper. Final story of career of masters Sh?sai, the young challenger defeated him, and he died about a year later. The surface of story is touching, as a retelling of the top struggling, and by some readers, it is considered as parallel symbolic of the defeating of the Japanese in The World War II.
He was the president of P.E.N. in Japan for many years after the war and as the power of motivator behind the Japanese literary translation in English and other Western languages. (Summary from; http://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasunari_Kawabata).
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After the last session, I had recovered the selfhood of Yukio Mishima, now I try to browse the subject’s suicide of Yasunari Kawabata. From his history, it could be taken two cases, which pushed him to finish himself.

Firstly, his shock on the death of Mishima, whom was much younger in the world of Japan literature, whom was also sensational, as when he got the Nobel Prize in literature.

Secondly, he consumed by his own poison that considered as the best, by his novel, Master Go 1951.
***

Like the body speaks to the spirit of the text that has not created yet, keeps wandering, do not stay cause symptoms of fever, pressure requires maturity.

Uninterruptedly dialogue on a stage and does not care about the crowd, be passionate entering into the dialogues, which sometimes do not always confront to the body of imagination.

There is the magnetic stretching, which mutually caught and tackled each others, or the text speaks to each other, exhausting inner conversation, continue to be done.

As if without a breath of resting, always there is no agreement unless it has been severed, when the text was created through the process of bleeding.

I imagine, the birth of the baby concerned with sincerity, from all longing to the shadows of maturity, fingers plucking the fruits of fate, also the seed fell, almost precisely with the rolling of text from the body.

When one by one was falling, the seeds were sailed by river or ocean waves, the separation from the fruit or the sheath of flowers, those refreshed the certain side.

Obviously still bitter, but here’s the time approached recovery, the others freshness was a speck of joy, rise the sun of hope.

Here, the night or the laziness no longer covered by aimed places, the seeds continued to sail spread the word to the plains.

Business lasted rooted on conviction from the light of existence, by the sun promises the growth that comes from forgetfulness.
There are strange, when the body of the text so towering, but keep believing what imagined by the faith.

The presence of the past lifted up by the testimony of wind, sent the news of far away country, continued to brood in the consciousness of destiny.

When Kawabata rewrote the fate of Master Sh? Sai, in his book Master Go, the proximity of the text and the body promised big dreams into reality.

And the Japanese was lost in World War II, the defeated of master Sh? Sai, which might be another dark figure of him, at least once explored his life.

And he was in mental deterioration, when he got a literary prize. Here, I quoted the introduction by Ajip Rosidi, Osaka, February 1985, published by Djembatan 2004, in the book Japanese dancers, translated by Kunio Matsuoka:

“He Just received the Nobel Prize when he had not written a new creative work for a long time. His last work before the prize was awarded to him was Kata-ude (the other hand), which he wrote in 1963. According to some people, aridity of his creation was the caused of Kawabata committed suicide by gas inhalation in 1972.”

It explained that how the mental of Kawabata did not pursuing fame, much less riches, instead. But there were obligated in him, followed, after long time he fought firmly, to be creative such as solid blackened.

The glories of the name were only the effect of eternal glory, by the spirit of life had embed the values, the breaths could bring more than shocks.

Which are the expected whole changes, a motion of mental revolution for mankind.

He felt defeated by dully that more expand in a deadlock, as if didn’t achieve the greatness again.

Except, took it back by eliminating his own body, no records are imperfection itself, a distinction from the end of the Mishima as the Japanese tradition as well.

Nature approaches the death, was an area that he always run with it everyday, no strange spaces in the depths of his soul, all were real and tragic.

The smell of death was more than friendly, the room to reveal the references of parts of the world. He didn’t afraid to the death, but the disappearance of big ideas from the whole of his life.

There are at least apprehensions to Mishima’s prestige that towering so bright, anxiety continued eating him, as the seconds of extinguished of a candle replaced by bright lights.

All readings were gone, when he read himself in black, or glare view that blinded.

Kawabata was always felt pain of failure, destruction of worrying to die not as a knight. Here, was the fought of principle manly.

The author’s mental was clear is a set of values of hardiness, of the struggle between the reality with the shadows of history, and whom signed on the beginning.

Always boil, once really fear, then the sense of manhood in creation of masterpieces is already sold out.

Continue to undermine until paralyzed and unable to speak the words, beside humming and snoring of defeat, his dream just completed in the chatter, unable to stir the depths of time.

Kawabata had the principle, after finished himself in the poisonous gas, he could subdue all his anxiety.

Instead of his works, no longer touch the human inner that rolling fast, back and forth equally with the wind in the waterwheel of time.

It has become commonplace, mental keeps to be heated in the stove of burning reference, not just the flame that actually spent the days without the promise of the moon.

Here, the forging spirit visited the soul, constantly rejuvenates the self, what is to be as strong to his destiny.

Seeds grow up, feared nothing but useless, because the time is the solid collection of meaning, when affordable playing sense, sharpens the senses to the proper angle.

Bud of winds of light should be reached with the perfect grace, and the darkness of night makes the body to be intact, reflects the stars of treasury.

Like the banana tree, after produced the fruit it must be cut, rather than decay, so Kawabata ended his own life.

http://www.sastra-indonesia.com/2010/02/yasunari-kawabata-1899-1972/

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