Javeiya Cognetta March 11, 2013 Thousand Cranes Reflection
I came to find Kawabata's Thousand Cranes to be ultimately an explanation and reach for awareness about the modernization in Japanese culture. I came to this understanding of Kawabata’s book by a variety of interactive orals and things including Japanese aesthetics and Yasunari Kawabata’s noble prize speech
Aesthetics are the philosophy or view of one culture that revolves around are; usually this differentiates from culture to culture. Reading and talking about Japanese aesthetics in class helped me come to my understanding of A Thousand Cranes because it broke down the meaning and tradition of a tea ceremony. In A Thousand Cranes, there is an "A Note on the Tea Ceremony, the Backdrop for This Novel," which basically just explains the history and importance of tea ceremonies in Japanese culture. In Japanese aesthetics it says “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage.” This means that tea ceremonies once was important and essential to Japanese tradition but over time it turned into just another forgotten custom. This develops my understanding of A Thousand Cranes because in A Thousand Cranes, the protagonist Kikuji isn’t fond of attending tea ceremonies. So with this evidence and Japanese Aesthetics, I can see that A Thousand Cranes was trying to tell the audience about modernization in Japanese culture.
In class we talked about how Yasunari Kawabata won the Noble Prize in 1968. In his victory speech he gives a clear explanation of his purpose for writing A Thousand Cranes. In his speech he says “I may say in passing, that to see my novel A Thousand Cranes as an evocation of the formal and spiritual beauty of the tea ceremony is a misreading. It is a negative work, and expression of doubt about and warning against the vulgarity into which the tea ceremony fallen.” This was the spark to my understanding...
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