Summary Of Kawabata's Thousand Cranes

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In Thousand Cranes, Kawabata portrays the tragic degradation of the sanctimonious Japanese tea ceremony that parallels with the internal conflicts over tradition within post-World War II Japan. To properly depict the cultural decay, the author allows the characters to deviate from moral expectations. Even then, their actions realistically reflect human nature to the point where the audience resorts to sympathy and pity. Chikako Kurimoto, an embodiment of the struggle to preserve traditional Japanese culture, thrives in her moral ambiguity; the repercussions to her actions, essentially, determine future conflicts. Kawabata simultaneously delves into Chikako’s individual flaws and appeals to her humanity to reinforce the idea of how, similar to traditional Japanese culture, Chikako obstructs a clear vision of the future. Kawabata reveals Chikako’s multifaceted nature as he reveals how she deals with the aftermath of her affair with Kikuji’s father. Such a rejection allows resentment to fester. However, Kawabata does not polarize the situation. For instance, Kawabata mentions: “upon [Kikuji’s] father’s death, it came to him that [Chikako] had repressed the woman in her after that one brief, fleeting affair” (Kawabata 13). The rejection strips Chikako of her dignity considering the author implies that Kikuji’s father objectifies her; their relationship stems out of convenience. Evidently, Chikako acknowledges this aspect of their relationship and allows her pain to fuel her

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