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Yasunari Kawabata is often seen in the West as one of the quintessential modern Japanese writers. His most famous novels are filled with tea ceremonies and geisha and his prose is a consummate example of mono no aware, the Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in the transience of things.

It is little wonder that Kawabata’s ability to express “the essence of the Japanese mind” was cited when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1968.

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