Looking at Echigo Yuzawa from Kawabata Yasunari's novel "Snow Country"

"Japan's first Nobel Prize winner - Kawabata Yasunari"

Niigata's "Echigo Yuzawa" is the background stage in the work "Snow Country" by the famous literary novelist Kawabata Yasunari!
Kawabata Yasunari, a novelist, was born in 1899. He graduated from the Japanese Department of Tokyo Imperial University. He had the dream of becoming a writer since he was a child. He became the first person to win the Nobel Prize for his books "Thousand Feathered Cranes", "Ancient Capital" and "Snow Country". The Japanese who won the literary award had huge influence and status, leading the Japanese literary world, both at that time and in modern times.

He has many well-known works such as "Izu Dancer", "Ancient Capital", "Snow Country"... Well-known works, many "Kawabata fans" will travel around Japan with his novels, such as when they come to Yuzawa, they can see In the book, "Signal Station (Doai Station)", "Prefecture boundary (Gunma Minakami Station to Echigo Yuzawa Station)", "Hot Springs Village (Komako no Yu...)", "Mr. Kawabata Yasunari came here to collect The hotel where I stayed (Takahan Hotel)...".

Kawabata Yasunari hand-drawn by the editor

"Snow Country" began to be serialized in publications in 1934. The most familiar one is the first sentence in the novel, which is also a golden sentence: "After passing through the long tunnel in the county, we are in Snow Country. Under the night sky, there is a vast white sky, and the train is in Stopped in front of the signal station" "Snow Country"

The first page of the Snow Country novel

Echigo-Yuzawa is a town that has relied on snow for a long time. Regardless of whether you drive or take a bus, you will pass through a long tunnel before entering Yuzawa. Therefore, when you arrive and exit the tunnel during the day, you will see the entire white sky. If you take JR, the stop before "Echigo-Yuzawa Station" is "Kami" "Mao Plateau", if you ride in the winter, you will clearly feel the scenery changes between snow country and non-snow country!

In Kawabata Yasunari's novel, the story of encountering a woman in the snow country...

"The sound of wood planing came from a snowboard factory seven or eight houses away. Under the eaves on the other side, five or six geishas were standing and chatting. That woman might also be standing there. It wasn't until this morning that the girl from the inn The waiter found out that her stage name is Juzi."

-"Snow Country"

Snow country doll

In the dialogue between Komako and Shimamura in the book, you will see a lot of dialogue about "ski resorts". Many of Komako's patrons are people who come to ski. It also talks about the existence of a snowboard factory and the use of wood to make snowboards. In that era, this land of snow was famous, and skiing was regarded as a leisure sport, just like their daily life!

Bird chasing season in Echigo Yuzawa

"February 14th is the Bird Hunting Festival. This is a festival held every year by children in the Snow Country. Ten days ago, the children in the village put on straw sandals to trample the snow firmly, and then cut it into pieces about two feet square. On the evening of the 14th, the straw ropes from every household were collected and burned in front of the hall."

-"Snow Country"

The "Bird Hunting Season" is a festival that is rarely seen in other areas of Japan. Is the "Harvest Festival" unique to Yuzawa Town in Niigata? ! To pray for a good harvest this year, people here tie straw into a cloak and wear it around the campfire with someone playing drums as a ceremony~

Echigo Yuzawa, written in the book "Snow Country", is so realistic yet poignant. Shimamura in the novel comes to Snow Country in winter, autumn, and spring respectively. The book is not only about the beauty of encountering love, but also the beauty of love. Wrote about the beauty of Echigo Yuzawa.

When Kawabata Yasunari wrote this book, he had been to Yuzawa at least 4-5 times, and the hotel he stayed at every time was the "Takahan Ryokan". The "Takahan Ryokan" now also retains the room where Kawabata Yasunari lived in the past. , was converted into a museum of literature and history, which contains many manuscripts and footprints of Kawabata Yasunari. It is worth visiting on days when you are not skiing~

Come with me to Echigo-Yuzawa for vacation with the book "Snow Country"!

Different versions of Snow Country novels

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