Yasunari Kawabata

11 Jun 1899 // 16 Apr 1972

Funeral Inspiration

Funerals often inspired me to consider the lives and the deaths of people who were close to me. And, in the repose of contemplation, my heart grew still. The more distant my connection with the deceased, the more I felt moved to go to the cemetery, accompanied by my own memories, to burn incense and press my palms together in devotion to those memories. So it was that as a youth, my decorous behavior at the funerals of strangers was never feigned; rather, it was a manifestation of the capacity of sadness I had within myself.

Yasunari Kawabata, in 'The Dancing Girl of Izu and Other Stories'


On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."