(1899-1972). Novelist. One of only two Japanese to be awarded the Nobel Prize in literature (Kawabata received the award in 1968; Kenzaburo Oe in 1994). Born in Osaka, he was orphaned at an early age. He soon lost his only sister and later lost the grandmother with whom he lived. Many of his works offer meditations on hopeless love and death. Famous works include Yukiguni (Snow Country), Senbazuru (Thousand Cranes), and Yama no oto (The Sound of the Mountain). Kawabata died on April 16, 1972, apparently by suicide. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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