The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

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University of California Press, 2005 - Fiction - 231 pages
19 Reviews
"Freedman and Richie bring to the non-Japanese reading public the chance to read a heretofore untranslated work by Nobel-prizewinner Yasunari Kawabata, one of Japan's most famous modern authors. The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa is a revealing recreation of the rough and racy atmosphere of Tokyo called Asakusa during the late 1920s and early 30s, and it is quite different from notions of aestheticized Japan often associated with Kawabata's other work. The translator is to be commended for turning an idiosyncratic and difficult text into compelling English."--Liza Dalby, author of Geisha

"Kawabata is an important writer in world literature, best known for delicate, sometimes other-worldly novels like Snow Country. The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa shows another side of the writer, which is experimental and most definitely of this world. Nevertheless, one can see aspects of the novelist--especially his relationship to women and their (in his eyes) short-lived physical beauty--which would be developed and refined in his later work. The book also evokes aspects of urban Japan at the end of the 1920s better than anything else I have read. Donald Richie's introduction is a great asset to the book."--Theodore W. Goossen, editor of The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories

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Review: The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

User Review  - Carly - Goodreads

Despite the fact this book is less than 200 pages long, it was an effort to get through it! What I enjoyed most was the vivid imagery of the district of Asakusa which Kawabata's writing evoked. He ... Read full review

Review: The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

User Review  - Serge Pierro - Goodreads

This early Kawabata novel is quite different from what he would produce later in his career, as this is his attempt at writing Modernism. At times it was interesting, and at others, a bit confusing. I ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1968. His 1937 novel Snow Country secured his position as one of Japan's leading authors. Alisa Freedman is a visiting assistant professor of Japanese literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Donald Richie--novelist, critic, essayist, travel writer, and former director of the Japanese cinema collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York--is author of The Films of Akira Kurosawa.

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