The Old Capital (translated English title of the Japanese Koto 古都, which refers to the city Kyoto 京都) is a novel by Yasunari Kawabata originally published in 1962. It was first translated into English in 1987 by J. Martin Holman. Holman's newly-revised edition of his translation was published in February 2006 by Shoemaker and Hoard Press. Although Kawabata considered it his abnormal product, it shares the same themes carried from his other novels.The Old Capital was one of only three novels cited by the Nobel Committee in awarding the 1968 Prize for Literature to Kawabata. The other two were Snow Country and Thousand Cranes.
Chieko Sada is the daughter of Takichiro and Shige, who operate a kimono wholesale business in Kyoto. Now twenty, Chieko has known for years that she was a foundling adopted by Takichiro and Shige. Soon after a chance encounter at Yasaka Shrine, Chieko learns of a twin sister Naeko, who had remained in her home village in Kitayama working in the mountain forests north of the city. The identical looks of Chieko and Naeko confuse Hideo, a traditional weaver, who is a potential suitor of Chieko. The novel, one of the last that Kawabata completed before his death, examines themes common to much of his literature-the gulf between the sexes and the anxiety its recognition brings. It also addresses other themes, such as yearning for a pure, virginal ideal, the linking of nature and man, setting and character--notions for which The Old Capital offers even deeper resonance as it acknowledges and explores the necessarily ironic and often seductive relationship between innovation and tradition among the post-War artists of the old capital city of Kyoto as they confront disorienting changes in society and taste that they deplore even as they feel their attraction.
The novel was adapted in 1963 into a Japanese feature film known in English under the title Twin Sisters of Kyoto. Directed by Noboru Nakamura, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. A second film adaptation was made in 1980 by director Kon Ichikawa. The movie the was last in which actress Momoe Yamaguchi appeared before she retired to marry her co-star, Tomokazu Miura.
Malta & tea tradition: Part II: as a concluding segment to our series on tea in Malta, Georgina Gordon-Ham visits La Fontanella in Mdina (the old capital) and Palazzo Naxxar, a stately home open to the public with its recently created afternoon teas.(Malta)
Sep 01, 2008; [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Our next visit was to Mdina where coffees and teas are served before fabulous views from the open-air...