Beauty and Sadness (novel)

Beauty and Sadness (Japanese: 美しさと哀しみと Utsukushisa to kanashimi to) is a 1964 novel by Japanese author Yasunari Kawabata.

Beauty and Sadness
AuthorYasunari Kawabata
Original title美しさと哀しみと
Utsukushisa to kanashimi to
Media typePrint (paperback)

Plot synopsisEdit

Opening on the train to Kyoto, the narrative, in characteristic Kawabata fashion, subtly brings up issues of tradition and modernity as it explores writer Oki Toshio's reunion with a young lover from his past, Otoko Ueno, who is now a famous artist and recluse. Ueno is now living with her protégée and a jealous lover, Keiko Sakami, and the unfolding relationships between Oki, Otoko, and Keiko form the plot of the novel. Keiko states several times that she will avenge Otoko for Oki's abandonment, and the story coalesces into a climactic ending.[1]

Film adaptationEdit

The novel was made into films by Masahiro Shinoda (Utsukushisa to kanashimi to, released 1965) and by Joy Fleury, starring Charlotte Rampling (Tristesse et beauté, released 1985).


  1. ^ Kawabata, Yasunari (2011). Beauty and Sadness. London: Penguin Modern Classics. ISBN 978-0-141-19261-1.