The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa by Yasunari KawabataThe Scarlet Gang of Asakusa by Yasunari Kawabata

The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa

byYasunari KawabataTranslated byAlisa FreedmanForeword byDonald Richie

Paperback | April 18, 2005

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In the 1920s, Asakusa was to Tokyo what Montmartre had been to 1890s Paris and Times Square was to be to 1940s New York. Available in English for the first time, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, by Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata, captures the decadent allure of this entertainment district, where beggars and teenage prostitutes mixed with revue dancers and famous authors. Originally serialized in a Tokyo daily newspaper in 1929 and 1930, this vibrant novel uses unorthodox, kinetic literary techniques to reflect the raw energy of Asakusa, seen through the eyes of a wandering narrator and the cast of mostly female juvenile delinquents who show him their way of life. Markedly different from Kawabata's later work, The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa shows this important writer in a new light. The annotated edition of this little-known literary gem includes the original illustrations by Ota Saburo. The annotations illuminate Tokyo society and Japanese literature, bringing this fascinating piece of Japanese modernism at last to a wide audience.
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,...
Title:The Scarlet Gang of AsakusaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:279 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.65 inPublished:April 18, 2005Publisher:University of California PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0520241827

ISBN - 13:9780520241824

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Table of Contents

Foreword—Donald Richie
Translator’s Preface

The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa (Asakusa kurenaidan), 1929–1930

Afterword—Donald Richie
Selected Bibliography
Illustration Credits

Editorial Reviews

"The book 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."