Overcoming the Modern

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246). A love affair between rich Tokyo dilettante, Shimamura, and a young geisha, Komako, is the main story of the novel. However, cultural symbolism interwoven in the plot of the story makes it look like a Japanese puzzle. It is both interesting to read and complex to understand all the meanings of writer’s cultural riddles. One has to be well aware of Japanese cultural nuances to accept Kawabata’s book as easy reading of a love story. Romantic relationship is not the main idea the writer wants to express. There are much more issues of cultural identity which are raised in this literary work.
To understand and appreciate Kawabata’s “Yukiguni” a reader has to be competent in Japanese culture and literature enough. Also difference in mentality and perceptions of Japanese and Western culture might influence on understanding Kawabata’s work. There is no wonder in different interpretations of the main messages’ meaning, because Kawabata’ “characters are determined by forces so completely beyond their control that these characters typically appear to the Western reader almost pathologically passive and irresolute” (Pollack, 102). At the same time, however, life and human relationships in different cultures are much alike. There is no wonder that a non-Japanese reader will associate himself/herself with Shimamura or Komato.
Furthermore, most of Kawabata’s works are claimed to be plotless. Reading “Snow Country” requires some meditation and contemplation. Otherwise, the reader might lose not only interest, but complete understanding of the essence of this book. Having enough knowledge about Japan and its culture, one has to be able to read between the lines to understand Japaneseness of Kawabata’s novel. According to Pollack, Japanese writer’s work is based on Tanabata legend (misfortunate astral lover who are