Death and sadness are words that seem to go together in a lot of Japanese literature and nobody, it seems, is better at it than Kawabata. He draws his characters as deftly as the the porcelain and china that is used for the tea ceremony itself.His minimalistic style suits his subject and his characters. Which doesn't mean his characters aren't complicated. They show an amazing depth for such a short book. It's his lack of complex plots and numerous characters that can be refreshing especially after reading some European or North American literature. This is a great glimpse into both the Japanese culture and writing.