I had planned to read Yasunari Kawabata's novel, The Old Capital (1962) while I was visiting Kyoto last month, but I ended up reading it after. As I suspected the novel was infused with the special atmosphere of Japan's former ancient capital. The story, of an abandoned girl who later meets her twin from whom she was separated at birth, is a very simple story. However, it is embroidered into a story of the culture and arts of Kyoto. The family she is raised by weave fabric for kimonos. The characters are keenly aware of the seasons and the flowers and trees that reflect the changing of the seasons. In addition, the many festivals and temples and shrines are almost like characters in the story since they punctuate the story with their specificity and add to the overall ambience of the special city in which the story takes place-it is one of my favorite Kawabata novels I've read to date.