Yasunari Kawabata's Thousand Cranes (1952) is another strange and profound novel that explores the depths of human feelings of love and longing. It is one of three works cited by the Nobel Prize committee in their citation for Kawabata as winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968 (the other two works were Snow Country and The Old Capital). There are several novels written by Kawabata where I find the behavior of the characters somewhat baffling and mysterious-dare i say inscrutable. It is clear that they have some obsession with another man or woman, but it isn't clear why exactly they have this obsession. Or perhaps, the reader is denied the inner thoughts that reveal these obsessions.More often than not, it is explored in an extramarital affair, which might not be surprising since marriages in that time were not always "love" marriages, but often arranged marriages or marriages that were practical in nature. In this novel, Kikujji has an affair with his father's mistress, Mrs. Ota, and falls for her daughter, Fumiko, while Chikako, who had a fleeting affair with her father intrudes and is a general busybody that needlessly complicates his life. Kikuji's actions are somewhat obscure-why does he feel compelled to sleep with his father's mistress? Why doesn't he banish Chikako from his life or refuse to meet her when she comes calling given that he find her somewhat repellent and meddlesome. Traditional tea ceremony plays a large role in that Kikuji's father was something of a connoisseur of the art and the action begins when Kikuji visits Chikako's tea ceremony and meets Mrs. Ota her daughter and a possible marriage prospect and this sets the story into action. There are other aspects of it that figure prominently in the story related to his father's personal collection and a piece that is given to Kikuji after Mrs. Ota's suicide. It is yet another artful and mysterious story of obsession and desire.