The tale of genji essay

In the Meiji era ( 1868 - 1912 ) unification of the written and spoken language was advocated, and Futabatei Shimei 's Ukigumo (Drifting Clouds) [ 1887 ] won acclaim as a new form of novel. In poetry circles the influence of translated foreign poems led to a "new style" poetry movement, and the scope of literary forms continued to widen. Novelists Mori Ogai and Natsume Soseki studied in Germany and Britain, respectively, and their works reflect the influence of the literature of those countries. Soseki nurtured many talented literary figures. One of them, Akutagawa Ryunosuke, wrote many superb novelettes based on his detailed knowledge of the Japanese classics. His suicide in 1927 was seen as a symbol of the agony Japan was experiencing in the process of rapid modernization, a major theme of modern Japanese literature.

The modern distinction between history and fiction did not exist at this time and the grossest improbabilities pervade many historical accounts found in the early modern print market. William Caxton 's 1485 edition of Thomas Malory 's Le Morte d'Arthur (1471) was sold as a true history, though the story unfolded in a series of magical incidents and historical improbabilities. Sir John Mandeville 's Voyages , written in the 14th century, but circulated in printed editions throughout the 18th century, [25] was filled with natural wonders, which were accepted as fact, like the one-footed Ethiopians who use their extremity as an umbrella against the desert sun. Both works eventually came to be viewed as works of fiction.

The anti-feminine tendencies of Buddhism redefined the role of women and continually progressed and regressed over a period of thirteen hundred years. There is an evident change of femininity and matriarchy at the dawn of Japanese civilization to the restricted and submissive women of the Tokugawa era that was “devoid of legal rights,” by the birth of modern Japan xxxvi . This change can be attributed to the arrival of Buddhism in 552, creating a paradox with the native Shintoism. The two religions were harmonious in practice yet created a contradictory and confusing role for the women of ancient Japan. The Heian women themselves were a contradiction; in their confinement they found liberation in writing which would be a dynamic contribution to Japanese culture , and their legacy. The status of women in ancient Japan was interrupted, due to the chauvinistic foundation that Buddhism conveyed. Joy Paulson confirms, “…their status was defined by custom.” xxxvii

The Ho-o-do (Phoenix Hall, completed 1053) of the Byodoin, a temple in Uji to the southeast of Kyoto , is the exemplar of Fujiwara Amida halls. It consists of a main rectangular structure flanked by two L-shaped wing corridors and a tail corridor, set at the edge of a large artificial pond. Inside, a single golden image of Amida (c. 1053) is installed on a high platform. The Amida sculpture was executed by Jocho, who used a new canon of proportions and a new technique (yosegi), in which multiple pieces of wood are carved out like shells and joined from the inside. Applied to the walls of the hall are small relief carvings of celestials, the host believed to have accompanied Amida when he descended from the Western Paradise to gather the souls of believers at the moment of death and transport them in lotus blossoms to Paradise. Raigō (来迎, "welcoming approach") paintings and sculptures, depicting Amida Buddha descending on a purple cloud at the time of a person’s death, became very popular among the upper classes. Raigo paintings on the wooden doors of the Ho-o-do, depicting the Descent of the Amida Buddha, are an early example of Yamato-e, Japanese-style painting, and contain representations of the scenery around Kyoto.

The tale of genji essay

the tale of genji essay

The Ho-o-do (Phoenix Hall, completed 1053) of the Byodoin, a temple in Uji to the southeast of Kyoto , is the exemplar of Fujiwara Amida halls. It consists of a main rectangular structure flanked by two L-shaped wing corridors and a tail corridor, set at the edge of a large artificial pond. Inside, a single golden image of Amida (c. 1053) is installed on a high platform. The Amida sculpture was executed by Jocho, who used a new canon of proportions and a new technique (yosegi), in which multiple pieces of wood are carved out like shells and joined from the inside. Applied to the walls of the hall are small relief carvings of celestials, the host believed to have accompanied Amida when he descended from the Western Paradise to gather the souls of believers at the moment of death and transport them in lotus blossoms to Paradise. Raigō (来迎, "welcoming approach") paintings and sculptures, depicting Amida Buddha descending on a purple cloud at the time of a person’s death, became very popular among the upper classes. Raigo paintings on the wooden doors of the Ho-o-do, depicting the Descent of the Amida Buddha, are an early example of Yamato-e, Japanese-style painting, and contain representations of the scenery around Kyoto.

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