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JAPN3702 Contemporary Japanese Literature

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JAPN3702 Contemporary Japanese Literature

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JAPN3702 Contemporary Japanese Literature

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Course Code: JAPN3702
University: The University Of Newcastle is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia

” Read the first few years’ entries of ‘The Gossamer Journal’ and discuss what role poetry played in ancient Japan. What do you think were the causes of the sorrows and aspirations this teenage lady expressed?
Compare this with the entry 190 of ‘The Essays in Idleness’ and discuss the possible causes of the difference between the two. ”

The Japanese Culture is one of the oldest literary cultures of the modern society. The Japanese society changes the paradigms of literature ranging from the individual perspectives of the people in the society to the Gossamer journals and the essay of idleness were two of the exemplary pieces of the works of literature (Brink, 2017). The Gossamer journals and the different texts that have been published in the ancient Japanese culture. The various issues that were faced by the people of the time were represented in the form of the poetries of the time. The Gossamer Years and the idea of the people relating to the different ideas of the issues that they faced at the time.
The Gossamer journals by Kagero Nikki is one of the works which shows the life of a noblewoman in the society and the ways in which the life of the people can be influenced. The journal is autobiographical in nature showing the plights and the pains of a noble woman. The work shows the ancient works of the poetry describing the pain of the woman in the society (Hillman, 2018). the poem showed the degraded position of the woman in the society keeping in mind the fact that the pain the protagonist went through in her life despite of being a noble woman because if the culture at the time. The work shows that the she was married off into one of the influential households of the time taken into consideration that the noble men of the time practiced polygamy along with the habit of keeping a number of concubines as mistresses. The wives of the time therefore got nothing more than stature in the society. The lives of the men were too busy and had too many distraction in the form of the luxuries that they got in the society.
One of the major factors that is quite evident in the work is that the woman had a string identity of the self and wanted to have her husband as her own but that was not happening because of the fact that he was too distracted to give him proper attention (Waniek, 2017). The different aspects relating to the society and the society was conceived was very oppressive towards the needs of the woman. In this context is also to be noticed that though the concubines and the mistresses got the interest of the lords their children were not seen as the heirs. This also reduced the identities of the noble women who were only considered the objects of procreation in the society. They were supposed to take care of the household and  the children of the noblemen because of which the noble women did not get their aspirations.
The noblewomen came along with a lot of luxury influence and respect but for the protagonist it can be seen that the woman can only gain complete satisfaction in the presence of the husband, other than which everything was available to the noblewomen (Yoshihiro, 2014). The noblemen on the other hand are busy with the different social obligations and chose to spend time with the new concubines which led them to spend lesser amount of times with the wives. The dissatisfaction caused by the lack of the attention from their husbands were evident in the behaviors of the noblewomen and that is very evident in the work. The satisfaction of having the complete attention of their partner is missed by the women as they have to work for the attention from their husbands (Hung & Wakabayashi, 2014). The main cause of the pain of the noble woman in the earlier years of her marriage and her teenage years was the fact that the woman wanted love and affection of the husband more than luxuries that they easily got. This teenage girls was aspirational and wanted the attention of her husband for her own satisfaction. The work shows the plight of the woman in the society given the fact that she does not get the wanted attention from her husband.
The major issues that have been shown as the reason of the discontent among the women is that they do not get the required attention that they may need. The work also shows condition of the women that there was there at the time in the society.
The essays of idleness on the other hand is a discourse by a Buddhist monk who sees the futility of the different perusals of the human life other than happiness. The author focusses on the lack of the importance of the perusal of the materialistic goals in the society. The work shows that the different ways in which the person can reach out to the self and work towards the achievement of the self through the constant desire of humor and not the materialistic gains of the society (Yamaguchi, 2014). The rise in the overall aesthetic approach of the different products of the society often affects the overall mindsets of the individuals in the society. One of the important aspects in this context is that the perception of the society of the time is reflected in the works which celebrates the beauty of incompletion in the society and focusses on the overall acceptance of the fact that the incompletion is the beauty of life and the people should not work excessively towards having a complete life in the society (Barrett, 2016). One of the other factors that is represented in depth in the work is the importance of the nature in the life of a person and how the nature plays in the life of the people. The life of the people in the society is bound by a number of different aspects ranging from the trivialities of life which brings about the changes in the nature of the people in the society (Saito, 2015). The happiness and humor are two of the most important aspect in the life of the person according to the author. In the work the authors shows the regard for the ancient concept of Wabi Sabi, which regards the importance of incomplete things in the society taking into consideration that the incomplete things exist in the society and the they are beautiful in their own way. The humor in life is important as it sustains the human life incomarison to the the other aspects of life which in turn work towards the materialistic gains and therefore should focus of the achievement of the happiness in life.
The two poems are in stark contrast to each other as far as the approach and the idea of writing is concerned. One of the important aspect of heed in the relation to the contrast between the two poems is that they idealize the two situations differently but aim towards a singular thing. While the essay of idleness focusses on the development of the ideas that the person should be happy in the lack and incompletion. On the other hand the woman relates her happiness and satisfaction to the presence of her husband and is not satisfied in the lack that she has. She on the other hand has no need of the other pleasures and luxury that her lifestyle gives her other than the attention that she wants from her husband. This however immaterial goes in contrast to the ideas as it relates the happiness of an individual. The life of a woman revolves around her married life and her life as a married woman is incomplete without the presence of her husband in her life. The early years of the teenage life and the adolescence of the woman too needs the happiness as shown in the essays of idleness and for that the noblewoman needs the attention of her husband as presented in the gossamer years. The relating of the happiness to the person affects the idea of a person to be happy in an atmosphere which itself is unhappy. It can be therefore said that the different ideologies of a person is dependent on a number of situations and scenarios and the life and a woman who has been married early and the life of a hermit cannot be compared since they both have the ideological differences against each other. A woman who has married a man relates her identity to the man and their whole identity revolves around the beloved. On the other hand the hermit is a person of wisdom and understands the futility of life, giving him the idea of the disappointments that the life may give him in the long run making him satisfied in the smaller things.
Therefore, it is seen that the two essays are in stark contrast to each other as one shows the plight and pain of a woman who does not get the attention of her beloved and vies for it and the other shows the hermetic life finding happiness in minimalistic pleasures. The two essays however show the two mindsets of their age and in the long run help in understanding the society and the behavioral contrast.
Barrett, P. (2016). ” Like a Parasite Dozing in the Gut”: Idleness and Tending in JM Coetzee’s Life and Times of Michael K.
Brink, D. A. (2017). Japanese Poetry and Its Publics: From Colonial Taiwan to Fukushima. Routledge.
Hillman, E. (2018). ” Never Had I Known Such Sorrow”: Death and Emotional Standards in Heian Japan (Doctoral dissertation).
Hung, E. T. H., & Wakabayashi, J. (2014). Amalgamation of Literariness Translations as a Means of Introducing European Literary Techniques to Modern Japan. In Asian Translation Traditions (pp. 142-161). Routledge.
Saito, Y. (2015, October). Visual Arts for Reading the Original Texts of Makura no soshi and Tsurezuregusa. In Culture and Computing (Culture Computing), 2015 International Conference on (pp. 187-188). IEEE.
Waniek, I. (2017). Women’s Roles and Self-Consciousness as They Appear in Classical Japanese Texts. Cogito: Multidisciplinary Res. J., 9, 120.
Yamaguchi, T. (2014). The meaning of death in Kenk? Yoshida’s Tsurezuregusa [Essays in idleness].
Yoshihiro, O. (2014). Amalgamation of Literariness. Asian Translation Traditions, 135.

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