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traditional Japanese literature interests ? How element/aspect important? How, hypothetically, justify weight? Here topic I picked: relationship nature natural world Traditional Japanese literature.
The relationship between nature and the natural world in Traditional Japanese literature
Nature has often been considered to represent one of the most important sources of inspiration for national cultural heritage throughout the world. It is present in some of the world's most impressive past civilizations as well as part of the most modern cultures nowadays. From the perspective of the Japanese culture, nature has been the constant source of inspiration in many areas, from ceramics to crafting, to literature.
Japanese literature is from this point-of-view one of the most important cultural expressions in terms of dealing with nature as a source of inspiration. This can largely be resulted from a clear affection for nature from a religious as well as historical point-of-view. At the same time though, this relationship is essential because it is part of the identity and the essence of Japanese literature.
The relationship between nature and the natural world in traditional Japanese literature can be explained through the deep meanings that words used throughout the Japanese literary creation provides to words and natural elements. In this sense, from the perspective of literary theory, "literature involves both properties of language and a special kind of attention to language" (Culler, 1997, p55). Therefore, in order to better understand the relationship and importance of nature in the literary context of the Japanese creation, an analysis of several traditional Japanese literature is essential.
The "Gossamer Journal" represents a compilation of diary entries created by a Fujiwara noblewoman that depicts twenty-one years of marriage to her kinsmen, Fujiwara Kaneie. The journal includes the entire period of marriage, from the beginning throughout the years, with depictions of mostly sad moments of her life related to her marriage, to the relation with her spouse as well as the other wives he had.
The very title of this literary creation is a first sign of connection of the real world with the world of the nature. More precisely, "traditionally there have been two theories of the meaning of Kagero: either it is a sort of mayfly, or it is one of those shimmering of the summer sky which, for want of a more poetic term, we call a "heat wave." Recently a third theory has been advanced (…) kagero means gossamer in the original sense, defined thus by Webster: a film of cobwebs floating in the air in calm, clear weather." (Gossamer). This aspect reflects on the one hand the difficulties encountered when dealing with translations especially from a language that is full of side meanings such as Japanese, and, at the same time, through interpretation, the gossamer can signify the actual embodiment of the symbolist use of natural elements to describe human emotions. For the latter case, it is interesting to point out the fact that the author considered at the end of Book 1, that all her inscriptions of the journals that far resembled in fact with a shimmer of summer sky, which clearly points out the connection of the human feelings with the nature.
Throughout the literary creation, the depiction of the natural background seems to be in full harmony with the emotions felt by the author. More precisely, the moon often plays a crucial role in setting the stage for the depiction of one event or another, the shades in the room formed by the dawning sun or the wind that is often breezing through the rooms are all part of a wider structure that is created by the nature in full harmony with the protagonists or the events that are to take place. It can be said in this case that nature plays an active role in traditional Japanese writings particularly because it provides the settings for the events.
Another piece of traditional Japanese literature is "Five women who loved love" by Ihara Saikaku. This work is a compilation of happenings that five women experienced in Osaka. This pierce of writing is interesting for the analysis especially taking into account the writer's ability to create humor and amusement through the stories presented. The stories are depicted in the seventeenth century Japan and unlike the previous example; this one focuses on the natural context created by the human being. More precisely, the places where the…[continue]
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