Analysis Of The Poem ' The Tale Of Genji '

1661 WordsOct 3, 20177 Pages
Beauty in the Tale of Genji From 794 to 1185, the Heian period was a cultural renaissance where remarkable art, poetry, fashion, and literature flourished in Japan. Murasaki Shikibu, was the nickname to a lady of the court and as was common for noble women at the time, she was experienced in the arts such as poems, literature, painting, and calligraphy. Amongst her work, is the classic known as Genji Monogatari or translated in English as The Tale of Genji, that illustrates the life of an idealistic prince in the imperial court. The Tale of Genji is known as one of the oldest novels in the world and is still appreciated today for it’s capture of the realism and etiquette of what life was like for the those living in imperial court in the…show more content…
Reputation of these woman depended on secrecy as well, if a woman was involved with affairs, she would be humiliated and find no suitors. Furthermore, a man’s image in society would be stained if he was caught in affairs, particularly with lower class women, such as Yugao as he only secretly visited her when everyone in her household was asleep. If the secret of an affair is leaked out or known amongst the women the men are associated with, it can cause jealously. It is believed that the vengeful spirit of one of Genji’s affair, Lady Rokujo learned of Genji’s relationship with Aoi and Yagao and killed them. Lady Rokujo is said to have come upon Yugao and killed her in her sleep, whereas Aoi died shortly after childbirth due to lady Rokujo, Thus, it can be said that many people in the aristocracy of the Heian period lived a life where secrecy affected many parts of their culture such as communication, attraction, and reputation. The standards of beauty was very different during these times, compared to modern standards of beauty. The standard look for a beautiful woman was to have long hair stretching far enough to reach the ground, layers of clothing to hide one’s body and display status, pale skin, plump characteristics, and black teeth. If one was to lose their traits, such as their long black hair, they would be considered ugly in society. Though it was not only physical characteristics that made women attractive during the time. A

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