Barrelmaker Brimful of Love

1408 WordsApr 18, 20136 Pages
“The Barrelmaker Brimful of Love”, by Ihara Saikaku, outlines this very nature. This novella is about a cooper who is in love with a girl, and with the help of an old lady, is married to the girl. The story ends with the girl, Osen, being wrongfully accused of having an affair with the master of the house, at which she volunteers to work. Osen responds to the accusation by planning to actually have an affair with the man. The two make arrangements to have sex, but just before they can, Osen’s husband catches them in the act. Osen kills herself, and the man flees the house naked and frightened, but is later executed as well. Based on an actual event that took place a year before it was written, “The Barrelmaker Brimful of Love” is…show more content…
Buddhist beliefs are another major theme throughout “Barrelmaker Brimful of Love”. When the old lady speaks to Osen’s master and mistress about the cooper’s love for Osen, and how his ghost will kill every member of the household, “the language used is that associated with a Buddhist belief concerning human passions, according to which obsessions of the soul will, if unsatisfied or unrelieved during a person’s lifetime, return after death to wreak vengeance on the object of that passion.” (footnote, 594) Also, when bad things start to happen to the household, “Someone said: ‘It is the implacable sprit of the man who is madly in love with Osen - the cooper.’” (600) Among these Buddhist beliefs is the belief in Karma. The old lady was formerly a “cruel” abortionist, and “as she sank lower and lower in the social scale she learned the lesson of karma and she thought more about the future life.” (592) Hence, she now tries to help people fall in love, as an attempt to right her wrongs and ensure a better future life. Another illustration of the idea of karma is the fact that the cooper is a good man, therefore he wins Osen

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