Cultural Esthetics In The Tale Of Genji By Murasaki Shikibu

Decent Essays

Japanese aesthetics have a big role in the cultural consciousness of Japan. In the book, The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, a boy named Genji is known to be gifted and undeniably handsome. Genji was the son of the Emperor and his favorite concubine, a secondary wife of a lower rank, during the Heian period. Shortly after Genji’s mother gives birth to him, she passes away from being ill. The first part of the novel talks mostly about Genji’s romances, but throughout the rest of the novel it exemplifies how easily he falls in love with women, including his father’s new concubine. The use of Japanese aesthetics of iyashi, mono no aware, and yûgen in the novel The Tale of Genji reflects the aesthetic and cultural consciousness of Japan. Throughout the novel, the cultural aesthetic of iyashi is reflected. Iyashi is a sense of comfort or a peaceful calm state of mind. After some time that the emperor’s concubine passed away he was thinking about how he was able to survive months without her presence. “Looking at the keepsakes Myōbu had brought back, he thought what a comfort it would be if some wizard were to bring him, like that Chinese emperor, a comb from the world where his lost love was dwelling” (Shikibu 16). The emperor really wanted his boy back and it would be relieving if someone would literally bring him back. Iyashi is being reflected because if someone actually brought him his child he would feel calm by the fact that he can actually build a bond with him and

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