The Journey to an Inevitable Death

1619 Words7 Pages
Japanese culture is very different from culture that many Americans are use too. The differences, some large, some small are ones that really need to be looked at closely. In Japanese culture the idea of suicide is often embraced in an effort for enlightenment. When Chikamatsu creates a piece of art littered with tragedy he shows the duel between a society unwilling to change and an individual who is changing and leaving the path of the social norm. The work of Chikamatsu is an art, the majority of his work being that of a puppet show, when dealing with a puppet show it is, imaginably, difficult for the audience to see how the characters are changing and leaves little room for the character to develop both mentally and physically, however,…show more content…
Chikamatsu creates a paradox between these two ideas. If Jihei is to go with Koharu, the prostitute, he leaves his family and disgraces the honor of the family’s name. “Is there a greater shame? I’ll shout it through the town!” (Chikamatsu 61) We see here that Gozaman, Osman’s father, is worried about the same that will fall upon the family’s name if Jihei is to run off with Koharu. This directly relates to the social obligations that are pressuring Jihei not to follow his true passion for love. On the opposite side of the paradox if he stays with his family, he breaks a promise made to a lover (causing him to lose honor by breaking a promise) along with this, Koharu will be bought by Tahei which will lead to her killing herself. Looking at the play as a whole we can see this paradox by merely looking at the setting of the play. The first act takes place at the kawashō, a tea house in Sonezaki. The second act, in the home of Jihei and the third act, back to the tea house. At a glance this does not seem like much, however, looking into it we can easily see a different meaning. The tea house is a pleasure quarter representing passion and desire; this is on the side of the paradox in relation to Jiheis desire to be with Koharu and the passion of their love. Home representing reason, family and the obligations in which Jihei holds as a man. “In Amijima the juxtaposition between home and pleasure quarter underlies the opposition of giri and ninjō, translated variously
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