Posting on HEDONISM;
I was biking from West Hall to Carm for breakfast..
A familiar path
wriggly tire mark
In the beginning of Saikaku’s characters story of downfall, she says “ “I began to feel strangely restless”. This restlessness is what drags her through multiple social statue changes and to her path to retribution. This restlessness is present in every one of us, in almost every detail of our daily lives. We are conditioned to suppress and “don’t yield” to it though. It is present in the glance that we give to the extra piece of cake that we are not supposed to eat or to the lover of a friend. Hedonism is the only cure to ailing that strange feel of restlessness and unfortunately it is the most evanescent of all the cures. As Saikuku’s character does we can do whatever pleases us but we usually don’t. Why? Probably it is because many doesn’t want to end up like the Women who loved love. Saikuku’s story is some sort of a cautionary example of why are we not doing whatever we want to do. Yet in a world of Mono No Aware, where everything is sad and autumn is better -more sentimental- than spring, Saikaku’s woman gets the be the one with a sucky life, at least having experienced many sorts of pleasure.
Professor Inouye gave an example for us to understand this “We all suck” / Mono no Aware world by saying ‘‘It is like being dressed up with nowhere to go” . This example strike my girly self from the bullseye and made me understand the true nature of ukiyo-o. If you want to dress up so much, creating places to go is in your hands – just be an hedonist. Woman who loves love chooses hedonism as her path because pursuit of hedonism is all about self awareness and being aware of what gives you pleasure and what not.
Also for this class it was really interesting to learn how in the isolation of Edo period Japanese aesthetics tended to utilize vertical and atmospheric perspective rather than the linear perspective of western. I tend to connect this artistic tendency with the importance of Here and Now that we discussed earlier. Since Japanese culture value presence and this here and now logic fits the single-plane vision of their paintings. When looked directly, the vertically perspectives painting presents everything at once in equal detail, whereas the western linear perspective may seem to offer a deeper / unlimited point of view but it actually offers limited detail. It is as if you have to wait, to go through the image, to fully see the window detail drawn in the background.