Hedonism

I was in Boston on Saturday night when I noticed how nice the street lamps could look at night.

Bright lights

in a row

illuminating life

 

This past week’s readings and lectures showed us a change in the way the Japanese dealt with the Evanescence of life.   The Japanese people moved from the idea of nothingness to the pursuit of pleasure or hedonism.  A main idea that didn’t change was the importance of form and order in Japan.  We see this attention to order in the Saikaku reading when she says, “A courtesan shaves her eyebrows and paints on thick black ones,” and continues to list off how a good courtesan dresses and moves.  We see it again in the Inouye reading when it’s talking about people’s place in society and says, “the parameters of the established order was both strongly enforced.”  This strict social structure is what caused the Japanese to begin seeking out physical pleasures that could make their lives more enjoyable.  Compared with the previous responses to evanescence I like the hedonism approach the most.  I feel that this response is the most honest.  If the world is truly always changing and out of our control, enjoying every day seems to be the only reaction that makes sense.  I have often considered this style of day to day pleasure seeking life and do not see much wrong with it.  As long as we have enough money to live off of and are enjoying our lives, what is wrong with that?  The only reason I think many people have a problem with it is because of the constraints of what society expects of us.  If society and mainly our parents did not expect anything of us I believe a large number of people would live their life in a hedonistic way.

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