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The Aesthetics of Seppuku
Seppuku;Belly cutting;Hougen monogatari;Heike monogatari;Gikeiki;Taiheiki
|Issue Date:||2008-12-08 11:29:23 (UTC+8)|
The study of Japanese culture should not be confined to introducing such arts and crafts as kabuki, ukiyoe, sumo, tea ceremony, and flower arrangement. It should also explore in depth Japanese morality, ideology, and religion. Japan has, since ancient times, developed special manifestations of death including seppuku (belly cutting), martyrdom, and the so-called shinjiu (love suicide). Although these special ways of dying do not occur very often in modern Japan, they still play an extremely important role in literature, theater, and the arts, essential to the exploration of the Japanese soul. Why do the Japanese want to seppuku? Why does it hold a peculiar fascination for the Japanese? This article begins by tracing the origin of belly cutting, and proceeds to examine the significance of seppuku and the aesthetics of death as expressed in such representative medieval military literature as Hougen Monogatari (The Tale of Hougen), Heike Monogatari(The Tale of the Heike), Gikeiki, and Taiheiki. It is hoped that through this study we can gain a better understanding of the Japanese view of life and death, and ultimately of Japanese culture in general.
|Relation:||國立政治大學學報, 80, 1-32|
|Appears in Collections:||[第80期] 期刊論文|
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