In this study, I address the issue of women’s humour and laughter in Heian Japan , particularly as handled in Sei Shonagon’s Makura no soshi. book of observations and musings recorded by Sei Shōnagon during her time as court lady to Empress Consort Teishi (定子) during the s. However, when we read the collection of “essays” contained in Makura-no-Soshi (The Pillow Book), most of them do not allow us to exercise.

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We can also predict that this heretical style mkura elicit misunderstandings or future misreadings of the work. Features What this means is that the text cannot be approached as one that diffuses images in the mind. Meanwhile, Sei Shonagon makes the following declaration.

Women’s In-jokes in Heian Japan: Makura no soshi

Furthermore, it gained a scholarly foothold, as Japanese classical scholars began customarily writing in the zuihitsu style. In general, this piece is written in brief statements, where the length of one paragraph is relatively short, and it is easy to read the contents, even for modern Japanese speakers.

A Memoir Through the Seasons. Sei Shonagon is very arrogant. As a result, it creates a situation where some people get it and some people don’t. That is the joy of literature.

The Heian period was essential to the aristocratic people. The discrepancy only comes in whether they take a positive or negative view of the same situation.


Makura no soshi

Both the author’s sophisticated sense and her eye for particular things are fused; for if one compares the sentimentality of mono no aware the Pathos of Things as found in ” The Tale of Genji “, similar beauty of the world is revealed through the use of the intellectual word okashi lovely in this piece.

According to Meredith Mckinney in the Kyoto Journal article, who contributed to the translation of The Pillow Book from Japanese into EnglishThe Pillow Book is a special case, and it is a genre-bending miscellany of short, largely unrelated pieces.

When we read a piece of literature, the words strung together on the page stimulate our imaginations as pictures begin to take shape in our minds. Section 75 ajikinaki-monofor example, has the following structure.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to view this page as intended. Once questions are raised, people inevitably begin to think about them. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. If anything, they will more likely question their personal nl. Those who want to behave as if they were superior to others will lower their reputation.

Women’s In-jokes in Heian Japan: Makura no soshi –

During the Heian period, women had a role in society Tears women usually shed are replaced by exuberant laughter and jokes, especially in passages that recount moments of intense vulnerability and instability for the female attendants to empress Teishi.

Salem Press Encyclopedia, Although readers would understand the examples that the author gives, these examples would also raise further questions.


By examining some of the scenes in which women laugh in makkra, I attempt to ident ify the sources and functions of their laughter as represented in the text. Retrieved 16 November East Wind Melts the Ice: During the late tenth and early eleventh centuries, Japanese men typically wrote in Chinese, using characters, while Japanese women wrote exclusively in their native tongue, using hiragana, a syllabary derived from Chinese characters Penney and Matthew. The people who experience these kinds of social disappointments may place the blame outside of themselves on the court, on the adopted child, or on the adopted son-in-lawbut an objective observer can clearly see that the problem really lies with the person themselves.

It is composed primarily in Japanese hiragana, which is a syllabary that is actually derived from Chinese characters, and generally many of her short stories were written in a witty makuar style. Previous Post Previous Post.

The book was first translated into English in by T. We can find the meaning of all this by consulting a dictionary of archaic language. University of California Press. Zuihitsu rose to mainstream popularity in the Edo period, when it found soshii wide audience in the newly developed merchant classes.

Japanese language, Heian Period language research.