Myriad Preference

Zuihitsu is an ancient style of Japanese literature consisting of aesthetic essays and personal accounts as well as short and elaborated lists which follow in no chronological fashion. This short collection of random thoughts and aesthetics is attributed to the great Sei Shonagon, who documented her extremely particular tastes on this and that in The Pillow […]

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Binary Rivals of the Man’yōshū

The work of poets Kakinomoto no Hitomaro and Yamanoue no Okura, while categorically similar, serve quite opposing purposes. In fact, nearly every aspect of both poets’ verses stand in stark contrast to one another. A side by side comparison of their Man’yoshu poetry reveals an appropriate sense of tsuiku, as if their opposing elements were […]

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Legacy of the Forty-seven Ronin

Mankind has long been fascinated with sensational events, particularly those which prove to be relatable to both individual cultures and to humanity as a whole. Infallible loyalty, filial piety, honor unto death—such are the values which lie at the heart of traditional Japanese culture. The Ako incident exhibits these values to the extreme, and has […]

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