The Heian Period Was Denoted As The Era Of The Court Aristocracy

1385 Words Sep 20th, 2016 6 Pages
The Heian period was denoted as the era of the “court aristocracy, which manifested highly reformed taste in art and literature and strongly developed customs and modes of behavior” (Hane, Pg. 61). During this period, women created some of the greatest writing throughout Japan’s history, the most sophisticated and highly desired one being poetry. While traditional Chinese poetry had great emphasis “waka, a japanese-style poem of thirty-one syllables, also gained popularity at the Heian court” (Hane, Pg. 64). These poems allowed for an outsider to get an insight of Japan’s society and culture at the time. One of the underappreciated author’s of this time was Sei Shōnagon, her most famous work being The Pillow Book. Although her work has been consecutively ridiculed as a poor depiction of the Heian court life, it has also been thought of as comical. A deeper look into Shōnagon’s work shows that this comical relief, also known as okashi, has been included to express her own personal observations and opinions. Although, Shōnagon’s The Pillow Book may be viewed as a frivolous portrayal of court life, with the inclusion of satire and okashi it illustrates an insightful and contrasting perspective of the Heian period. At a first glance, The Pillow Book can be seen as a simple diary entrance about the trials of everyday life for a women and her relationship amongst the court. Shōnagon’s way of writing is unusual in the sense that she expresses her personal opinion, but at the same…

Related Documents