• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


"IN PRAISE OF SHADOWS" BY TANIZAKI JUNICHIRO Tanizaki Junichiro is one of the most known and famous writers in the modern Japanese literary tradition. The Japan he wrote about was Japan he created. The subject of his texts is a "desire", he explores it in many aspects: intellectual, artistic, emotional and sexual. His stories are filled with obsessions, fetishes, emotional abuse, lyrical nostalgia, and reverence for the elegance of tradition. Also Tanizaki is known both for the characters whom he gave some perversity images as well as his appreciation for the beauty of tradition. The essay "In Praise of Shadows" is the example that represents his aesthetic values, where he convinces the readers to understand and share the beauty of old-fashioned life of ancestors. Throughout his long-lasting career he created a lot of long and short fiction stories, cultural commentary, plays, film scripts and poetry. Tanizaki was the first Japanese writer who was considered for Nobel Prize. ...read more.


From the beginning the author determines his preferences to the Japanese architecture, and then he turns our attention to home decoration, gastronomy, discusses human beauty. He reviews harmonic coexistence of Japanese material world with Japanese mentality and values. His first vivid example of such a harmony is Japanese toilet. He found that a diming light in the toilet makes it "the most aesthetic" part in the Japanese homes. He assumes, "Anyone with a taste for traditional architecture must agree that Japanese toilet is perfection". He found that Japanese toilet combines it's utility with it being a place of "spiritual response". As for him it is a place for meditation, where "haiku poets over the ages have come by a great many of their ideas". The Westerners, he declares, have absolutely different perception of this place, consider "the toilet as utterly unclean and avoid even the mention of it in polite conversation". The shade is the part of whole Japanese culture that distinguish the whole nation from the Westerners. ...read more.


"From candle to oil lamp, oil lamp to gaslight, gaslight to electric light - his quest for a brighter light never ceased, he spares no pains to eradicate even the minutest shadow." Reviewing the western and oriental cultures Tanizaki concludes that there is nothing common in those two patterns of life, they have two different concepts how to develop the world, two different perceptions of comfort of living. The western life is aggressive and straightforward. The oriental life is conservative and passive. To his regret he predicts the soon end of these ancient tradition that his forefathers kept for generations. The invasion of the West with new rules and aesthetic forms is inevitable. He admits that Japan has lost this war with the West and must bravely follow ahead and "leave us old ones behind". But as for him, he didn't betray the "shadows" and remained the defender of the old tradition. "I do not ask that this be done everywhere, but perhaps we may be allowed at least one mansion where we can turn off the electric lights and see what it is like without them." ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Miscellaneous section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Miscellaneous essays

  1. Spiritual Aspects Of Lyrical Ballads

    Wordsworth writes in the persona of Hazlitt, "Up! Up! and drink the spirit breathed/From dead men to their kind'. Here, Hazlitt urges Wordsworth to arise from his daydream based around nature and "drink the spirit" from philosophers that have

  2. A Commentary on Idols by Tim Gautreaux

    Julian's occupation as a typewriter repairman echoes his desire to live in the past as it is apparent that he can not accept that times change. Also, the fact that he can bear to lose his wife to an impoverish job but is so desperate to keep the mansion proves

  1. War poetry

    Also metaphorically, the soldiers don't know what's going to happen next or in the future. The first stanza of this poem shows that even away from the front line the war is still so terrible. Owen makes the reader experience it too by using first person pronouns: "We cursed...our distant rest..."


    After heading to the wrong location (a Knights Templar church), Remy betrays all by releasing Silas and kidnapping Sir Leigh. Langdon and Neveu head to a library to realize where they will find the password to open the cryptex. As quickly as they can, Robert & Sophie go to Westminster Church and see that the password involves Alexander Pope.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work