Japanese Culture Exposed In Sei Shonagon's The Pillow Book

617 Words3 Pages
“The Pillow Book” serves as a diary, which is made up of observations and encounters of the main character experiencing Japanese royal court. In this journal, Sei Shonagon goes on to describe events of her daily accounts; which includes her encounters with the Empress. Because she serves as a “lady-in-waiting” to the Empress, she has developed a bit of a snob-like demeanor. With its unique story and setting, I believe this text should be in the “canon” of great literature because it is a classic piece, which conveys values and beliefs central to the culture present in the text. It’s even more beautiful because it wasn’t intended for anyone to read and she shared her truest feelings about the Heian elites. Sei Shonagon’s personal thoughts and opinions were meant to be private, which I believe is the beauty of it all. We vividly can visualize what her eyes were observing because of her concise detail and we have the opportunity to see the “nitty-gritty” reality of her life.…show more content…
Women in this time period were always present at festivals because it helped form their reputation. Heian-era women dressed themselves in ornate, colorful kimonos, were happy to show off their long hair, and carried hand-painted fans. These things, in all, were very significant in attracting men – so they could improve their rank and move higher up in aristocratic society. “To wash your hair, apply your makeup and put on clothes that are well-scented with incense. Even if you’re somewhere where no one special will see you, you still feel a heady sense of pleasure

    More about Japanese Culture Exposed In Sei Shonagon's The Pillow Book

      Open Document