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Tale Of Genji - Essay Example

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In The Tale of Genji, a great importance is placed on art. People gain respect and admiration based on their musical, painting, and writing ability. How does this value system compare to that of contemporary America? This essay will answer the question. …
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Tale Of Genji
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Tale Of Genji

Art and literature flourished in Japan even in ancient times. Japanese writings showed that ancient Japanese placed great premium on culture such as painting, poetry, prose, music, dramatic performances and all genres of literature. Ancient writers and artists i.e. poets, musicians, painters were then hailed as an elite group who were notches above the rest and special groups of people to be venerated and esteemed with high regard. And such writings showed that these predilections and love for art and literature even pre-dated that of European and American passion for art and literature. However, it had been claimed that most of these writings were mere oral literature because the Japanese failed to independently devise their own kind of syllabaric script and thus failed to find a means of recording their language. Thus, most of this oral literature perished (Keene 19). It was only when the Japanese (and the Koreans, too) discovered the Chinese Kanji script, the ancient Chinese method of writing that the Japanese were able to put into writing the works of their writers who then described the high level of culture in ancient Japan (Snowling & Hulme 23). Yet, many of this oral literature were luckily integrated into Japan’s first known surviving book, the Kojiki or “Record of Ancient Matters”. This book featured poetry, songs, myths, legends, customs and traditions, language and ancient Japanese history (Chamberlain i,ii). ... Read More
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