This 3-page paper points out that religion played a large part in the development of the medieval literature of Japan. Stories involved in proving this point include Tales of Genji and Heike and As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
Name of Research Paper File: D0_MTjapareli.rtf
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centuries, the reader can truly determine that religion has provided a sound foundation in the development of Japanese authors and their writings.
Much of early Japanese literature (especially Tale of Genji and Tale of the Heike) rely on Buddhism as a backdrop. Tale of Genji is, in fact, much like the religion
on which a lot of this is based. Much of Buddhism discusses the necessity of taking things as they come - and the main theme of Buddhism is that life
stinks. Genji would likely agree with this concept - throughout his wanderings, he cant have his beloved, and his attempts to replace her (rather than to deal with the pain)
simply create more pain. Ironically enough, Genjis father, the emperor, experiences the same scenario - rather than accepting that life is painful and that the pain has a purpose, these
two men try to decrease the pain through meaningless affairs (which, as mentioned above, simply create more pain). Another literary theme of
pain (or more appropriately, "melancholy," which can be described as "self pain") is found in the novel As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams: Recollections of a Woman in 11th
Century Japan. Much like Genji, Bridge of Dreams has the same lyrical, almost dreamy prose to it. But unlike the men in Genji author Sarashina is forthright in her weltschmerz
(pain of the world), not hesitating to indulge herself in what we might consider today as somewhat indulgent self-pity. Its interesting that Sarashina is almost obsessed with Tales of Gemji
- possibly because she can relate to the pilgrimages of the young prince, and finds herself in the same position as he is. But Sarashina goes even further, believing she