Saikaku's Poems: The Color Of Water

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Essay #1:
“I was very young when I learned about love. I was still a flower in bud, you could say. And after that I had so many experiences that the pure water of my mind turned completely the color of sensuous love, like the water in the Uji River where it turns yellow from all the mountain roses on the banks. I just followed my desires wherever they went- and I ruined myself. The water will never be clear again. There’s no use regretting it now, though. I certainly have managed to live a long time, but my life, well, it wasn’t what you’d call exemplary.”(596) These two men were having an argument about living life to the fullest but having a short life, versus living an inadequate long life. They walked down a path through the woods, full of trees and a river flowing through. They came to a “Grove of red pines and, within it, an old fence made of bundled bush-clover stalks that were beginning to fall apart.”(593) There was a seemingly magically hut near the pure river and a willow tree. Unlike our narrator expected there was an old woman “one whose face the years and had given a refined beauty.” (593) The two men had come to meet this woman as one of them
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Saikaku uses the old woman to bring forth the know-how about love and matters of sexuality. During her confession the woman acknowledges that fact that she indeed had many sexual relations in her lifetime. From the confession readers could pick up on the fact that the woman had a morally questionable lifestyle. She had many sexual relations with men, not even realizing that time was gradually passing by and eventually she would no longer be attractive in the eyes of these men. Because of this lifestyle the old woman seemingly failed to get love, and she realized that time was not on her side and now as she sits her older reminiscing over the life she lived until now she regrets her immoral
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