The Love Suicide At Amijima Analysis

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The Love Suicides at Amijima was created by Chikamatsu Monzaemon in 1721. This play was originally written as jōruri, better known as puppet theatre but was later performed into kabuki, the form of theater in which a play is interpreted through dance and song. The Love Suicides at Amijima was created during a time period called the Edo Period, this point in history was critical to the different forms of literature and art. During this period, Monzaemon as well as other artists became popular amongst the “commercial culture” (Keene, 46) which led to rise of Monzaemon’s various plays. This play is widely known for its tragic love story between two characters, Jihei and Koharu who because of their social statuses cannot be together, and seek suicide…show more content…
Through this article viewers are able to determine underlying reasons as to why these two groups practiced such traditions, and why this type of suicide is considered honorable amongst the Japanese culture. Seppuku was the act of the suicide by cutting the abdomen open of the warrior; it was believed that through this process the samurai’s spirit would be released to the afterlife. “Samurai warriors, served to protect the lives and property of the daimyo, large landowners, and vassals of the Shogun” (Szczepanski) both of these groups committed seppuku for various reasons that evolved around honor. The Samurai would seek seppuku when shame was brought upon him during battle, committing a dishonest act, or losing the aid of a daimyo or leader. As for the daimyo, the head shogun could ask them to perform seppuku as part of a “judicial punishment.” (Szczepanski) Many of those who performed seppuku were doing so in order to gain their honor back, but in the case of Jihei and Koharu in The Love Suicides at Amijima they believed “that they could be reborn on the same lotus in the Buddhist Pure Land if they committed suicide together.” (Keene, 47) The story created by Chikamatsu Monzaemon ties into the tradition of seppuku because of the relation the author had to this historical time period. “Chikamatsu was born into a provincial…show more content…
During this time “Japanese Vice Admiral Takashiro Ohnishi, commander of the First Air Fleet in the Philippines, had noted that the most effective way to inflict damage upon Allied warships was to crash planes into them” (Mehta), they needed something affective and believed that this new tactic was the best decision for them in order to defeat their allies. In order for them to complete this new tactic, and put it into action men were being asked to intentionally crash their planes into the rivals, and basically put their lives in the hands of death in order for them to successfully complete their mission. Many of these men were students in their twenties studying science at local universities, only willing to be a Kamikaze pilot as an obligation to remain loyal to not only his friends and family but to his country as well. This particular reasoning behind the Kamikaze suicides relates to the story of The Love Suicides at Amijima by revealing the theme of being loyal to their families. During the Edo Period in which the play was written, social order played a big role in the society. It was shameful for men of higher standing to have relationships with the lower class, in the case of Jihei and Koharu it was prostitution. In order for Jihei to be with Koharu but also protect the reputation of his family he decides a
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