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あぐり Aguri By Tanizaki Junichiro.

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1 あぐり Aguri By Tanizaki Junichiro

2 Tanizaki Junichiro (1886-1965) b. Tokyo Began writing in 1909
Frequented Kabuki Theatre 1910 left Tokyo Imperial University (Japanese Lit) 1910 Moved to Yokohama Western style house in foreign district Wrote several screenplays for Japanese movies 1923- Great Earthquake hits Tokyo and Yokohama Junichiro moves to Ashihi (near Kyoto) Switches mindset back to the traditional Japanese arena Shrugs off Euro-American ways

3 Wrote self-parodies of Western influence on Japanese
知人の愛(Fool‘s Love) 1924 たで空無視(Some Prefer Nettles) In these works, Tokyo typically symbolizes Japan under the influence of the West, and Kyoto, traditional Japan He becomes interested in writing about the historical past, which is akin to “a sanctuary for the values of order and beauty” (462) During WWII, wrote The Makioka Sisters ( ) Centered on manners of historical Japan Banned during war because thought as an impediment After war, given Imperial Culture Prize, as work showed a way of life which was quickly passing out of America

4 あぐり Themes and Symbols 3 Central Themes Ebbing away of tradition
Japan’s Westernization Beauty/Desire Feminine as beautiful Destructive Female as a palette Imagination Living within

5 Ebbing away of tradition
The West “invades” Japan Western objects, people, and ideas reflect the influx of Western ideals into Japan. The West becomes the ultimate “other” to Japan Western clothes “Japanese kimonos cost more than they’re worth” (467) “Notice the Western and the Chinese ladies: They know how to set off their faces to advantage, and without spending too much money at it.” (467) “He would accentuate every curve and hollow…” (470)

6 Tradition vs. West (contin.)
Western clothes are not so much important because they are Western, but because they are foreign. Imagined himself as a “Chinese gentleman” (470) Discussion “Aguri becomes a symbol… of the Japanese desire for Euro-American culture” (464) Shopkeeper (underwear anecdote) Clothes as oppressive Appearance of Okada’s family

7 Beauty/Desire Feminine as beautiful Okada loves his own fem. features
Desire for Aguri is great, but acknowledges that she does not love him

8 Beauty/Desire (contin.)
Female as a palette The Tattooer Imagines Aguri as a marble statue Cold, plain, yet innately unchangeable Aguri comes to life (473), like a painted picture, when clothed in Western clothes

9 Beauty/Desire (contin.)
Beauty = power Aguri’s power over Okada cannot be held in the gaze of the “other”/society Discussion Compare contrast Aguri as a palette versus her image as a leopard What is the significance of the “game” they play? What does sexual desire represent?

10 Imagination Blurs the line between what is fact and fiction
Imagination/ Superficial as real Clothes Imagination’s ability to “construct the beautiful” Imagination’s ability to show subconscious/truth Discussion Okada lives in this world and refuses to leave, even though it is destroying him Effects of this? What does Aguri represent in terms of imagination?

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