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Continuity In Discontinuity: Thinking The Tale Of Genji With Japanese Thinkers

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Chapter Summary

"The Genji was a wide and deep source of nourishment for poetry, of course, and for the fine arts and handicrafts as well, and even for landscape gardening". The aestheticization of The Tale of Genji began in the eighteenth-century with the formulation of the most well-known theory of this tale, Motoori Norinaga's (1730-1801) theory of mono no aware (the pathos of things). Takahashi links the notion of the 'aesthetic category' with the concepts of 'nation' and 'race' whose boundaries are kept hermetically sealed like the impervious walls of an aesthetic category. The "self " constituted as a separate entity from the environment is a rather late discovery in Japan-the result of negotiations with Western philosophies of individualism.

Keywords: aestheticization; Japan; Takahashi; The Tale of Genji



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