The Love Suicide At Amijima Analysis

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Romeo Montague, Juliet Capulet, Mercutio, Love / Pages: 6 (1431 words) / Published: Jul 23rd, 2015
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 sprit 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 them 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 samurai family” he was aware of the practices and traditions the samurai upheld within their household, including the samurai code of conduct, bushido. When Chikamatsu created The Love Suicides at Amijima, the Edo period was in effect and most of the theatre performances were influenced by “the higher rungs of Edo society, mostly samurai and rich merchants; it was sponsored by the shoguns as official state theater.” (Keene, 46) Seeing that most of the arts were influenced by the time period in

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