This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

American And Japanese Perceptions Explored In Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

950 words - 4 pages

A ship's horn wails in the distance. The long kiss is broken. The sailor's palate is once again wet with longing for the infinite freedom of the sea. It is in this world, where layers of opposite meaning crash as waves to rocks do, that Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea is set. This tale of tragedy is one of a man caught in a tempest of moral collision in the interstice which borders freedom and entanglement. Inevitably, the yearning for domesticity and the bastardized and disempowered life of land grows like a cancer in his once pure soul, and before the flaw can be cut out like a disease, he is ravaged by it. The once distant flaw grows and grows until death is his only salvation. In order to reinforce the danger of this chaotic web between two worlds of value Mishima uses the force of impact of richly described contrasting settings, constantly warring perceptions of each character through another’s eyes, and the combating ideals of American and Japanese culture.

This world of opposites is buttressed by the physical setting in which the characters are placed. Yokohama, a Japanese shipping town, is in every way a representation of conflicting worlds. Set on the crux between sea and land, the magnificent power of the ocean remains omnipresent. In the beginning of the novel, these two elements are in harmony, as represented by the delicately told consummation scene (12-13) in which man, woman, earth and water are united within the mysterious background of a ship's passionately moaning horn.

But as the plot progresses, the simply beautiful act of attachmentless sex becomes mired in the dense murk of human emotion. The once clean waters of Ryuji's soul are muddied by the incessant calling of the life of shore. Fusako's desires drown out the gentle whispers of the noble woman sea, and Ryuji becomes dissatisfied with the quest which once filled his heart. He becomes impatient and dissatisfied with the life of a sailor, and gravitates more and more towards the life of land. His repeated memories of distant ports and the power that a ships horn still holds over him seem to vividly symbolize the doubt which still lingers over his decision.

As Ryuji grows more stuck in the firm grip of shore life, Noburu is entangled in his own struggle to find some connection to the universe. While he once found an incredible clarity in the unison of opposites he witnessed as his mother and his hero (Ryuji) had sex, he now finds that the only way to gain the same sense of power is from the rigid control of his passions that he finds in violence. His initiation into the gang expresses this awakening into the clarity of mind that comes with power over nature. He, too, gains an understanding of the Grand Adventure,...

Find Another Essay On American and Japanese Perceptions Explored in Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

Western vs. Japanesse Identity in Yukio Mishima's "The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea"

810 words - 3 pages Yukio Mishima’s novel, “The Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea” (will now be referred to as “Sailor”) follows a sensitive 13 year old boy, Noboru, who is caught in the cusp between childhood and adolescence. He is searching for self identity in a time where traditional Japanese values are giving way to new, modern, Western values. From the beginning of the novel we see Noboru being confined in his room to prevent him from sneaking out to

The Times, They Are a-Changin’: Seasons and Characterization in The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

1269 words - 6 pages Yukio Mishima’s novel The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is a powerful allegorical novel written in Japan after World War II. It is deeply steeped in Japanese culture, and much of its deeper meaning can be lost to the western audience. One such example is the use of Summer and Winter as the titles for the two parts of the novel. In Japan, kigo and kidai are words and concepts that are traditionally associated with the different seasons

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima

1465 words - 6 pages , his deeply valued and cherished Japanese identity. At last, he gives up his beguiling sailor lifestyle. This provides insight into Mishima’s outlook and perspective of Japan: a poor nation torn between the industrialized ideals of economic affluence and the search for honor amidst the imperialist values cherished at the time. All in all, contrast is essential in The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. Mishima incorporates the absolute

Cultural Perceptions of Intelligence in Japanese and American Indian Societies

1459 words - 6 pages to view someone’s intelligence with respect to the specific situation. Also, the theory points to cultural influences that cannot be accounted for in a single entity (Smith, 2008). Japanese Perceptions of Intelligence Removing culture from the scheme of intelligence, we could say that some people are very intelligent, and this statement would be considered truth. Adding culture in the mix, we could say some Japanese people are extremely smart in

The Woman who fell from the Sky

1163 words - 5 pages The Woman who fell from the SkyScott Leonard's myth "The Woman who fell from the Sky" is a myth that starts out with a father bringing his young daughter to a powerful mage in an attempt for them to wed. However the mage was reluctant because of the age of his daughter. Instead of telling her no he gave her a few tasks that seemed impossible to accomplish. The powerful mage told her that if she'd accomplish these tasks he would marry her

American Directness and the Japanese

848 words - 3 pages American Directness and the Japanese American and Japanese ways of speaking are so different that they often cause culture shock to both Americans and Japanese who visit each other's country. Most Japanese who come to the United States are at first shocked and have a problem with the American direct way of speaking. Culture shock occurs because most Japanese cannot easily escape from the formula "politeness= indirectness." Compared to the

Honor in Defeat: Japanese vs. Western Perceptions

1473 words - 6 pages resignations and a loss of face on the part of the Japanese government due to the Japanese people’s perceptions of who was at fault in the management of the disaster and its consequences. The Japanese reaction to  the shame [in this case the negative publicity attached to the handling of the situation] is somewhat different from the western perceptions and reactions. Especially in relation to war and warriors, Japanese conceptions of  shame are

The Problem With Money Explored in The Great Gatsby

799 words - 4 pages make sure Tom wouldn’t hurt Daisy as Daisy had actually been the one who ran over Myrtle and Gatsby wanted to be sure Daisy would be safe shown when Gatsby says, “See if he tries to bother her.” In this small sample of the dialogue between Gatsby and Nick we can see that Gatsby still enamored with Daisy decided to stay in their yard to protect her maintaining his years old thought process and borderline obsessiveness with Daisy that he had prior

Assessing and Comparing Perceptions of Distance Education in the U.S. and Great Britain with Kazakhstan

2315 words - 10 pages Assessing and Comparing Perceptions of Distance Education in the U.S. and Britain with Kazakhstan Introduction Distance education is a form of education with intensive use of technologies inherited from full-time learning (face-to-face learning), correspondence learning (using mail systems) and independent learning (Moiseeva, 2005, p.220). Distance learning ideally gives an opportunity to broader audience to receive quality education for

Assessing and Comparing Perceptions of Distance Education in the U.S. and Britain with Kazakhstan

841 words - 4 pages learning experience are not well studied. Research papers assessing DE involve questioning students and comparison of their knowledge with students sitting in the classroom (Pardasani et al., 2012, pp. 414-416). However, after obtaining knowledge and statement of accomplishment, the perception of professors and employers are not assessed. Especially, this problematic in Kazakhstan where concept of distance education is not well understood. This

The Japanese-American Internment in Topaz, Utah

2469 words - 10 pages made up the next largest categories. The second and later generation has gradually moved away from the niche economy of small businesses to professional and white-collar jobs (Hohri 157). The most recent survey concluded that Japanese Americans were concentrated in white-collar jobs. However, one study concluded that there was significant occupation segregation for the Japanese American compared with the white workers. The

Similar Essays

Non Conformity In The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea, Medea, And The Stranger

1808 words - 7 pages Non-conformity in The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea, Medea, and The Stranger       We are constantly being affected our surroundings. As a result, our attitudes and personalities are a product of our experiences and the various environments in which they occurred . Furthermore, the society we live in presents to us a set of standards, values, and givens that we may or may not agree with. In literature, the society plays a major

Heroes In Wonderful Fool And The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

1609 words - 6 pages Expectations of Heroes in Wonderful Fool and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea               In a human being's search for spiritual peace throughout life, he constantly turns to outside sources for the answers to his questions. Some people quench their curiosity in a god or religion; some find release through the use of foreign chemicals. Many people, however, turn to another person in their time of personal questioning

Disrespect In The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea And Wonderful Fool

1734 words - 7 pages Disrespect in The Sailor who Fell From Grace with the Sea and Wonderful Fool       Throughout various works of world literature, respect is a major concern amongst the characters. This manifests itself in how the relationships between characters in the work are characterized. Sometimes lack of proper respect can be an auxiliary cause for conflict, while in other cases it can be the root of it. In Japanese culture, respect is

Comparing Violence As A Motif In Stranger And Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea

1541 words - 6 pages modernized and before he left the traditional Japanese values. The Gang views dying in glory over living in disgrace. The comparisons between the structures of The Stranger and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea also facilitate the violence motif. Both books are written in two parts. The first part of the books foreshadows the second part. In The Stranger, the first part is about Meursault’s life as a free man. The murder of the Arab