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The Beauty Of Mujo Essay

904 words - 4 pages

"Mujo", as a Buddhism term that was introduced to Japan in its early eras, is the expression of the non-stopping shifting of the love, lives or emotional states. In the expressions of Japanese authors, it always came with some tragic events or blue emotions; from the earliest Tanka in Manyoshu to The Tale of Genji, Mujo as a common factor of transition was widely used in all genres of literature. Although it was presented in different kinds of platform with different purpose, Mujo, with the tragic color of itself, was used in most of the works to perform a unique sense of beauty; the fade of cherry blossom, the changing of the full moon, all the characters were presented to voice the emotion of the authors that was about the fading perfectness, which needs us to treasure more.

This perfectly still
Spring day bathed in the soft light
From the spread-out sky,
Why do the cherry blossoms
So restlessly scattered down?
----From Kokinshu, Ki no Tomonori
This Tanka cited from Kokinshu was a typical expression of Mujo in form of poetry. In the very beginning of the poem, the author described a very beautiful and pleasant scene of spring cherry blossoms that can be the seen as a perfect scene of joy. However, the author right away turned the tune of the whole warm and joyful sentences into the sigh of Mujo by questioning why do the cherry blossoms restlessly decayed; this reveals the lament of the author toward the time which goes restless and takes the beauty away as well. During the Heian period of Japan, this kind of expression of Mujo through the "fade of flower and leaves" was widely used as the understanding of the cycle of life which also comes from the Buddhism, as the period of time involved much conflicts that pushed the writers to gain a deeper understanding of the genesis and end of lives. Naturally, these kinds of understanding were reflected by the description of the natural scenes that presented the beauty of Mujo in a more inverted way.

Essays in Idleness, the collection of prose by Yoshida Kenko, was one of the most representative literature works during the Muromachi period. During this period of the Japanese history, the literature works showed a big trend of tragic symbolism as the development of the "fade of flower and leaves" of the prior periods. In the Essays in Idleness, Yoshida stated that:
“Nay, to look out on the rain and long for the moon, to draw the blinds and not to be aware of the passing of the spring—these arouse even deeper feelings…Men are wont to regret that the moon has waned or that...

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