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

The Quest For Beauty In The Tattooer By Jun'ichiro Tanizaki

1171 words - 5 pages

Femme Fatale
In Jun'ichirō Tanizaki’s short story “The Tattooer”, Tanizaki features an ambitious tattoo artist who yearns to create a masterpiece on the skin of his ideal woman. Initially, this woman is anticipated as the one who holds the potential to achieve the status of a twisted goddess. Moreover, the artist’s process of forging his masterpiece on this particular woman acts as a stepping-stone to his imminent demise; she is a lethal double-edged sword. The tattoo, which takes the form of a black widow, metaphorically transforms the woman into a Japanized “black widow” herself. Accordingly, the dual nature of woman is portrayed as timeless beauty and infinite destruction.
The main interest in this short story is further elucidated when delving into a more profound level of the woman regarding her potential in acquiring timeless beauty. This potential, which transcends the careful inspection of reigning beauties, is only determined with a simple glimpse of her barefoot as evidenced by her, “Exquisitely chiseled toes, nails like the iridescent shells along the sore at Enoshima…” (Tanizaki 100). Her foot, which represents nothing but a small portion of the body, overshadowed the complete existence of other beauties. Only a glimpse of the woman’s barefoot was required for the confirmation to be delivered; a confirmation which ascertain her potential in blooming to a divine entity capable of infinite destruction. This definition of infinite destruction refers to the potential of the woman in having absolute control over men. Progressively, the woman’s potential is eventually seen with greater clarity when the artist was “scrutinizing her intently” during their encounter, and consequently, it has escalated to the sky in the sense that she is now exceptionally close to attaining the status of a twisted goddess; the incarnation of beauty and destruction. This heightened potential is expressed in the passage, “Her beauty mirrored the dreams of the generations of glamorous men and women who had lived and died in this vast capital, where the nation’s sins and wealth were concentrated” (Tanizaki 101). There was only a missing piece in the puzzle which was the integration of the tattoo on the woman. The tattoo is the symbolic key in opening the gateway to transcendence. Additionally, there is another element which heightens this already excessive potential. This element is seen in picture scrolls in the painting of a beautiful Chinese princess. As expressed in the passage, “…a man who was about to be tortured in the garden below. He was chained hand and foot to a hollow copper pillar in which a fire would be lighted” (Tanizaki 101), these picture scrolls convey the idea of the woman being the physical reincarnation of the Chinese princess who possessed such tantalizing beauty which would inevitably lead to destruction. Needless to say, this direct similarity shows an increase in her promising potential, as she is connected to one with these qualities. ...

Find Another Essay On The Quest for Beauty in The Tattooer by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki

Junichiro Tanizaki - The Reed Cutter

3206 words - 13 pages provided psychological effect for the secondary narrator. Since Oshizu died when the secondary narrator was about five years old, the story of Seribashi and Lady Oyu pursing an image of ideal mother in his mine. Moreover, by portraying Lady Oyu, Seribashi generate an image of ideal woman and lover in the secondary narrator’s mine.In The Reed Cutter, various narrative strategies were used in order to construct the narrative. First of all, the

The Quest For LIfe Essay

1659 words - 7 pages The Quest for Life Long, long ago, in a time before time, there was a small world called Mukong. This world was very unique, as it was divided into two sides; the good and the evil. The dark lands were very frightening. Consistent storms, blackness, and many peculiar animals made it a very uninviting place. Though the good side, called The Bright Lands were completely opposite, as it was bright, warm, rich with water and food, and consisted of

The Quest for Knowledge

1235 words - 5 pages In order to be convinced by a statement, I require solid evidence that yields the truth of that statement. Upon speculating how to go about finding this evidence, I examine how the rest of society does so. A vast amount of credit is given toward theories found in the human and natural sciences. Scientists are recognized as authoritative figures with the recent development of inventions, medicine and scientific discoveries in the past century

Differences in the Quest for Fame Between Modern Society and The Illiad by Homer

1024 words - 5 pages they had conquered. Therefore when Agamemnon took Briseis from Achilles, it was as if Agamemnon trivialized Achilles’s actions in battle by stripping him of his reward. Understandably, Achilles refuses to return to battle because his only reason for fighting, his honor, was already gone. He theorized that he would rather live a long life than die in battle if he would not receive honor either way. He later returns to the war for vengeance for his

Quest for Self-Identity in Margaret Atwood’s Surfacing and The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

2178 words - 9 pages the answers. But in The Bell Jar the character Esther recovers much of her mental and emotional stability by the end of the novel, but the reasons for her improvement are not entirely clear. To some extent, Dr. Nolan has empowered Esther to understand her motivations, actions, and reactions, but some would argue Esther has at least partly responded to electroconvulsive shock. At least one critic, David Holbrook in Sylvia Plath: Poetry and

The Quest for the Ideal

981 words - 4 pages The Quest for the Ideal The quest for the ideal is a phenomenon that many people attempt to achieve. As we all know, the quest for the ideal is difficult and complicated by personal experience. The poems, “The Story” by Karen Connelly and the “The Love Song of J.Aflred Prufrock”, by T.S Elliot, as well as the essay “Kant’s Beauty and the Sublime” by Maureen Rousseau explore the peril inherent in the quest for the ideal, which is that in our

The Quest for the Ideal

932 words - 4 pages Many have sought perfection in their lives, yet few have achieved this goal. The mere notion of a perfect life can be so captivating that it could emotionally consume the aspirant. The concept of perfection, or the ideal, is an unattainable and corrupting concept, yet countless individuals have attempted to strive for this unachievable goal. In literature, the quest for the ideal is commonly represented by the protagonist struggling for

the quest for the ideal

990 words - 4 pages Quest for the Ideal Essay The quest for the ideal can encourage us to develop and evolve for the better. But if perfection – something that is impossible to achieve is what one strives for, it can be quiet unthinkable. It is elusive and complicated on many degrees. Lady of Shalott by Alfred Tennyson, The woman I am in my dreams by Maxime Tynes and Chicken Hips by Catherine Pigott provide a realistic perspective of how beauty shapes the literal

The Literary Quest for Happiness

1646 words - 7 pages creator, Victor Frankenstein. He has no knowledge of the world around him. His curiosity ultimately leads to his own misery and violent behavior. This lack of social acceptance plays a crucial role in the monster's quest for knowledge of mankind. As the monster gains more knowledge of the world around him he becomes disillusioned by his loneliness. In particular, the relationships that other beings are involved in finally leads the monster to reject

The Quest For Cultural Capital

1700 words - 7 pages the biggest return in the form of both economic and cultural capital for the banking firm (Ho 2009, 40). Works Cited Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. "The Forms of Capital." In Handbook of Theory and Research for the Sociology of Education, edited by J.G. Richardson, 241-258. New York: Greenwood Press. Bourdieu, Pierre. 1990. Outline of a Theory of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bourdieu, Pierre, and Terry Eagleton. 1994. "Doxa and Common Life: An Interview." In Mapping Ideology. London: Verso. Ho, Karen. 2009. "Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street." In, 1-121. Duke University Press.

The novel C"atcher In The Rye" is written by J.D Salinder is the story of Holdens quest for maturity

2047 words - 8 pages Holden Wants Children To Keep Their InnocenceThe novel Catcher In The Rye is written by J.D Salinder is the story of Holdens quest for maturity. The book starts off at Pency Prep School, Holden is only days from his expulsion from Pency, because of awful grades. Straddler, Holden's roommate, goes on a date with Jane, who is one of Holden's former friends. Holden agrees to write a paper for Straddler. When Straddler arrives back at the dorm

Similar Essays

The Tattooer Essay

1111 words - 4 pages Morgan Holsclaw 9/20/2014ENGL 2400Art, Beauty and Power in The TattooerJunichiro Tanizaki's story, "The Tattooer" begins with the narrator illustrating the ancient art of tattooing. He vividly describes that Japanese men, who were performing in the Kabuki Theater, received tattoos in order to satisfy their upper class audiences and enhance their beauty. This story is about a young tattoo artist named Seikichi who trained as an ukiyoye painter in

The Tattooer Essay

1111 words - 4 pages Morgan Holsclaw 9/20/2014ENGL 2400Art, Beauty and Power in The TattooerJunichiro Tanizaki's story, "The Tattooer" begins with the narrator illustrating the ancient art of tattooing. He vividly describes that Japanese men, who were performing in the Kabuki Theater, received tattoos in order to satisfy their upper class audiences and enhance their beauty. This story is about a young tattoo artist named Seikichi who trained as an ukiyoye painter in

Quest For Identity In The Life Of Galileo By Brecht

1600 words - 6 pages Quest for Identity in The Life of Galileo by Brecht Throughout the course of history, from era to era, mankind has been on a continuous attempt to perpetuate what they perceive as the truth; and in doing so, embark on a quest to find their true identity and place in life. One must realize that the common theme in all literature is the search for identity and belonging. Bertolt Brecht, author of "The Life of Galileo," effectively uses

The Quest For Identity In American Literature

2294 words - 9 pages in an utopian system based on individuality. He is in quest for social and emotional stability, but never finds them. He dies facing a wall, which is symbolic for his entrapment in the System. His identity is gradually annihilated and in the end he dies.Abner Snopes in Barn Burning by William Faulkner is in quest for social stability. He is a victim of the society in which he lives and, to a certain extent, he is its product. The story deals with