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Comrade Loves of the Samurai: Songs of the…
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Comrade Loves of the Samurai: Songs of the Geishas

by Saikaku Ihara

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Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693), foi um romancista e poeta japonês, considerado um dos pais do conto e do romance no Japão. Com os seus livros da série "Mundo Flutuante", revolucionou a prosa japonesa, abordando temas populares e quotidianos, por vezes licenciosos e proibidos, numa linguagem simples e coloquial. Escrevia para vender e ganhar dinheiro, mais que para permitir a reflexão do leitor ou para o informar. As suas obras tiveram enorme sucesso comercial durante a sua vida, mas acabaram por ser esquecidas até ao final do século XIX, quando finalmente recomeçaram a despertar o interesse dos estudiosos. No entanto, devido ao seu conteúdo erótico, muitos contos e novelas continuaram censurados pelos governos militares que dominaram o Japão no início do século XX, e só após a II Guerra Mundial foram publicadas as suas Obras Completas. [a:Yukio Mishima|35258|Yukio Mishima|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1213653898p2/35258.jpg] declarou uma vez que o seu livro, [b:Confissões de uma Máscara|8508589|Confissões de uma Máscara|Yukio Mishima|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1277594795s/8508589.jpg|1788601], era a primeira obra importante a abordar o tema da homossexualidade no Japão depois de [b:The Great Mirror of Male Love|292334|The Great Mirror of Male Love|Saikaku Ihara|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348948266s/292334.jpg|283632], de Saikaku.

Comrade Loves of the Samurai é uma seleção de contos de Saikaku que aborda o tema do amor entre samurais, traduzidos para o inglês por E. Powys Mathers, em 1928, a partir da tradução francesa por Ken Sato. São pequenas histórias ternas e cândidas de paixões devastadoras entre samurais, que terminam frequentemente em haraquiri, de acordo com o código de honra dos tradicionais guerreiros japoneses. O amor retratado tem, surpreendentemente, dada a distância geográfica e temporal entre as duas culturas, muitas semelhanças com o amor grego, surgindo frequentemente a figura tutelar do homem mais velho, que ama, aconselha e educa o jovem por cuja beleza se apaixona. Surpreendente é, também, a descoberta de que por detrás da frieza marcial e assassina que nos habituámos a associar aos míticos samurais japoneses existiam, na verdade, relações homossexuais de amor e ternura inesperadas. ( )
  jmx | Jun 20, 2017 |
A very interesting short read. ( )
  AshuritaLove | Apr 7, 2013 |
Forget vampires and werewolves, the next big trend in prurient romantic literature should be samurai! Oh yes, get me some of that intense devotion and comradely love. Honor, duels, and self-sacrifice. Put Yukio Mishima's bodybuilding pics on the covers and we're set.

All jesting aside, these was a popular literary genre and a social topic in 17th-C. Japan. The aestheticization and popularization of the 'noble warrior', as well as the social manly bonds which exist perhaps only in combat (WAR IS A FORCE THAT GIVES US MEANING). It was indeed considered praiseworthy and admirable for samurai to take on male lovers - not only of their own age, but younger (16-18 y.o.) boys and bring them up as apprentices.

These stories, about 20 pages each at most, have little parables of devotion and love. Few of them end well, with self-sacrifice and seppuku being still a major factor in military life. They're often very touching, despite the differences in centuries and cultures between us and them.

My edition not only came with Comrade Loves, but also some 30 pages of Songs of the Geisha. Song lyrics and poetry seldom preserve their rhythm or form in translation, but these maintain some plaintive beauty and beautiful imagery.

An interesting book, and as cliched as I may put it, is Universal. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
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