- 近世文藝 (ISSN:03873412)
- vol.104, pp.57-69, 2016
<i>Buke-giri-monogatari</i>, a collection of tragicomical episodes about samurai ethics, is acclaimed for its psychological insight but unfortunately quite unpopular. Why do we think it uninteresting and how can we enjoy reading it? If we find the collection rather boring, it is because we fail to appreciate Ihara-Saikaku's thrilling touch with which each episode is elaborated. Moreover for further appreciation we need to learn the habitus of the samurai class from such primary sources as <i>Oritaku-shiba-no-ki</i> and other diaries by samurai warriors as well as from historical documents of Japanese chivalry. In other words, we must try to re-live a samurai life to have the pleasure of reading the narratives, all of which culminate in the act of decision-making entailed by "giri" or feudal obligations.