Five Women Who Loved Love

Five Women Who Loved Love

Five Women Who Loved Love

Five Women Who Loved Love

Excerpt

Five Women Who Loved Love was written by a citizen of Osaka for the amusement of the townspeople in the new commercial centers of seventeenth-century Japan. From the few surviving records of Ihara Saikaku we know that he was not only a popular novelist but also a poet of wide reputation in his own day, a playwright and commentator on theatre life, and also something of a vagabond who had closely observed life as it was lived in parts of the country other than his own. Being so cosmopolitan, he was all the more truly a citizen of Osaka. The things that fascinated him in his native city he also found in others--back alleys and slums as well as gay theatres and teahouses; beggars, peddlers, and the lowliest prostitutes, along with merchant princes and famous courtesans. But in writing about them as he did, with such a rare combination of sympathy and detachment, Saikaku gave expression . . .

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