Japanese Culture Essay

604 WordsDec 2, 20093 Pages
In every culture and within every individual, there is the dilemma of balancing the various aspects occurring continuously throughout one’s life. Emotions, desires, and responsibilities become inevitability a part of these aspects, causing the balance to become imbalanced and one’s life to instantly turn into chaos. In Japanese culture, there are two aspects that have great importance and this is called Uchi-Soto. Uchi consists of what one projects on the inside, either to close friends or themselves, believing that this will not leek out into the public. Soto pertains to what one projects to the outside; this aspect is one’s social self and does not always exhibit a person’s true feelings. Balancing out the Uchi with the Soto is difficult because the Uchi sometimes falls into the Soto and causes damaging consequences. Such examples can be found in Japanese films, specifically the films, The Mistress, Drunken Angel, and Gonza the Spearman. In the film, The Mistress, or the novel, Wild Geese, written by Mori Ogai, the main heroine Otama becomes highly confused as she fights to hide her secret admiration for Okada while still remaining a dutiful mistress towards Suezo. Publicly, Otama portrays a weak and innocent child. Around town, she is known as a moneylender’s mistress. She is well taken care of as other women nearby live in poverty and hunger; thus, she gains little respect and may be seen as spoiled. Privately; however, she feels trapped in a life she does not care to live. As the story continues, her Uchi becomes stronger then Soto and she allows her feelings of love towards Okada and hatred for Suezo to break through into the Soto, which imbalances the Uchi-Soto equilibrium. In the end, she never manages to find her role in life nor does she re-balance the Uchi and Soto, but she does manage to become socially more

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