An Ideal Heian Gentlemen, Part I

It is sometimes said that “sensitive men” are fashionable in these days in Western society. However, we Westerners are far behind the times, as ridiculously sensitive men were all the rage 1,000 years ago in Heian – era Japan.
Men were not supposed to hide their emotions – no. The ideal gentleman was emotional and sensitive to the beauty and pathos of life, and thus would be likely to weep gently at the sight of a magnificent sunset, a pond in the moonlight, or the thought of someone else’s loneliness.

The author of the world’s first novel (The Tale of Genji), Murasaki Shikibu, describes Michinaga himself as having weeped tears of joy at the sight of the spendidly dressed Emperor arriving to a festival.
Michinaga is the man to imitate. Go ahead. Weep softly with immeasurable joy when you hear your favorite band is coming to town. Let a single tear fall gently down your cheek at the thought of the next episode of “Lost.” Practice saying to others, with moist eyes, “I’m not really crying. I’m simply attuned to the sadness and beauty of life.”

You’re not a wimp. You’re a perfect Heian gentleman.

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Filed under gentle weeping, gentlemen, Michinaga

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