Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Pillow Book

In the last few weeks I have been enjoying reading the Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon.

I was inspired to read this book by a beautiful knitted text pillow work at a blog called Six and a Half Stitches.

The Pillow Book was written approximately one thousand years ago - by Sei Shonagon who was a lady in waiting at the Court of the House of the Japanese Empress.

Her writing is lovely to read - it is a journal of writing using lists with headings such as: Outstandingly Splendid things;
Rare Things;
A Lover's Visit

She writes of day to day life an her reflections upon it - One comment that did catch my eye is to be found under: Hateful Things

A gentleman who travels alone in his carriage to see a procession or some other spectacle. What sort of man is he? Evan though he may not be a person of the greatest quality, surely he should have taken along a few of the many young men who are anxious to see the sights. But no, there he is by himself, with a proud look on his face keeping all his impressions to himself.

Alison of Six and a Half Stitches writes that Sei Shonagon is often referred to as the first blogger, because she wrote everything in diary format. I guess bloggers would be found in Sei's Journal under Outstandingly Splendid Things - as blogging is completly unlike attending a procession by yourself - rather it is a sharing and joining in!

Thanks Alison.

The image above is called Needle work by Japanese artist Kitaga Utamaro, (1753 - 1806).

In a little book I have about his work it is written: The beauty of the group rather than the individual is stressed in the(se) work(s).

1 comment:

Felicia said...

Sounds like a delightful book.


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