April 19, 2021

Love = lonely sadness.

"During the era of the Man'yōshū, the native Japanese words today known as yamato kotoba (大和言葉, lit. 'Japanese words') were starting to be written using kanji, and the word for 'love,' koi (today written 恋) was written as 孤悲, or 'lonely sadness.'" 

From the Wikipedia article about the movie "Garden of Words," which I happened to watch last night. Recommended, especially if you like looking at animated rain and sun shining through rain onto the sides of people's faces. And handmade shoes. And tanka poetry. 

Quite aside from what is in the movie, I'm interested in the development of Japanese writing and the understanding of love. Actually, that is in the movie, because the director, Makoto Shinkai, who wrote the screenplay, has said that he intended to examine the traditional meaning of love as "lonely sadness" (or "longing for someone in solitude").

Here's the trailer:


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