Tanizaki and Lust

21/December/2022 in Tokyo

Wednesday morning

"Lust and Literature"

So far I often mentioned Mishima here, so that I always missed an opportunity to touch another writer, Tanizaki

Tanizaki, his full name is Junichiro Tanizaki/谷崎潤一郎

Will write a bit about him

There are 3 writers who have been famous and considered "a classical writer" who writes about Japan's beauty

Mishima, Kawabata and Tanizaki

The most famous one is Mishima, because there are many things about him that spark our interests, not only in his works but more of in his life, precisely his death, which seems too dramatic

Probably the 2nd well-known one is Kawabata, because he was the first Japanese writer who received the Nobel Prize in Literature

And Tanizaki...

He didn't receive such a world-class prize, though nominated several times

His life wasn't as dramatic as Mishima's

In this way, Tanizaki would be the first one who'll be gradually forgotten from our memory


There's nothing more appropriate than "lust" in order to characterise Tanizaki's work and also entire life

Lust, sexuality, desire, sensuality, drive, craving, yearning, thirst, appetite, passion, enthusiasm...

Lust is a fundamental energy for animals, including us. This is what pushes us

Tanizaki was very honest with this lust and, throughout his life, he kept writing about it

And as this implies, his books always give off quite strong optimism and cheerful vibe

Comparing Mishima, the difference becomes even clearer

Mishima was rejecting his life

And this rejection was the main drive for his writing

On the other hand, Tanizaki enjoyed what his life had to offer to the fullest

And as if it's proved, Tanizaki was the only one who died of old age, in 1965

Mishima and Kawabata, both committed suicide, in 1970 & 1972

Even their sentences are different

In Mishima's & kawabata's sentences, there is always something unhealthy, something morbid, something sinister

On the other hand, Tanizaki's writing always embraces a certain lightness and brightness

A person who is very open with himself/herself looks cheerful

A person who is very honest with himself/herself looks positive

A person who is true to himself/herself looks innocent

They don't care of what others think

They are too busy, and too innocent, with pursuing their own ideals

To me, Tanizaki is literary a Hentai pervert writer

Openly pervert

Openly Hentai

inside his works

From a young age to the end of his life, Tanizaki kept chasing his ideal woman,

kept admiring women's foots (because this is his fetish),

kept staying cheerful,

and kept writing about enjoyment and satisfactions that life brings to us