— Cristina Ramirez
I think “Life of a Sensuous Woman” by Ihara Saikaku is a great work. The text describes the story of the life of a beautiful woman who had slept with many men throughout her life. She had been selling herself from such a young age that it became a part of her lifestyle. Even though she was not the poorest of the women these decisions only affected her negatively because they lowered her social status and made her lose self-worth. It was a text that surprised me because at the beginning I thought I would not be able to learn anything new from it but it turns out I was wrong. After Ihara Saikaku got to her older years she realized that the choices she made and how she lived her life did not benefit her as she felt “low and ashamed to go on living so long”. She realized that the choices she made were only out of the desire for pleasure, but that pleasure only lasted at the moment. This relates to the society that we live in today because people do things at the moment and don’t realize what the consequences will be or what effect it will have on their future. People don’t realize how bad their choices are until it is too late or until they can’t make them anymore. Ihara Saikaku taught me a lesson when she began talking about the pure land and said “our bodies really do disappear completely. Only our names stay behind in the world”. From this quote, I learned that we need to make the most of our time because we don’t know how much of it we have left. We need to live each and every day to the fullest while trying new experiences. This was something that Ihara Saikaku realized too late because she realized this when she was older and had spent almost all of her life sleeping with men instead. I believe this text is really helpful in learning the true value of life. It brings you on a journey of a woman who regrets her decisions and is trying to help two young men not make the same mistakes. Even though some experiences in our lives that we encounter may seem intriguing we really have to think about how that will affect us in the future.