I think that Life of A Sensuous Woman by Ihara Saikaku is a great work because of how radical it was for its time and the manner in which it approaches the idea of love. Given that the story was written in a conservative sixteenth-century Japan, Saikaku took a great risk in writing from a female perspective. The manner in which he exposes her perspective is also important because it highlights the daily objectification that women face in society. This particularly resonated with me because this mentality is still prevalent in modern society despite the time that has passed since the story was written. In a media driven society, contemporary women are showcased on social media, music videos, or advertisements as ploys to bring in consumers. For the most part, these women will be showcased wearing minimal clothing and perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards (i.e. photoshop). However, in this story the protagonist willingly takes on these jobs that seemingly objectify her and she finds pleasure in them. This sense of enjoyment is a small victory for women because it demonstrates that they are able to find pleasure in acts that they would usually be shamed for. For this reason, I believe that this text is notable in that it was well beyond its time; it exhibits the bold idea that women should be able to enjoy sex just as much as men do and not be shamed for it. Yet, this story is not just about sex. It deals with the greater idea of love and how it can easily be confused for temporary fulfillments. Throughout the story, the word love is thrown around very lightly. The protagonist claims to have many loves throughout all her life, from samaruis to her own calligraphy students. However, all her “lovers” meet the same fate–they die. She essentially kills them becasue they have so much sex that the men are ultamitley drained life itself. She is able to survive all these casualties and move on to the next man. Until she finds that she is the one that has been dead all along, he mind and soul drained. Her attempt to drown herself in the ocean is exemplary of this, she realizes that she has been chasing a love that never had the potential of fulfilling her. In my life, I have found that this is something that I have personally struggled with. Growing up I was pressured into thinking that certain things were going to make me happy. Whether it was pursuing a certain career, following a religion, looking a certain way, or acting a specific manner, I never felt fulfilled because it wasn’t being done for me but rather for my parents. Although love encompasses those around you, especially your family, love has to be found within yourself first. Like the story, it was not until the protagonist followed her own regime of self-care, which was meditation in her case, that she was able to feel at peace. This work is great in that it camouflages this greater lesson upon layers of pleasure, a juxtaposition of temporary tangibility.