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January 30, 2012

Jun’ichiro Tanizaki's “Shisei” [“The Tattooer”]--1910, Japan


Image Source: http://www.gomorrahy.com/images/shisei_jpdvd.jpg

"We Orientals find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and darkness which that thing provides."
~ Jun’ichiro Tanizaki

Class,

In the comment box below,

. . . the note-taker/scribe from each group should retype the question your group discussed today in class and provide an answer with quotations from the text to support your answers. You MUST put the page number (or, paragraph number if there are no page numbers) in parentheses after any quotation used.

Enter your work on this text as prescribed in class. For example:

Remember: I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this.

We are beginning to use some concepts in our discussions that you may or may have had practice using before. I want to be sure that you have a clear understanding of the words we use in class (no more blank stares!) so be sure you are looking up words you don't feel you yet "own" (means, making it a part of your personal vocabulary) by utilizing your dictionaries to the fullest.

~Dr. Hobbs

_____________________________________

To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at January 30, 2012 10:55 AM

Readers' Comments:

In Shisei (The Tattooer), the female character has no choice but to go along with Seikichi’s plans. How does this tattoo though empower her once it is complete?

Posted by: William Kopnek at January 27, 2011 12:13 PM

Now that the girl has been tattooed, how will this affect her role as a geisha, as she was originally planned to become?

Posted by: Chad W. at January 27, 2011 09:54 PM

Emmanuel Cruz
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 340
January 28, 2011
Discussion Question
Shisei’s story depicts the idea of cultural identity, and how it strongly impacts individuals on a daily basis. Tanizaki’s story also portrays how Seikichi’s personal desires take over his role as a professional. Although Seikichi’s victim was pleased with her tattoo after waking up, she was never informed of Skeikichi’s intent. Thus, was it ethically moral to sedate the girl in order to accomplish this artist’s desire?

Posted by: Emmanuel Cruz at January 28, 2011 10:53 AM

In the Tattooer, there is a continuing theme of power over the male population. Seikichi enjoyed causing pain to the men and criticizing them if they did not have a strong pain threshold. Is Seikicki for equal rights in his search for the perfect woman to tattoo, or does he just want to leave his mark on a new and beautiful canvas?

Posted by: Eric Dirth at January 28, 2011 11:33 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-340
1/28/11
Entry Ticket #2: Shisei
How does the violation of the unnamed girl’s body and her acceptance of the violation reflect on women in this story? Does the story attempt to mystify the relationship between men and women? If so, is the story successful?
A) The girl is violated by the tattooer, who drugs her and performs the tattoo against her will. Despite this, she accepts and even embraces the new tattoo. I believe this indicates that the story is reflecting on the dynamic between men and women and concluding that, while men have the physical “power,” it is in actuality the women who have the final say and are empowered over men.

Posted by: Dana Jennings at January 28, 2011 01:28 PM

The story explains much about the pleasure Seikichi gets from seeing the pain his clients go through when getting a new tattoo. Because the girl was knocked out when he was tattooing her, he did not get that level of satisfaction. Do you believe that Seikichi continued his search for the perfect canvas (woman) to willingly be tattooed by him so that he could reach his ultimate level of satisfaction out of a tattoo or did he end his search?

Posted by: Meghan Donovan at January 28, 2011 01:45 PM

Patricia Pothier
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 340
What does Tanizaki’s story suggest about the power of masculine and feminine roles in Japanese culture?
Japanese society is known for being ruled predominantly by men. Men own property and dominate their families; women are often sold into marriage. However, the symbolism in Tanizaki’s story is as finely woven as the black spider tattooed on the unnamed girls back. The fact that she remains unnamed is yet another example of the dominance of men in society. While men tend to dominate, Tanizaki uses the story of the tattooer, Seikichi, and the young girl to depict the influence women can have over men using their sexuality. Though the story is in no way physically sexual, that is the two do not make love, this man, this artist, pours his soul into the back of this young girl giving her complete control over him. An example of this lustful power can be found in the “gay district” where Geisha’s perform to entertain and entice men. A tale as old as Adam and Eve, Seikichi himself admits that “all these men will ruin their lives for you.” Seikichi pours his soul into the girl’s tattoo to make her body beautiful. Before she leaves she remarks that he is her first victim; thus exemplifying the illicit sexual dominance women have over men.

Posted by: patricia pothier at January 28, 2011 01:51 PM

Katie Ganning
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 340
28 January 2011
Discussion Question #2

Seikichi tells the young girl that men will ruin their lives for her. Do you think in some ways she ruined him due to his obsession with her?

Posted by: Katie Ganning at January 28, 2011 01:55 PM

In Shisei by Tanizaki, why is the girl so at peace with having been chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Posted by: Douglas Phillips at January 28, 2011 03:34 PM

How has the spider tattoo changed the girl’s personality? Do you think that a similar change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only under certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be)?

Posted by: Nicole Natoli at January 28, 2011 03:56 PM

Entry Ticket Question, Shisei

In drugging her to mark her body, could the tattooist's actions be portrayed as beneficial in giving her bravery, or as malevolent, and, in a sense, raping her soul? Use evidence to support your claim.

Posted by: Amanda B at January 28, 2011 04:01 PM

Taylor Leonard
Entry ticket 2
1/28/11
In this story, the tattooer Seikichi tell his clients to soak in a hot bath to “bring out the colors” of the tattoo. Every time I have gotten a tattoo, I have been told not to immerse the tattoo in water. Why are these methods different? Are to able to soak in water because they do not use the electric machines we do?

Posted by: Taylor Leonard at January 28, 2011 04:42 PM

Would you describe Seikichi as a sadist? Does his sadism apply more to men or women, or are the two treated equally

Posted by: Lindsay Renner at January 28, 2011 07:52 PM

With Seikichi's "strange delight" in watching his usual customers in absolute agony why did he decide to give the girl an anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished?

Posted by: Natasha at January 28, 2011 09:44 PM


How might Seisei’s culture’s views on tattooing differ than his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure for watching other in agony take away from the meaning of tattooing? (To be more specific: We’re learning about the beautiful and meaning behind it, and in reading a character such as Seisei do your views of tattooing differ in any way?)

Posted by: Amanda Arce at January 29, 2011 01:07 AM

Ashjan Alrashid
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
23 September 2014


Question #10 :
Why is the girl so at peace with having been chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Answer :
Because she knew that he would make her beautiful and when he showed her the two paintings she really fond a resemblance to her self “The women is yourself. Her blood flows in your veins.” (Tanizaki 5) The painting made her even beautiful then before and she wanted to be the women in the next painting in which all the men will day for her. “ All these men will ruin their lives for you” (5) she wanted to be powerful and in control of all men.

Posted by: ashjan alrashid at September 23, 2014 04:33 PM

Emily Finck
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
24 September 2014


Question #4:
Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) depicts the idea of cultural identity and how it strongly impacts individuals on a daily basis. Tanizaki’s story also portrays how Seikichi’s personal desires take over his role as a professional. Although Seikichi’s victim was pleased with her tattoo after waking up, she was never informed of Seikichi’s intent. Thus, was it ethically moral to sedate the girl on order to accomplish this artist’s desire? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.


Answer:
It was not ethically moral for the main character in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “The Tattooer,” Seikichi, to sedate the girl just because he wanted to tattoo his idea of the ideal canvas. It is one thing to be passionate about what you do, but to go so far as to illegally drug a young woman for her ideal beauty is just wrong. That kind of behavior is ripe for the development of a psychopath, especially in the way Seikichi goes on to say how he enjoys causing pain to his customers. “His pleasure lay in the agony the men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen blood-red flesh” (Tanizaki 2). Enjoying the thought of harming someone because they have the correct canvas for tattooing is the thought process of a mentally and morally disturbed man.

Posted by: Emily Finck at September 23, 2014 06:39 PM

Shelby Rexroth
ENG210
September 22nd, 2014

14. In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), with Seikichi’s “strange delight” in watching his usual customers in absolute agony, why did he decide to give the girl an anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished?

The tattooer, Seikichi was known for his artwork. He had always done tattoos on men only and enjoyed seeing his customers in pain, which is why he’d always be extra rough with them. One day a woman who had caught his attention a few days before, came into his shop with a package and he instantly fell in love with her and her foot. After trying to convince her to allow him to draw a tattoo on her, she refused so Seikichi decided to drug her, which caused her to pass out. As soon as she passed out, he started to draw his masterpiece on her. I think Seikichi was so determined to give this woman a tattoo because he had never given one to a girl, but only men and wanted something new.

Posted by: Shelby Rexroth at September 23, 2014 07:15 PM

Zailet Martinez
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL- Love and Desire in Literature CA02
24 September 2014

Question 3:
Once the girl has been tattooed, in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how will this affect her role as a geisha, as she was originally planned to become?

Answer:
We all know the girl wants to be geisha before she is introduced to the person she is after the tattoo. The tattoo helps the girl realize how strong and beautiful she is. When Seikichi introduced the girl to the pictures he had collected that inspired him to find a girl as beautiful as her, she was afraid and embarrassed. The princess in the picture resembles the girl, and she admittedly said that she wants to be the woman in the painting that had everyone at her feet, and all the men were her victim. Seikichi chooses her because he knows her desire to be like the women in the painting; he chooses her because she is just like him, someone who enjoys inflicting pain on men. In the end she say, “‘all my old fears have been swept away—and now you are my first victim!’”(Tanizaki, 8) The girl was timid when she had first arrived, but after the tattoo, she becomes confident and beautiful. The tattoo will give the girl more confident in being a geisha, and increases her ego. She has the power to fulfill her desires to inflict pain on men, and being a geisha will be her disguise.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez at September 23, 2014 09:56 PM


Gabriela Navarro
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature
23 Sep 2014

QUESTION #7:
Is there anything in the text suggesting that Seikichi continued his search for the perfect canvas to willingly be tattooed by him so that he could reach his ultimate level of satisfaction out of a tattoo or did he end his search?

ANSWER:
When Seikichi said, "all my old fears have ben swept away- and you are my first victim!" (Tanizaki 8), he seems to make it obvious that he cannot stop with just one victim. Seikichi wished to continue his work in order to seek his ultimate level of satisfaction since all his past fears are no more.

Posted by: Gabriela Navarro at September 23, 2014 10:34 PM

Irma Sera
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG. 210CL Love & Desire in Literature CA02
20 September 2014

Question #2:
In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), the female character has no choice but to go along with Seikichis plans. How does this tattoo though empower her once it is complete? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited paragraphs from the text to support your answer.

Answer:
This tattoo empowers the female character once it is complete by making her confident and much of a stronger woman. “Seikichi was amazed at the change that had come over the timid, yielding girl of yesterday…” (Tanizaki, page 8.) The girl became the woman in the pictures that the Shisei showed her prior to putting her sleep. The woman was BEAUTIFUL, strong, and powerful women who ruled over men and got what she wanted. “I can bear anything for the sake of beauty” (Tanizaki, page 8.) After the tattoo, despite the pain that she would endure in her bath to bring out the colors, she smiled through the pain because it was to feel more beautiful.

Posted by: irma sera at September 23, 2014 11:30 PM

Ahmed Almoailu
Dr. Hobbs
END-210cl
9/24/14

Question: what does jun'ichiro tanizaki's shisei (1910) suggenst about the power of the masculin and feminine roles in japanese culture? answer and use qouted and cited passages from the text.

Answer: Tattooing was an art people use to make them self-beautiful. Men were tattooing them self to become beautiful. Tattooing was an art used by people in theater to satisfy their audience and was used by samurai men. “Visitors to the pleasure quarters of Edo preferred to hire palanquin bearers who were splendidly tattooed.” (Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro. “shisei”) The women were respected for their talent and independence.

Posted by: Ahmed Almoailu at September 24, 2014 12:39 PM

Allison Ward
Dr. B Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature
24 September 2014

Question #15
In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how might views of tattooing in Seikichi’s culture differ from his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure of watching others in agony take away from any traditional/expected meanings of tattooing?

Answer
In this story, people got tattoos to make themselves more beautiful. On page one, it tells about how, “people did all they could to beautify themselves, some even having pigments injected into their precious skins.”(Tanzaki). Seikchi was an expert tattooer in this story, and was known for the “boldness” and “charm of his art”. His views may differ from the cultural view of tattooing because he does it for different reasons. I think that that fact that he enjoys watching people in pain while getting a tattoo doesn’t take away from any traditional meaning of tattooing, but it is very peculiar and kind of cruel.

Posted by: Allison Ward at September 24, 2014 01:01 PM

Thomas Watson
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
24 September 2014

QUESTION #5:
In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), there is a continuing theme of power over the male population. Seikichi enjoyed causing pain to the men and criticizing them if they did not have a strong pain threshold. Is Seikichi for equal rights in his search for the perfect woman to tattoo, or does he just want to leave his mark on a new and beautiful canvas?

ANSWER:

I wouldn’t say that Seikichi is for equal rights, but I do believe he wants to leave his mark on a new beautiful canvas. For a long time he fantasized about tattooing the perfect woman, a woman not only with beauty but one that has the potential to inflict pain on men the way he gives tattoos. On page 3 Tanizaki states, “Such a woman had to meet various qualifications of character as well as appearance. A lovely face and a fine boy were not enough to satisfy him”. It turned from a desire to have this opportunity to maddening love. Once he finally meets the woman he has been looking for he introduces her to some portraits that are eerily familiar to her. The two portraits were of women causing men pain, which were terribly vivid. What made the portraits eery was for this reason, “As the girl stared at this bizarre picture her lips trembled and her eyes began to sparkle. Gradually her face took on a curious resemblance to that of the princess”(Tanizaki 5). Seikichi finally fulfilled leaving his mark on a woman. “To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you. Your fears are gone. All men will be your victims”(Tanizaki 7).

Posted by: Thomas Watson at September 24, 2014 01:20 PM

Matt Weller
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 201CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
24 September 2014

Question #12:
In drugging her to mark her body, could the tattooist’s actions in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) be portrayed as beneficial in giving her bravery, or as malevolent, and in a sense, raping her soul? Use evidence to support your claim.

Answer:
The tattooist gave her bravery and a sense of inner beauty. The girl was first afraid of the tattooist because of the two paintings he showed her that reminded her of herself. At the end of the story when the girl finally wakes up, she likes the tattoo and states she would do anything for beauty. The tattooist first says to her, “I’m afraid it will hurt, but be brave a little longer” (Tanizaki 143). Her response is, “I can bear anything for the sake of beauty.’ Despite pain that was coursing through her body, she smiled” (Tanizaki 143). She did not feel like the tattooist raped her soul, but that he gave her bravery and a sense of inner beauty.

Posted by: Matthew Weller at September 24, 2014 01:54 PM

Anthony Colello
Dr. Hobbs
ENG CA02 love and desire in literature
24 September 2014

Question:
How has the spider tattoo changed the girl's personality? Do you think that assimilate change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only. Under certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be)?

Answer:
The spider tattoo has absolved the young girl of her debilitating fear of the power that she holds over men, "All my old fears have been swept away" (Tanizaki, 8). The tattooing event has given her an increased inner strength to see beauty in the ugliness of the world, "little birds flutter about her, singing in triumph" (5). Here the author depicts a beautiful garden in spring full of new life while dead bodies of men are at the girls feet. 

Not every tattoo procedure will result in a life changing experience. The person receiving the tattoo must be in need emotionally, and the artist must be able to fulfill that emotional need with the art work being presented on a permanent canvas that is the body of the person in emotional need.

Posted by: Anthony Colello at September 24, 2014 02:21 PM

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*NOTE* The deadline for this particular assignment has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

~Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. B. Lee Hobbs at October 1, 2014 01:06 PM

Rebecca Messano/Allison Ward
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG210 Love and Desire in Literature
October 3, 2014

Question #14:
In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), with Seikichi’s “strange delight” in watching his usual customers in absolute agony, why did he decide to give the girl anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished?
Answer:
In the story, the woman goes to the tattooer, and he falls in love with her at first sight. When she came into the shop, he managed to take her downstairs and showed her a picture scroll of a Chinese princess in pain. Once she realized what the picture illustrated, she begged him to stop and put it away. When she wanted to leave, he told her she “must stay – I will make you a real beauty,” and then pulled out the anesthetic. I think he used the anesthetic on her unlike other customers because he realized he made her feel enough pain by making her look at the picture scroll. Once the tattoo was done, he told her “I poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you.” This is his way of saying that he loves her so much; he basically gave her his everything.

Posted by: Rebecca Messano/Allison Ward at October 3, 2014 02:52 PM

Thomas Watson & Brianna Broughton
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
3 October 2014

QUESTION #12:
In drugging her to mark up her body, could the tattooist’s actions in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) be portrayed as beneficial in giving her bravery, or as malevolent, and, in a sense, raping her soul?

ANSWER:
His actions weigh heavier as a beneficiary to her bravery. In fact, he didn’t rape her soul, and she made the claim that she took his soul. Quoted, “Giving me your soul must have made me very beautiful”(Tanizaki 8). For proof that he gave her bravery he stated, “I am afraid it will hurt, but be brave a little longer” (Tanizaki 8). She responded with, “I can bear anything for the sake of beauty” (Tanizaki 8). She had no problem with him inking her body; she even smiled through the pain. In turn, this dismisses the fact that he had raped her soul.

Posted by: Thomas Watson at October 3, 2014 02:59 PM

Anthony Colello,
Ashjan Alrashid
Dr. Hobbs
3 October 2014

Question:
Seikichi tells the young girl that men will ruin their lives for her. Do you think in some ways she ruined him due to his obsession with her?

Answer:
The girl has ruined Seikichi's life. Now that he has finally met the girl that he dreams about, he has nothing more to look forward to. His life's dream to tattoo the perfect female canvas, four years searching, and the constant inhibited vision of his fantasy is now realized. It is evident that his life has culminated as she fulfills her destiny, "you are my first victim!" (Tanizaki,8). She has taken the final reason for his life to exist with a purpose.

Posted by: Anthony Colello at October 3, 2014 03:10 PM

Shelby Rexroth & Gabbie Navarro
October 2, 2014
ENG210 CA02

13) Look up the word “Sadist” if you do not know it. In Jun’ichiro Tanizakis “Shisei” (1910) , is it fair/accurate to describe Seikichi as a sadist? Does his sadism apply more to men or women, or are the two treated equally?

It’s fair to describe Jun’ichiro Tanizaki as sadist because of the fact while he would give both women and men tattoos; his main focus was to make sure they were in pain, which made him happy. He enjoyed putting men through pain more so than women. “Deep in his heart the young tattooer concealed a secret pleasure, and a secret desire. His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh; and the louder they groaned, the keener was Seikichi’s strange delight.”

Posted by: Shelby Rexroth at October 3, 2014 03:16 PM

Zailet Martinez, Ahmed Almoailu and Martin Terrasi

Dr. B. Lee Hobbs

ENG210CL- Love and Desire in Literature

3 October 2014

Question #10:

In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), why is the girl so at peace with having be chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Answer:

The girl does not oppose to Seikichi tattooing her because in a way they had a connection. She enjoyed inflicting pain on men, just like Seikichi enjoyed inflicting pain on the man he tattooed. They are both sadist, because they both enjoy causing pain. She also knew that the tattoo will make her beautiful, “I can bear anything for the sake of beauty.” The tattoo made all the girl’s fears disappear. There was no other woman in Japan that can compare to her. Also, the tattoo of the black widow represents the power she has. The black widow mates with a male, and kills it and eats it, the same way, the girl likes to mate with males and destroy them after.

Posted by: Zailet Martinez, Ahmed Almoailu and Martin Terrasi at October 3, 2014 03:16 PM

Brianna L Broughton
Dr. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210 CL Love & Desire in Literature
11 October 2014
Shishei (The Tattooer)
Question 1: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shishei” (1910), what is the chief conflict?
Answer: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shishei,” the chief conflict is Seikichi’s desire to cause pain from his tattoos and his desire to not cause pain to his perfect canvas. “‘I dare you to say that hurts,’ he would remark with an air of satisfaction.” (Page 2). “He” would be referring to Seikichi. In the period the story takes place, tattoos of this time were done by being repeatedly stabbed, up to 500-600 times, and then soaked in an extremely hot bath. Seikichi’s satisfaction came from the pain he caused the grown men who came to see him rather than the beautiful artwork he created. His ideal canvas was a beautiful woman. After he found his perfect canvas, he became almost in love with her, and could not make her endure the grueling pain of his tattoos, and offered her “a vial of anesthetic which he had obtained some time ago from a Dutch physician.” (Page 6).

Posted by: Brianna Broughton at October 11, 2014 03:45 PM

Sharonda S. Byrd
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 210CL Love and Desire in Literature CA02
11 October 2014

The Tattooer

Question: In Jun ‘ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how has the spider tattoo changed the girl’s personality? Do you think that a similar change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only under certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be?)

Answer: The spider tattoo has changed the girls personality because it has made her more brave and more willing to let go of her past, ”All my old fears have been swept away…” this quote is her showing the narrator and the readers that she is no longer holding on to her past and she is embracing the future. In the story the narrator describes her as a man-eater, “All these men will ruin their lives for you”. This quote says that men will do anything for her but she will not do the same back and this revelation hurts her. This change only occurs during this certain circumstance and no one else.

Posted by: sharonda byrd at October 11, 2014 06:56 PM

Kathleen Sholl
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
29 January 15

The Tattooer Discussion Question

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), there is a continuing theme of power over the male population. Seikichi enjoyed causing pain to the men and criticizing them if they did not have a strong pain threshold. Is Seikichi for equal rights in his search for the perfect woman to tattoo, or does he just want to leave his mark on a new beautiful canvas?

Answer: In my opinion, Seikichi seems that he wants to find the perfect women to tattoo, but he mostly just wants to leave his mark on a new beautiful canvas. I feel that he intends to see if tattooing a woman is any different than tattooing a man. The passage states, “ for a long time Seikichi had cherished the desire to create a masterpiece on the skin of a beautiful woman” (Tanizaki 3). He yearned to create something on a beautiful woman and feel that “secret desire” (Tanizaki 2) that he felt with others. Seikichi was waiting for that one woman to meet his qualifications, enough to satisfy him on every level.

Posted by: Kathleen Sholl at January 29, 2015 10:13 PM

Selena Hammie
Dr. B. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA12
29 January 2015

“The Tattooer”

Question #9: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei”(1910), Seikichi tells the young girl that men will ruin their lives for her. Do you think in some ways she ruined him due to his obsession with her? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

I do think she ruined him in some ways due to his obsession because one summer four years into his research “he noticed a woman’s bare milk-white foot peeping out beneath the curtains of a departing palanquin” and followed behind her until he lost complete sight of her. (Page 3) Then, one morning in the spring he finds the same young girl coming to ask him a favor for her mistress and he began to show her some scrolls and describing what they were. She admits to him being correct about the woman she was. He asks if he can do the portrait on her back, so he begins to tattoo her while he is completing his masterpiece he pours his soul and pain into it. When she finally wakes and bathes after he finished his work “her eyes were brilliant; there was not a trace of pain in them.” (Page 8)

Posted by: Selena Hammie at January 29, 2015 11:05 PM

Amber Dunlap
Dr.Hobbs
ENG. 122 Academic Writing II CAO 12
29 January 2015

Question:
How do the violation of the unnamed girl’s body and her acceptance of the violation reflect on women in the story? Does the story attempt to mystify the relationship between men and woman?
Answer:
In this story the tattoer violates the girl by drugging her. After he decides to drug her, he then begins to tattoo her body. After seeing the tattoo, the girl begins to embrace the tattoo given to her. “Let me see the tattoo,” says the girl. (pg. 143). In the end of the story, it proves that women have the final say over men.

Posted by: Amber at January 29, 2015 11:17 PM

Emma Riemer
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
30 January 2015

The Tattooer

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), what is the chief conflict?

Answer:
The chief conflict in this story is that the Tattooer, Seikichi, is very passionate about his work, and he wants to tattoo a woman, but it cannot be any woman. The author writes, “For a long time Seikichi had cherished the desire to create a masterpiece on the skin of a beautiful woman. Such a woman had to meet various qualifications” (Tanizaki 138). Seikichi searched for the perfect woman, but he could not find her. “A lovely face and a fine body were not enough to satisfy him. Though he inspected all the reigning beauties of the Edo gay quarter he found none who met his exacting demands” (Tanizaki 138). It took him several years to find the perfect canvas.

Posted by: Emma Riemer at January 29, 2015 11:31 PM

Rachel Addington
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
28 January 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), the female character has no choice but to go along with Seikichi’s plans. How does this tattoo though empower her once it is complete?

Answer: The tattoo helps the girl realize how strong and beautiful she is. When Seikichi introduced the girl to the pictures he had collected that inspired him to find a girl as beautiful as her, she was afraid and embarrassed. The princess in the picture resembles the girl, and she admittedly said that she wants to be the woman in the painting that had everyone at her feet, and all the men were her victims. Seikichi chooses her because he knows her desire is to be like the women in the painting; he chooses her because she is just like him, someone who enjoys inflicting pain on men. In the end she says, “‘all my old fears have been swept away—and now you are my first victim!’”(Tanizaki, 8) The girl was timid when she had first arrived, but after the tattoo, she becomes confident and beautiful. The tattoo will give the girl more confidence in being a geisha, and increases her ego. She has the power to fulfill her desires to inflict pain on men, and being a geisha will be her disguise.

Posted by: Rachel Addington at January 29, 2015 11:42 PM

Aderias Ewing
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing 2
29 January 2015
Question 15: How might the views of tattooing in Selkichi’s culture differ from his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure of watching people in agony take away any meaning of tattooing?
Since it was leisurely age of fun, humor for the rich in (pg 136) people everywhere from heroes to geisha’s would get tattoos to show from beauty and honor. Nevertheless, Selkichi was different because he would select people he thought was worth having one and he made the decision on what they could have on their bodies. Yes, tattoos are meant as assign of beauty and meaning to that individual person however, not enjoying hurting and taunting someone from it. In (pg 137) it says Selkichi pleasures lay in the agony that men felt as he drove his needles into them, swollen, blood- red flesh. In addition, saying things to his clients like “Don’t act like a child.” That is a very sinister, vicious, and wicked thing to do if you ask me.

Posted by: aderias ewing at January 30, 2015 12:34 AM

Aderias Ewing
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing 2
29 January 2015
Question 15: How might the views of tattooing in Selkichi’s culture differ from his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure of watching people in agony take away any meaning of tattooing?
Since it was leisurely age of fun, humor for the rich in (pg 136) people everywhere from heroes to geisha’s would get tattoos to show from beauty and honor. Nevertheless, Selkichi was different because he would select people he thought was worth having one and he made the decision on what they could have on their bodies. Yes, tattoos are meant as assign of beauty and meaning to that individual person however, not enjoying hurting and taunting someone from it. In (pg 137) it says Selkichi pleasures lay in the agony that men felt as he drove his needles into them, swollen, blood- red flesh. In addition, saying things to his clients like “Don’t act like a child.” That is a very sinister, vicious, and wicked thing to do if you ask me.

Posted by: aderias ewing at January 30, 2015 12:34 AM

Vallinique Martin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
29 January 2015

Question: Once the girl has been tattooed in Junichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei”, how will this affect her role as a geisha, as she originally planned to become?

Answer: The girl in Shisei most likely will not have the chance of becoming a geisha. She was sent to Seikichi to run an errand for a geisha, which she did but never returned. “She had come on an errand for a friend of his, a geisha from a nearby Tatsumi quarter.” (Tanizaki 4) She was asleep while Seikichi was drawing the tattoo, when a servant came to check on her but was turned away by Seikichi. “When a servant came from the geisha house to inquire about her, Seikichi turned him away, saying that she had left long ago.” (Tanizaki 7) Now the geishas she was working for will believe that she is untrustworthy enough to become a geisha.

Posted by: Vallinique Martin at January 30, 2015 01:20 AM

Victoria Markou
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 12
29 January 2015

Question 4: Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shiesi” (1910) depicts the idea of cultural identity, and how it strongly impacts individuals on a daily basis. Tanizaki’s story also portrays how Seikichi’s personal desires take over his role as a professional. Although Seikichi’s victim was pleased with her tattoo after waking up, she was never informed of Seikichi’s intent. Thus, was it ethically moral to sedate the girl in order to accomplish the artist’s desire? Answer in your own words, but use quoted passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Sekichi is introduced as a strange man with somewhat perverse interest in the pain he causes, “His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh; and the louder they groaned, the keener was Sekichi’s strange delight” (Tanizaki 137). Sekichi began to obsess over finding the perfect woman to tattoo, “she had to meet various qualifications of character as well as appearance” (Taniziki 138). He finds her and loses her, and then months later, she appears at his doorstep. He tells her how she embodies the black widow and sedates her. It was not ethically moral to sedate her to satisfy his artist’s desire, to “embellish the pure skin of this girl” without her consent (Taniziki 148). His desire and obsession caused him to overlook morality.

Posted by: Victoria Markou at January 30, 2015 03:18 AM

Amanda Cannon
Dr. Hobbs
ENC 122 Academic Writing II CA12
30 January 2015

The Tattooer
Question #14: In Junichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), with Seikichi’s “strange delight” in watching his usual customers in absolute agony, why did he decide to give the girl an anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished?
Answer: Seikichi spent years looking for the perfect woman to decorate with one of his tattoos. His dream girl arrived on his doorstep one spring morning. Seikichi invited her in to show her some pictures. “Why are you showing me this horrible thing?” (Shisei 140), she asked. Seikichi tried to show her one last drawing “but the girl refused to lift her head…and she repeated over and over that she was afraid and wanted to leave” (Shisei 141). He then drugged her with an anesthetic and started to tattoo a spider to her back. When the girl woke, her first words were “let me see the tattoo” (Shisei 143). She bathed and showed him the tattoo one last time before she left. Seikichi gave the girl an anesthetic because she was trying to leave. He was gentle with her because he spent years looking for the perfect woman to tattoo, and he had finally found her.

Posted by: Amanda Cannon at January 30, 2015 08:14 AM

Jorge Braham
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA12
29 January 2015

Question:
In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “shisei” (1910), how was the spider tattoo changed the girl’s personality? Do you think that a similar change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only under certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be)? Answer in you own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support you answer.


Answer:
The girls attitude changed completely because when she didn’t have the tattoo she was a little bit scared, not really wanting to face her fears but Seikichi showed her around and told her that she would be beautiful and she believed him. She became courageous and had the brightness smile on her face every time she saw it.
‘“Let me see the tattoo,” she said, speaking as if in a dream but with an edge of authority to her voice. “Giving me your soul must have made me very beautiful”(Shisei 143)


Posted by: Jorge Braham at January 30, 2015 08:59 AM

Mallory Delay
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
29 January 2015

Question 8: What does Jun'ichiro Tankizaki's "Shisei"(1910) suggest about the power of masculine and feminine roles in Japanese culture?

Answer: "Shisei" suggests the feminine roles had more power than the masculine roles. The men are not trying to be different from women in fact they are attempting to be more like the women. Tankizaki mentions, "Rough masculine heroes like Sadakuro and Jiraiya were transformed into women." (1) Men "did all they could to beautify themselves (Tankizaki 1), even going as far as to brand their skin with beautiful ink. Tankizaki shows the masculine role as weak; men cannot endure the pain of the tattoos. He writes "spineless men howled in torment or clenched his teeth and twisted his mouth as if he were dying" as Seikichi, the tattoo artist, creates his masterpieces ( Tankizaki 2) while a young girl never wakes from her sleep as he creates a large black widow spider on her back. (Tankizaki 7) Females had the upper hand when it described in a painting done by Seikichi. A woman was casually leaning on a cherry tree while the corpse of men lay her feet; Seikichi explains that "all men these men will ruin their lives for you." (Tankizaki 5)

Posted by: Mallory Delay at January 30, 2015 10:09 AM

Emily Buckley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
24 January 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how might views of tattooing in Seikichi’s culture differ from his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure for watching others in agony take away from any traditional/expected meanings of tattooing?

Answer: During the time of this story, people would do anything to be considered more beautiful. “People did all they could to beautify themselves, some even having pigments injected into their precious skins.” (Tanizaki 1) It was also a time when the culture encouraged living frivolously. "It was an age when men honored the noble virtue of frivolity…” (Tanizaki 1) People desired tattoos for the art and creativity of the work. They would have competitions for the purpose of showing off the “novel designs.” (Tanizaki 1) Seikichi valued tattooing in a different way; he delighted in watching the pain and suffering of his clients. “Deep in his heart the young tattooer concealed a secret pleasure, and a secret desire. His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them…” (Tanizaki 2) Clients would have to suffer for a long time so he could get what he wanted out of the deal, and in turn would give what the client desired, a detailed and envied design. He paid particular attention to the body he chose to work with rather than the artwork, he decided what he wanted to do with the client. "The clients he did accept had to leave the design and cost entirely to his discretion—and to endure for one or even two months the excruciating pain of his needles.” The pain of tattooing is not what is traditionally valued, it is the price the client pays to get the result.

Posted by: Emily Buckley at January 30, 2015 10:10 AM

Jan Urbaniak
Dr. Hobbs
ENG122 Academic Writing II CA12
30 January 2015
Question: 1. In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), what is the chief conflict?
Answer: Main conflict is this story is unrequited love of the main character to the women. He made several driving for her but she was rather terrified than happy. “Your own feelings are revealed here," Sei,kichi told her - with pleasure as he watched her face. "Why are you showing me this horrible thing?" the girl3 asked, looking up at him. She had turned pale. "The woman is yoursdfi Her blood flows in your veins." Then he spread out the other scroll. Please, I beg you to put it away” (Tanizaki 140)

Posted by: Jan Urbaniak at January 30, 2015 10:33 AM

Kaitlin Murphy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
29 January 2015

Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisel" (1910), why is the girl so at peace with having been chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Answer: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisel" (1910), I believe the girl was so at peace with being chloroformed and tattooed against her will because she sees it as beauty and since he put his soul into the tattoo it has made her more beautiful. " Giving me your soul must have made me very beautiful" (Jun'ichiro 143). She sees it as he just made her the most beautiful girl in Japan now.

Posted by: Kaitlin Murphy at January 30, 2015 02:08 PM

Charis Lavoie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA12
1 February 2015

Question 14: In Jun’chiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), with Seikichi’s “strange delight” in watching his usual customers in absolute agony, why did he decide to give the girl an anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished?

Answer: Seikichi has always wanted to tattoo a woman but none of them ever met his standard until one evening he saw “..a women’ bare milk-white foot peeping out beneath the curtains of a departing palanquin (Tanizaki 138).” Seikichi’s desire to tattoo a masterpiece on a beautiful woman is realized as soon as he comes across her and his “..long-held desire turned into passionate love (Tanizaki 138).”

Posted by: Charis Lavoie at February 1, 2015 05:37 PM

Peyton Farrier
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
09 September 2015

Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizak's "Shisei" (1910), why is the girl so at peace with having been chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Answer: The girl was so at peace with being drugged and with the tattoo because Seikichi showed her a picture of a Chinese princess. The picture showed "the princess gazing down at a man who was about to be tortured in the garden. He was chained hand and foot to a hollow copper pillar in which a fire would be lighted. Both the princess and her victim his head bowed before her, his eyes closed, ready to meet his fate were portrayed with terrifying vividness" (Shisei 5). Seikichi told the girl that it was her feelings being revealed in the picture and the girl agreed with him. Knowing that she wanted to control, he decided to give her the tattoo. "To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you. Your old fears are gone. All men will be your victims" (Shisei 7).

Posted by: Peyton Farrier at September 9, 2015 06:59 PM

Cannelle Samson
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
9 September 2015

Shishei “The Tattooer”


Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shishei” (1910), how does the violation of the unnamed girl’s body and her acceptance of the violation reflect on women in this story? Does the story attempt to mystify the relationship between men and women? If so, is the story successful? Answer in your own words, but use quotes and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Seikichi, a young tattooer, is found mesmerized by a beautiful woman’s feet. He dreams of tattooing this woman with incredible passion. Five years after seeing this woman’s feet, she is found at Seikichi’s house with an errand. The young tattooer takes this opportunity to tattoo this beautiful woman. As he is about to tattoo her, Seikichi says, “… I will make you a real beauty” (Tanizaki, 6). The unnamed woman has fallen asleep with the help of a drug, and is being tattooed by Seikichi. When the work is done and the woman works up, she has accepted her faith and says, “Giving me your soul must have made me very beautiful (Tanizaki, 8). The violation of the unnamed women and her acceptance of the violation reflect on women in this story in the sense that they would all suffer to be beauty, and to trap men with their beauty. The unnamed woman talking about her beauty says to Seikichi, “All my old fears have been swept away- and you are my first victim” (Tanizaki, 8). The woman is expressing to Seikichi that with her new tattoo she will make more men fall in love with her beauty. It has also shown that women and men are equal in the sense that tattoos are seen as beautiful on both of their bodies. In the short story “Sheshei” it states, “In the illustrated romantic novels of the day, Kabuki and Jiraiya were transformed into women- everywhere beauty and strength were one. People did all they could to beautify themselves…” (Tanizaki, 1). This means that women, in a way, were replacing men in different sort of rules. Women were seen to be strong and beautiful. They also seemed to be willing to do anything to accomplish extreme and rare beauty.
I believe that the story is attempting to mystify the relationship between men and women because it is not clear whether the unnamed girl will ever settle down or fall in love. On the contrary, it seems as though she will pass through men, make them love her, and leave. It is as though, beauty is of the outmost and only importance. I believe that the story is somewhat successful in this attempt because you cannot tell what relationship she will have with any man. Seikichi says to the unnamed women, “To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no women in Japan to compare with you. Your old fears are gone. All men will be your victim” (Tanizaki, 7). This quote stood out to me because it seems as if the unnamed woman wants all men. The relationship between men and women are completely mystified by the women’s passion for beauty.

Posted by: Cannelle Samson at September 9, 2015 07:33 PM

Brad McAvoy
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA-09
9/9/15

Question # 7

Seikichi gets pleasure out of causing his clients pain with his needle and seeing their blood. "His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needle into them." (Tanizaki 137) He loved when they groaned while he was tattooing. " . . . and the louder they groaned, the keener Seikichi enough to satisfy him." (Tanizaki 138) But when he tattooed the lovely girl he was very attracted to he had to give her an anesthetic during the very long tattoo session. With every stroke of his ink pen it gave him a slight jab in the heart because he is inking the precious skin of hers. Also, she wasn't hurt nor whining about it so he also didn't get any joy out of the agony. "He felt his spirit dissolve into the charcoal-black ink that stained her skin." (Tanizaki 141) To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you." (Tanizaki 142) Seikichi created his masterpiece, because he worked very long hours and gave his every effort to make it his masterpiece, which it is.

Posted by: Brad McAvoy at September 9, 2015 10:59 PM

Lois Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA03
9 September 2015


Question: What does Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shesei” (1910) suggest about the power of masculine and feminine roles in Japanese culture?

Answer: Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shesei” suggests that the role that women and men took in the Japanese culture were almost equally powerful. The author describes an era of frivolity. Both, man and women, seem to have their place in society; however, they have certain liberties—especially women. In the story, Tanizaki narrates how this young girl goes to the house of a well-known tattoo artist, and he drugged her so that he could paint on the body. She was not as concerned about her safety as she was about beauty, which is a noticeable cultural difference in comparison with other western cultures of the time. Furthermore, historically, according to the account of the author, firemen, sailors, gamblers, merchant, and even samurais usually got ink on their bodies whether it was for self-pleasure or exhibition. Therefore, she is the living proof of frivolity and beauty of this time. Moreover, the author tells his readers that “in the illustrated romantic novels of the day, rough masculine heroes like Sadakuro and Jiraiya were transformed into women—everywhere beauty and strength were one (Tanizaki 136).” Also, the writer expresses through his story that women can also be as strong as men, for she endured the excruciating pain of the needle in the flesh.

Posted by: Lois Martinez at September 10, 2015 12:34 AM

Conner Knaresboro
Dr. Hobbs
Eng122 Academic Writing II CA09
10 September 2015

Question: In drugging her to mark her body, cold the tattooist actions be portrayed as beneficial, or as malevolent, and, in a sense raping her soul?
Answer: When the tattooist drugged her body it seems that she had gotten strength from it. He says to her “To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you. Your old fears are gone. All men will be your victims” (Tanizaki). That being said it changed her from being someone who would take abuse from a man to a person that would not let anyone be mean to her for no reason. “All my old fears are swept away you are my first victim” (Tanizaki). That shows that she was a changed woman after the drug wore off, and the tattoo was finished.

Posted by: Conner Knaresboro at September 10, 2015 12:27 PM

Emma Duncan
Dr. Hobbs
Academic Writing II CA03
10 September 2015

Question: In drugging her to mark her body, could the tattooist’s actions in Jun’ichio Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) be portrayed as beneficial in giving her bravery, or as malevolent, and, in a sense, raping her soul?

Answer: Drugging the girl just to fulfill the tattooist’s desire to mark her body is malevolent. The tattooist forced her to look at those photos and scared her. She clearly had no desire to stay considering the fact she continued to tell him that she wanted to leave. Even so, the tattooist persisted and drugged the girl. He started to mark her back, and the author described how the tattooist, “saw in his pigments the hues of his own passions” (Tanizaki, 6). The only way this could be portrayed as giving the girl bravery is if she had decided to go along with the tattoo without being drugged or when she showed bravery at the end of the story. Her experience was, essentially, raping her soul because the girls who are put into sex trafficking do not do it voluntarily. They are drugged, sold and abused. The girl that the tattooist drugged is going through a traumatic experience and when she wakes up, she acts odd. She does this because when she was in opposition to staying and looking at the photos so he drugged her. She wanted to get out of the tattooist’s place so she acted in a way that would please him. Therefore, she showed bravery because she acted normal to get herself out of the tattooist’s house. The girl acted so well that even the tattooist was convinced. Tanizaki describes the tattooist’s reaction to the girl, “Seikichi was amazed at the chance that had come over the timid, yielding girl of yesterday” (Tanizaki, 8).

Posted by: Emma Duncan at September 10, 2015 01:13 PM

Matthew Beebe
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 122 - Academic Writing II CAO3
September 10, 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “shisei” (1910), how has the spider tattoo changed the girl’s personality? Do you think that a similar change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be)? Answer in your own words, but use quote and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: I believe the tattoo of the spider made her feel good, thankful, and tough. The Tattooer kept saying how he was pouring his soul into this tattoo, and that could make someone please and know for a fact that she or she is getting a good tattoo. I also feel that the tattoo made her tough. When she wanted to see that tattoo, he said, “you must bathe to bring out the colors” […] “I am afraid it will hurt” (Tanizaki 8). She then replied and agreed to take on the pain. I believe that similar things happened when you get any tattoo. The person that is getting the tattoo obviously wants it to look as best as possible. And if it takes a little more pain to get it to look amazing, most people will do it.

Posted by: Matthew Beebe at September 10, 2015 01:54 PM

Brittany Cordero
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
10 September 2015

Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" (1910), with Seikichi's "strange delight" in watching his usual customers in absolute agony, why did he decide to give the girl an anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished?

Answer: Seikichi decided to give the girl an anesthetic because he had been waiting for her and was going to pour his soul into this particular tattoo. He cared for this woman and "waited five years" for her (Tanizaki 139). Seikichi felt "he was about to embellish the purse skin of this girl" and rather than having her move all around and refuse the tattoo while ruining his work, he decided to sedate her (Tanizaki 141).

Posted by: Brittany Cordero at September 10, 2015 04:18 PM

Alexis Clayton
Doctor Hobbs
ENG 122-CA3 Academic Writing 2
10 September 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) there is a continuing theme of power of the male population. Seikichi enjoyed causing pain to the men and criticizing them if they did not have a strong pain threshold. Is Seikichi for equal rights in his search for the perfect women to tattoo, or does he just want to leave his mark on a new and beautiful canvas?


Answer: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s short story, Shisei, Seikichi enjoyed causing pain towards the male figure. For example, “ his pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh (Pg. 137 Tanizaki). He uses very descriptive detail to show his passion about the pain he likes to cause. He also shows how his search for the perfect women to tattoo was because he had a desire to paint on the skin of a beautiful women and set out to do just that. I believe that Seikichi just wants to leave a mark a new and beautiful canvas and that is why he was on his search for this type of women. Tanizaki states on page 138, “ For a long time Seikichi had cherished the desire to create a masterpiece on true skin of a beautiful women. This means to me that it did not matter who it was just that she was beautiful.

Posted by: Alexis Clayton at September 10, 2015 04:29 PM

Yaribilisa Colon
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122
9/10/2015


"All my old fears have been swept away- and you are my first victim."

QUESTION: The female character has no choice but to go along with Seikichi's plans. How does this tattoo though empower her once it's complete?

ANSWER: The tattoo empowers her by not only giving her confidence, but she also used her power towards Seikichi's. In other words as she stated; "I will make you my first victim"

Posted by: Yaribilisa Colon at September 10, 2015 06:21 PM

Jaclyn Taylor
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic writing 11 CA03
9 September 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei”(1910), the female character has no choice but to go along with Seikichi’s plans. How does this tattoo though empower her once it is complete?

Answer: Through this tattoo that she is given by Seikichi she is empowered by the meaning behind it. For when she awoke to having a black widow on her back Seikichi told her that “to make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you. Your old fears are gone. All men will be your victims.” After she is given the tattoo and after a bath to bring out the colors of the art that was done on her back she comes back to Seikichi, with to trace of pain in her eyes and having her fears gone she tells him “ All my old fears have been swept away – and you are my first victim!” For he had poured his soul into her and into the art that was now her beauty and her power to rise above all men.

Posted by: Jaclyn Taylor at September 10, 2015 07:12 PM

Michael Mooney
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 121 Academic Writing II CA09
10 September 2015

Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" (1910), Seikichi tells the younger girl that men will ruin their lives for her. Do you think in some ways she ruined him due to his obsession with her?

Answer: In the five years of Seikichi's search he was driven mad with desire to find the perfect woman to use as a canvas for what would eventually be his Magnum Opus. This theoretical "perfect woman" constantly occupied his thoughts. As stated by Tanizaki, "….The face and figure of the perfect woman continued to obsess his thoughts" (Tanizaki 3). This obsession is what drove Seikichi through the years of his search, and in a way gave his life purpose. When he finally found the perfect girl, Seikichi spent an entire day working on his masterpiece, driven by the desire to complete his life's ultimate work, "Each drop of Ryukyu cinnabar that he mixed with alcohol and thrust in was a drop of his lifeblood. He saw in his pigments the hues of his own passions" (Tanizaki 6). In the end, his greatest work was complete. Seikichi had achieved his life goal that for so many years had driven him and given him purpose. With his life's work complete, he was drained, and no longer possessed the drive of the past few years "This work of art had been the supreme effort of his life. Now that he had finished it his heart was drained of emotion" (Tanizaki 7). In a way, pursuing his mad obsession had ruined him emotionally. Seikichi had thrown himself at the girl and ruined himself in the process.

Posted by: Michael Mooney at September 10, 2015 07:51 PM

Shyiem-Akiem Brown
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
11 September 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how does the violation of the unnamed girl’s body and her acceptance of the violation reflect on women in this story? Does the story attempt to mystify the relationship between men and women? If so, is the story successful?

Answer: The violation of the unnamed girl in the story and her acceptance of her body being violated shows that women in that society are viewed no more than objects of beauty to please men. The author further solidified this fact by not mentioning her name in the story at all. “She seemed only fifteen or sixteen but her face had a strangely ripe beauty, a look of experience, as if she had already spent years in the gay quarter and had fascinated innumerable men” (Tanizaki 139). The women of the society in the story will go to any extent for beauty. The girl said, “I can bear any pain for the sake of beauty” (Tanizaki 142), which means that society judges a woman based on her physical attractiveness and not her character. Both Seikichi and the girl were complete strangers, but neither exchanged names with the other. The story was successful in mystifying the relationship between men and women because the reader is still left to ponder if they will be intimate at some point in the story (Tanizaki 143).

Posted by: Shyiem-Akiem Brown at September 10, 2015 08:53 PM

Jorge Braham
Dr. Hobbs
ENG-122 Academic Writing CA09
10 September 2015

Question:
What does Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" (1910) suggest about the power of masculine and Feminine roles in Japanese culture? Answer in own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.
Answer:
As I was reading the story he says "In the illustrated romantic novels of the day, in the kabuki theater, where rough masculine heroes like Sadakuro and Jiraiya were transformed into women- everywhere beauty and strength were one." Seikichi enjoyed to inflict pain into the men with his needle as for woman he didn’t enjoy it as much but he was in love with his work he had to finish it.

Posted by: jorge braham at September 10, 2015 09:01 PM

Zach Pottle
Professor Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
11 September 2015

Question:

Look up the word “Sadist” if you do not know it. In Junichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei (1910), is it fair/accurate to describe Seikichi as a sadist? Does his sadism apply more to men or women, or are the two treated equally.

Answer:

A sadist is someone who enjoys causing pain to another, and receives some sort of sexual pleasure out of it. In Junichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei”, the main character Seikichi is depicted as such. Tanizaki give the reader an almost textbook description of a sadist as he describes Seikichi, “Deep in his heart the young tattooer concealed a secret pleasure […] His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh; and the louder they groaned, the keener was Seikichi’s strange delight” (Tanizaki 137). Seikichi’s sadism is more focused towards men. As previously stated in the above quote, his pleasure came from the agony of men, not women. This is even further proven when he is tattooing the young lady. As Seikichi is tattooing her, he does not seem to enjoy what he is doing, but rather he feels exhausted as if he had poured his entire soul into her tattoo.

Posted by: Zachary Pottle at September 10, 2015 09:12 PM

Zekeriya Kayaselcuk

Dr. Hobbs

ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA 09

10 September 2015


Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" (1910), is it fair/accurate to describe Seikichi as a sadist? Does his sadism apply more to men or women, or are the two treated equally?


Answer: Seikichi was most definitely a sadist, throughout the reading Seikichi was enjoying the pain of the men as he stabbed his needles on their skin. "His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh; and the louder they groaned, the keener was Seikichi's strange delight." (Tanizaki pg. 137). Seikichi was feeding his soul by observing and hearing the pain of each man. This type of pleasure applied more to men for Seikichi. When he showed the two paintings to the luscious and tender young woman, the details would describe the torture of men. He even created a masterpiece on the woman's back but put her to sleep before he drove his needles into her skin. If he enjoyed the pain of both genders, Seikichi would not have put the woman to sleep. Towards the end of the story, Seikichi motivates the girl to find pleasure in power and pain of men. "To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo. Today there is no woman in Japan to compare with you. All men will be your victims." (Tanizaki pg. 142).

Posted by: Zekeriya Kayselcuk at September 10, 2015 10:03 PM

Lady Hernandez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 academic writing II CA03
10 September 2015


“To make you truly beautiful I have poured my soul into this tattoo […] All men will be your victims.’”

Question: why is the girl so at peace with having been chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Answer: Seikichi sees himself as an artist and someone of higher status. Being tattooed by him meant that you were strong and a rebellion. No other Japanese women has a tattoo as great as hers thus making her a one of a kind “masterpiece.” He used her as a canvas for his greatest artwork thus making her something very special and she was contempt with that.

Posted by: lady hernandez at September 10, 2015 10:12 PM

Johnny Nguyen
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 CA09
10 September 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how might views of tattooing in Seikichi’s culture from his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure for watching others in agony take away from any traditional/expected meanings of tattooing?

Answer: His views differ because in his culture, they don’t usually have tattooing. It’s odd to see someone with a tattoo. He enjoys tattooing, especially men because he can inflict pain on them. Even when the men were unfazed, he would try to inflict pain by shading. He seemed like he was more worried about inflicting pain rather than how the actually piece of work turns out. When he starts tattooing women, he feels like he is stabbing his own heart with the needle. He seems to try to make every piece on beautiful women exquisite. His pleasures do take away from traditional tattooing because usual artists try to have their clients as comfortable as possible.

Posted by: johnny Nguyen at September 10, 2015 10:33 PM

Anayah McKenzie
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
10 September 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) depicts the idea of cultural identity, and how it strongly impacts individuals on a daily basis. Tanizaki’s story also portrays how Seikichi’s victim was pleased with her tattoo after waking up, she was never informed of Seikichi’s intent. Thus, was it ethically moral to sedate the girl in order to accomplish this artist’s desire?

It was not ethically moral for Seikichi to sedate the girl to accomplish his goal. Before the sedation, the girl made it quite clear that she had no want to become like the women in the pictures. She plainly said, “Why are you showing me this horrible thing?” Tanizaki also went on to say she turned pale (Tanizaki 140); this shows her disagreeing heavily. In the future she could have been gravely upset about the turn of events.

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) how would this affect her as a geisha as she was originally planned to become?

It will affect her in a positive way. It will draw a larger male crowd to see her so that may look upon her beauty. Seikichi said, “All these men will ruin their lives for you.” (Tanizaki 140), which shows the extent of what they would do for her.

Posted by: Anayah McKenzie at September 10, 2015 11:16 PM

Hana Lee
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
9 September 2015
“It is an age when men honored the noble virtue of frivolity, when life was not such a harsh struggle as it is today.””In the illustrated romantic novels of the day, in the Kabuki Theater, where rough masculine heroes like Sadakuro and Jiraiya were transformed into women --- everywhere beauty and strength were one.” (Shisei 1)
“Deep in his heart the young tattooer concealed a secret pleasure, and a secret desire. His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needle into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh; and the louder they groaned, the keener was Seikichi’s strange delight.”


Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910). What is the chief conflict?
Answer: The main conflict of “Shisei” is that the story tells of marital unhappiness that in fact conflicts between the new and old. The fact that at the start of the reading, they said “life in that time was not a harsh struggle as it is today.” There is more to this and what really circled around the conflict was the tattooer, who was always praised for his tattoo works yet “he concealed a secret pleasure, and a secret desire.”

Posted by: Hana Lee at September 10, 2015 11:25 PM

Sabrina McIntyre
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA03
10 September 2015

Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" (1910), with Seikichi's "strange delight" in watching his usual customers in absolute agony, why did he decide to give an anesthetic as well as he seemed to be more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: In the story "Shisei", I believe that the reason Seikichi decided to give an anesthetic to the woman was because he was constantly doing tattoos on men. He enjoyed inflicting pain on them but never had a woman come to inflict pain. In my opinion, he was more gentle with her even when her tattoo was finished because he felt sorry for inflicting pain onto her skin. For example, the story states, "At every thrust of his needle Seikichi gave a heavy sigh and felt as if he had stabbed his own heart" (Tanizaki 142). Nonetheless, this proves that he felt he had to be more gentle because she was a woman.

Posted by: Sabrina McIntyre at September 10, 2015 11:34 PM

Tannor Berry
ENG 122 CA03
Robert’s
“The Tatooer”


Question: In Jun ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), Seikichi tells the young girl said that men will ruin their lives for her. Do you think in some ways she ruined him due to his obsession with her?

Answer: In the story “The Tatooer” the young girl said that men will ruin their lives for her. I do believe that in some ways she ruined him because of the way she wanted to feel beauty over a tattoo on her body. She ruined him because he felt a different way after tattooing her on her perfect skin. He said if he never had tattooed a beautiful women he wouldn’t feel causing pain in a different way,.

Posted by: Tannor Berry at September 11, 2015 12:06 AM

Luis Bautista
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 – English composition
10 September 2015
“For a Long time Seikichi had cherished the desire to create a masterpiece on the skin of a beautiful woman. Such a woman had to meet various qualifications of character as well as appearance.”(Tanizaki 138)

Question: ( Tanizaki 138)

Answer: Seikichi mentions multiple times and in different ways that he is looking for the perfect woman to tattoo. After he had failed by losing sight of the woman with a perfect and beautiful foot, he found a young girl. After he finishes to tattoo her, he claims: “ All my old fears have been swept away – and you are my first victim” (Tanizaki 143). With this phrase proves that tattooing the “perfect” girl he was looking for will not satisfy him.

Posted by: luis Bautista at September 11, 2015 12:07 AM

Shania Bienaime
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
10 September 2015

Q#8

Question: What does Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shesei” (1910) suggest about the power of masculine and feminine roles in Japanese culture?

Answer: Jun’ichiro portays men and women to be have an equal role in their time. From the beginning of the story he tells his readers that men and women both did the same things in order to make themselves feel and look more beautiful and how things during that time was not as so critical and harsh as it is today (Tanizaki1). He also goes in to saying that different economic groups would also get these painful works of art drawn on their body because it was popular and people adored them no matter how much pain and money it took. Referring back to my previous statement that men and women both enjoyed this. ”Whenever a spineless man howled in….Seikichi told him: Don’t act like a child” (Tanizaki 2). The tattooed enjoyed the sight of men being in excruciating pain while he sticked his needles in and out of their bodies but for some reason he gave a numbing/sleeping medicine to the girl that he drew a big spider on. Gathering what I read from the story I believe that men and women took on independent roles and everyone wanted to do what they felt would make them happy and beautiful for the audience of society whether it be getting tattoos or being recognized.

Posted by: Shania Bienaime at September 11, 2015 02:03 AM

Maria Gonzalez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
11 September 2015

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how might views of tattooing in Seikichi’s culture differ from his personal views on tattooing? Do you think his pleasure for watching others in agony take away from any traditional/expected meanings of tattooing? _Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer._

Answer: After reading “Shisei” by Tanizaki, I realize that Seikichi’s view on tattooing differs from his culture’s view on it. For in his culture, tattooing was a symbol of beauty and “people did all they could to beautify themselves, some even having pigments injected into their precious skins” (Tanizaki 136). As further proof, Tanizaki states that, “exhibitions were held from time to time and participants… would pat themselves proudly, boast of their own novel designs…” (136). However, Seikichi’s views differ as it says that his clients had to “endure for one or even two months the excruciating pain of his needles” (Tanizaki 137). During those two months, “his pleasure lay in the agony of the men… the louder they groaned, the keener was Seikichi’s strange delight” (Tanizaki 137). Although his views differed from that of his culture, the meanings of the tattoo did not change. He experiences a different set of emotions when he does the tattoos, but to those who praise his work and skill the value and meaning of them do not.

Posted by: Maria Gonzalez at September 11, 2015 01:40 PM

Sidnee Yaeger
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
11 September 2015

Question: Once the girl has been tattooed, in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’ “Shisei” (1910), how will this affect her role as a geisha, as she was originally planned to become? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Geisha is a women who dances, sings, and entertains men. At that time, once the girl is tattooed she will be able to start her plan as a geisha “under her protection” (Tanizaki’ 139). People did anything they could to beautify their bodies, “some even having pigments injected into their precious skin” (Tanizaki’ 136). Geisha would also often show off their bodies to boost their confidence and criticize others (Tanizaki’ 136).

Posted by: Sidnee Yaeger at September 11, 2015 01:45 PM

Daniel Wright
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
11 September 2015

Question: In Jun'ichiro Tanizaki's "Shisei" (1910), how has the spider tattoo changed the girl's personality? Do you think that a similar change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only under certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be)?

Answer: The girl has a significant personality change, where she was once timid and rather scared of herself, she completely embraces her true self after the tattoo is finished. "Yes, I admit that you are right about me - I am like that woman... So please, please take it away." (Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, "Shisei" 141) "All my old fears have been swept away - and you are my first victim!" (Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, "Shisei" 143). I do think this was a special occasion "I have waited five years for you" (Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, "Shisei" 139), and that she was the subject of prophecy "This painting shows your future," (Tanizaki Jun'ichiro, "Shisei" 140)

Posted by: Daniel Wright at September 11, 2015 02:07 PM

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), there is a continuing theme of power over the male population. Seikichi enjoyed causing pain to the men and criticizing them in they did not have a strong pain threshold. Is Seikichi for equal rights in his search for the perfect woman to tattoo, or does he just want to mark on a new beautiful canvas?

Answer: Seikichi seems to want to leave his mark on a new and beautiful canvas. As he was showing the scroll pictures of the woman, to the girl. He was trying to get her to open up to him and tell him the truth about how she felt about the scrolls. She confessed to her being of the same bloodline from the woman and Sheikichi said, “… I will make you a real beauty” (Tanizaki 141). She came to adopt an entirely new personality as authoritative after the tattoo was completed. At the end of the story, it indicated he only wanted to mark she was, he said, “I wish to give you these pictures too.” (Tanizaki 143), then he said “Take these and go.” (Tanizaki 143), and “Let me see your tattoo once more.” (Tanizaki 143).

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) depicts the idea of cultural identity, and how it strongly impacts individuals on a daily basis. Tanizaki’s story also portrays how Seikichi’s victim was pleased with her tattoo after waking up, she was never informed of Seikichi’s intent. Thus, was it ethically moral to sedate the girl in order to accomplish this artist’s desire?

Answer: It was not ethically moral for Seikichi to sedate the girl to accomplish his goal. Before the sedation, the girl made it quite clear that she had no want to become like the women in the pictures. She plainly said, “Why are you showing me this horrible thing?” Tanizaki also went on to say she turned pale (Tanizaki 140); this shows her disagreeing heavily. In the future she could have been gravely upset about the turn of events.

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) how would this affect her as a geisha as she was originally planned to become?

Answer: It will affect her in a positive way. It will draw a larger male crowd to see her so that may look upon her beauty. Seikichi said, “All these men will ruin their lives for you.” (Tanizaki 140), which shows the extent of what they would do for her.

Posted by: Anayah McKenzie at September 11, 2015 02:36 PM

Shania Bienaime
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
10 September 2015
Q#8

Question: What does Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shesei” (1910) suggest about the power of masculine and feminine roles in Japanese culture?

Answer: Jun’ichiro portrays men and women to be have an equal role in their time. From the beginning of the story he tells his readers that men and women both did the same things in order to make themselves feel and look more beautiful and how things during that time was not as so critical and harsh as it is today (Tanizaki1). He also goes in to saying that different economic groups would also get these painful works of art drawn on their body because it was popular and people adored them no matter how much pain and money it took. Referring back to my previous statement that men and women both enjoyed this. ”Whenever a spineless man howled in….Seikichi told him: Don’t act like a child” (Tanizaki 2). The tattooed enjoyed the sight of men being in excruciating pain while he poked his needles in and out of their bodies but for some reason he gave a numbing/sleeping medicine to the girl that he drew a big spider on. Gathering what I read from the story I believe that men and women took on independent roles and everyone wanted to do what they felt would make them happy and beautiful for the audience of society whether it be getting tattoos or being recognized.

Posted by: Shania Bienaime at September 11, 2015 02:42 PM

Necdet Gurkan
Dr.Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
11 September 2015

Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s “The Tattooer” tells a story of a fresh, skilled tattooer named Seikichi, who was well-known for his “unrivaled boldness and sensual charm of his art” has a top-secret desire from inflicting pain on men while they are below his needle. “Shading and vermilioning – these are said to be especially painful – were the techniques he most enjoyed” (Tanizaki, 80). He even found himself trying to impose more pain on the men who seem as if they are not fazed by his work. Seikichi also had another wish to produce a masterwork on the skin of an attractive woman. After years of waiting, he finally gets this chance to do. But tattooing her was the whole conflicting of how he felt when tattooing men. When he was tattooing males, I felt that he did not even worry about how his art work would try out; inflicting hurt was the bigger picture. Seikichi felt as if he were torturing himself as he applied the needle to the young girl’s skin. “At every thrust of his needle Seikichi gave a heavy sigh and felt as if he had stabbed his own heart” (Tanizaki, 83). Regardless of the pain, the young girl says she will do anything for the sake of beauty. In my opinion I believe Seikichi was more interested in how his art work would look on a beautiful woman, rather than constantly working on men. Maybe if he just tattooed women, he would have never taken pleasure in causing anyone pain. I strongly believe it is ethically normal behavior, of course not way he is acting to men, because he might feel more pleasure doing his arts on women.

Posted by: Necdet Gurkan at September 11, 2015 02:46 PM

Lawrence Watt
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA09
11 September 2015

I think it is accurate to say that Seikichi is a sadist at heart. A sadist is a person that enjoys inflicting pain on others and gets off on watching other people suffer. In the text, it clearly states that “Deep inside his heart the young tattooer concealed a secret pleasure and a secret desire. His pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh; and the louder they groaned, the keener was Seikichi’s strange delight” (Tanizaki 137). By this statement above pulled directly from the text, one can clearly tell that Seikichi is a sadist based upon his description. Not only does he like to induce pain upon individuals but a part of his job as a tattooer is to unintentionally cause people a great deal of pain by applying needles to the skin in order to create the tattoo. One can only wonder if he may have chosen this profession just for this exact reason or if he intentionally tries to inflict as much pain as possible upon his clients while doing the job. His sadistic traits throughout the story seem to apply more to woman just because he tattoos woman less often. Most of his clients happen to be men so every chance he gets to tattoo a woman that meets his physical standards he is overly excited as it is a very special occasion. As it even says that “For a long time Seikichi had cherished the desire to create a masterpiece on the skin of a beautiful woman” (Tanizaki 138). This quote not only describes the rarity of Seikichi tattooing a female client but also he great desire to be able to tattoo a woman and inflict pain on her through his needles, satisfying his inner sadist desires.

Posted by: Lawrence Watt at September 11, 2015 02:49 PM

Vincia Mitchell
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing 11 CA06
25 January 2016

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how does the violation of the unnamed girl’s body and her acceptance of the violation reflect on women in this story? Does the story attempt to mystify the relationship between men and women? If so, is the story successful?

Answer: In the short story, “Shisei”, the unnamed girl’s acceptance of the violation done to her body reveals that women were subordinate to men in society. Even though the unnamed girl had risen to leave, the tattooer took her and led her upstairs to the studio ( Tanizaki 139), which indicates that the unnamed girl had no control over the situation but to give in to the tattooer and followed him to the studio. Furthermore, the possibility exists that the author placed the tattooer in front of the unnamed girl as they make their way upstairs to reveal that he also supports the view that men were meant to lead while women follow.
In fact, the story did attempt to mystify the relationship that exists between men and women. At one point in the story, the tattooer was in total control, when he states, “no, you must stay-I will make you a real beauty” (141). And at another point, the unnamed girl is in total control of the situation when she told the tattooer to leave her alone, and he did (143). Therefore, the story did not maintain male dominance throughout, it shifted to female dominance at one moment.

Posted by: Vincia Mitchell at January 25, 2016 11:19 PM

Heather Hauck
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
26 January 2016

Question #5: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), there is a continuing theme of power over the male population. Seikichi enjoyed causing pain to the men and criticizing them if they did not have a strong pain threshold. Is Seikichi for equal rights in his search for the perfect woman to tattoo, or does he just want to leave his mark on a new and beautiful canvas? Answer in your own words, but use quoted and cited passages from the text to support your answer.

Answer: Seikichi is an erotogenic masochist who gloated over men’s pain. As the story disclosed, “his pleasure lay in the agony men felt as he drove his needles into them, torturing their swollen, blood-red flesh” (Tanizaki 137). His pleasure in pain signifies an underlying incident from his childhood and thus his fetish for a femme fatale. Seikichi’s feministic support and obsession for finding the perfect woman revealed the omniscient thought, “woman had to meet various qualifications of character as well as appearance” (Tanizaki 138). He was determined to find the same values of himself in a woman, particularly a geisha.

Posted by: Heather Hauck at January 26, 2016 03:00 PM

Chloe Lelliott
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic writing 2 CA06
26 January 2016

Question 1)What is the chief conflict?

Answer 1) In "The Tattooer" the chief conflict is the tattoo artist's ambition to create a beautiful masterpiece on a woman but struggling to find her. We learn about his desire to tattoo this woman when the text said "Seikichi had cherished the desire to create a masterpiece on the skin of a beautiful woman".

The thing that was contributing most to this conflict was the specificity of the woman he was trying to find. In the story it said that "Such woman had to meet various qualifications of character as well as appearance. A lovely face and a fine body were not enough to satisfy him." Telling us why the task to find her was taking time, because she had to live up to every expectation in his mind.

Posted by: Chloe Lelliott at January 26, 2016 07:58 PM

Randawnique Coakley
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 121 Academic Writing II CA 06
January 26th, 2016

Question: 4. Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) depicts the idea of cultural identity, and how it strongly impacts individuals on a daily basis. Tanizaki’s story also potrays how Seikchi’s personal desires take over his role as a professional. Although Seikichi’s victim was pleases with her tattoo after waking up, she was never informed of Seikichi’s intent. Thus, was it ethically moral to sedate the girl in order to accomplish this artist’s desire?

Answer: In "Shisei", Jun'ichiro Tanizaki - the author of this short story- illustrates Seikichi sedating a young woman to tattoo her. Even though she seemed content with the tattoo after a while, it was not right ethically. In fact, before she sedated her she was terrified, begging Seikichi to put one of the paintings away and repeating "over and over that she was afraid and wanted to leave (Tanizaki 141)." Her fear of the man should demonstrate it was not morally right because she did not agree to be tattooed by him and even requested to leave. Therefore, he did not have the "vial of anesthetic"(141) to sedate her, she most likely would not agree to it. It was morally wrong to tattoo her against her will. In fact, after she took the bath, she also appeared defeated: "the girl pushed aside the sympathetic hand Seikichi offered her, and sank to the floor in agony, moaning as if in a nightmare(143)". Her pushing away his hand made it seem as though she was annoyed or angry at him and the use of the word, agony, made it seemed as though she is in deep pain. This made her appear depressed and broken because Seikichi did tattoo her without her permission, suggesting although she might have embraced the tattoo it was still morally wrong.

Posted by: Randawnique Coakley at January 26, 2016 10:38 PM

Clark de Bullet
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
26 January 2016
The Tattooer

Question #8: What does Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) suggests about the power of masculine and feminine roles in Japanese culture?

Answer: Within the story “Shisei” there is really only one female character that is presented to us. She gives the impression that women are not what they seem which is the theme of many ancient texts especially Greek. Women have often been presented as untrustworthy and temptresses. Tanizaki portrays the woman as the traditional beauty that “mirrored the dreams of the generations of glamorous men and women” (Tanizaki 139). Although beneath her looks and innocence, is a ruthless, domineering, powerful woman that is ready to smash her “milk-white” (142) heel into the face of men. When talking about men, Tanizaki specifically highlights that they want to “beautify themselves” (136) which is interesting in itself. Especially in an American culture, men have always separated themselves from beauty viewing it as a feature of women. Since women have always been seen as week and frail, the attribute of beauty can be associated with weakness. However, in Japanese culture “beauty and strength were one” (136). Tanizaki’s interpretation of masculine and feminine roles is interesting because they seem to be one in the same. Both have power, both have beauty. Within each main character is a secret desire that they hide from the world because they know it is deviant. So both man and woman make the unconscious decision to conform as well.

Posted by: Clark de Bullet at January 27, 2016 12:21 AM

Omar Martinez
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing CA06
26 January 2016

Question: In drugging her to mark her body, could the tattooist’s actions in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910) be portrayed as beneficial in giving her bravery, or as malevolent, and, in a sense of raping her soul?

Answer: The tattooist actions in the story can be portrayed as both giving the girl bravery and also being malevolent in his part. When he is about to use the drug, and she is begging him to stop but he doesn’t this is where he is showing his malevolence because “she repeated over and over that she was afraid and wanted to leave (Tanizaki 141).” But towards the end of the story when the tattooist is done with the spider she wakes up feeling like a brand new person because she is brave and even thankful for his action, so therefore he also gave her the bravery she needed.

Posted by: Omar Martinez at January 27, 2016 01:25 AM

Jennifer Belcastro
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122-Academic Writing II CA06
27 January 2016

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), why is the girl so at peace with having been chloroformed by Seikichi and tattooed with a giant black widow against her will?

Answer: The girl was in peace because she realized she is just like the girl in the scroll. The girl says, “I can bear anything for the sake of beauty” (Tanizaki 143). She allowed the man to tattoo her for the purpose of beauty and to help her understand who she is.

Posted by: Jennifer Belcastro at January 27, 2016 10:36 AM

Phillip Moss
Dr. Hobbs
Eng 122 Academic Writing CA06
27 January 2016

Question: Look up the word “sadist” if you do not know it. In Junichiro Tanoaks “Shisei” (1910), os it fair/accurate to describe Seikichi as a sadist? Does his sadism apply more to men or women or are the two treated equally?

Answer: A sadist is a person who derives pleasure from inflicting pain on others. Seikichi enjoys giving strong men tattoos because no matter how tough they may appear all of his clients suffer under his needle. However, Seikichi does not like tattooing women because he must inflict the same pain upon them. “Whenever a spineless man howled in torment or clenched his teeth as if he were dying Seikichi told him “don’t act like a child-pull yourself together” and he would go on tattooing”( Tanoaks 2). Seikichi enjoys watching grown men break down more than he does inflicting pain.

Posted by: Phillip Moss at January 27, 2016 10:40 AM

Nastassja Sielchan
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CA06
27 January 2016

Question: In Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how has the spider tattoo changed the girl’s personality? Do you think that a similar change occurs during every tattoo procedure or only under certain circumstances (and what would those circumstances be)?

Answer: The spider tattoo gave the girl more confidence. When she was first introduced, she was timid and shy, and once she woke up from the tranquilizers and saw her tattoo she felt beautiful, and she was fearless. She was ready to accept the fate that Seikichi gave to her as she said, “All my old fears have been swept away – and you are my first victim!” (Tanizaki 143). I believe that these types of changes only occur under certain circumstances. I feel like for someone to have this experience they need to be going in to get a tattoo wanting to change.

Posted by: Nastassja Sielchan at January 27, 2016 04:31 PM

Hannah Rowe
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 122 Academic Writing II CAO6
29 January 2016

“Shisei”

Q: Once the girl has been tattooed, in Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s “Shisei” (1910), how will this affect her role as a geisha, as she was originally planning to become?

A: In Tanizaki’s “Shisei,” Tanizaki explains how, “visitors to the pleasure quarters of Edo preferred to hire palanquin bearers who were splendidly tattooed”; and how “courtesans [. . .] fell in love with tattooed men” (Tanizaki 136). It continues to talk about the importance of men having tattoos, so this was not a usual custom for women, especially young girls. When the girl is tattooed, this stains her innocence, and she cannot be a geisha anymore.

Posted by: Hannah.Rowe at January 29, 2016 12:56 PM

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