The book “The Tattooer” reveals a lot about the position of art in the Japanese culture. The tattooer likes the way he creates tattoos due to the fact every drawing or tattoo is intended to communicate sure information inside the Japanese society. The book brings a photograph of a male dominated dominion. In the Japanese culture, art performed a meaningful function for instance tattooing ladies was intended to symbolize the shut attachment of a woman to a man. It supposed that women belonged to guys (Tanizaki 24). People loved the way they used tattoos to make represent particular matters that were distinguished in their culture. The tattooer chooses beautiful female for his art works due to the fact wants to etch the tattoos, and he also wants to photograph them into his soul and mind.
Art is used to preserve culture in the Japanese setting in which the novel was written. The tattoos and other paintings revealed how they adored their culture and it was also a way of passing the culture from one generation to the next. Most of the paintings were preserved for long so as a way of handing them over to the next generation.
When the tattooer prepares to draw the tattoos on the girl, he presents several pictures to her purposely to trigger a certain feeling of pain in her. The young beautiful tea girl confessed that her life is full of pains and suffering and she agrees to have the tattoos on her body. The book reveals the effects of art on the nature of a person. After the girl was tattooed, she transforms into a new creature with some characteristics that she did not have. The nature of the drawings on her waist especially the drawing of a spider. It is noted that the soul of the girl changed after she was tattooed. Prior to being tattooed, she was an innocent “lamb” who knew nothing about sexual life. After being tattooed, she changes into a powerful “tiger” and a sexual demon. The transformation after the art work by Sheikishi makes her to gobble every man’s soul.
The images of the naked smooth tea girls, their scents and sexual desires, and the obstinate carvings on their bodies trigger lust and the desire for men to satisfy their sexual desires. From the Japanese culture, a tattoo is a piece of art when it is finally etched, it ceases being mortal and becomes immortal. The tattooer employs the art to communicate how humans are occupied by evil forces in their minds, and how the human nature appeared beautiful yet they are cruel and rotten inside them. The art of tattoos was considered as a western culture but the traditional Japanese women accepted the culture (Tanizaki 46). However, the new art is associated with changing the sexual behaviors of the Japanese traditional women. The tattoos make the girls breathlessly beautiful that they must be devilish and sexual demons.
The Old Chief Mshlanga
The Old Chief Mshlanga talks about the colonialism policy by the western countries in one of the nations in Africa. The theme of colonialism forms the background over which the entire book is based. There are different signs of colonialism as it is indicated by the several things that take place across the whole story. The whites settled in the land and made it their colony because the locals did not have capacity to resist the invaders. The signs of colonialism are not given much fame in the book because most of them were considered to be brutal (Lesing, et al. 76).
The narrator depicts Africa as a harsh and hostile place where no one will ever wish to go. The whites who settled in the land are seen as intruders and trespassers whose presence is considered out place. Through the book, Africa is painted with an image that makes its native occupants lesser human beings. The narrator says that the Africans living in that land were as remote as the tree and rocks that occupied the land. A sign of colonial attitudes towards the Africans is also manifested in the reference to Africans as an amorphous mass and were also likened to tadpoles. The description of Africans through comparisons with other things that were not human is a clear indication that they were considered as lesser humans. The writings reveal that Africans existed to serve the colonials who became their masters after taking the control of their land. The reference of humans as annoying beings is also evident when the narrator says that Africans were flushed away by dogs as if they were birds.
The control of resources in the land also indicates the signs of colonialism in that land. Resources like land and other resources were solely controlled by the white settlers and Africans only worked as servants in their own lands. The notion of the whites against the Africans also limited the freedoms of Africans for instance ownership of properties and power. The native African leaders were forced to be answerable to the new white settlers (Lessing, et al. 98).
The signs of colonialism are not given much prominence in the book because they painted the settlers as oppressors and people who cared less about the welfare of Africans. Since the main character was a white settler, she does not see some of the things the whites did to the locals as brutal and oppressive.
Lessing, Doris, et al. The Old Chief Mshlanga: From African Stories. Spoken Arts, 1986.
Tanizaki, J. Seven Japanese Tales. Tuttle Publishing, 2011.