She has a peculiar power to move events in whatever direction she pleases, while she stays motionless. She’s like a quiet mountain lake whose waters are rushing beneath the surface toward a waterfall. She’s like the face of a Noh mask, wrapped in her own secrets.
In our own day, shamanism seems to have withered and died. Yet does it not, on second thought, offer a partial explanation of the power women still have over men? Perhaps it is true, as Buddhism teaches us, that this power constitutes woman’s greatest burden and delusion—and ultimately her greatest sin. But the sin is inseparable from a woman’s being. It is a stream of blood flowing on and on, unbroken, from generation to generation. Just as there is an archetype of woman as the object of man’s eternal love, so there must be an archetype of her as the object of his eternal fear, representing, perhaps, the shadow of his own evil actions.
Do you still want to marry Yasuko, knowing that I’ve taken her to bed?”
“If you have no objection.” Mikame was nonchalant. “I have no qualms about that sort of thing. A man may try as hard as he likes, but he’ll never know what schemes a woman may be slowly and quietly carrying out behind his back. Children – think what endless trouble men have gone to over the ages to persuade themselves that the children their women bore belonged to them! Making adultery a crime, inventing chastity belts…but in the end they were unable to penetrate even one of women’s secrets. Even the sadistic misogyny of Buddha and Christ was nothing but an attempt to gain the better of a vastly superior opponent. Its my belief that one should never intrude beyond a certain point into a woman’s affairs. So if I do marry Yasuko, I won’t be jealous of Akio or you. Not much anyway – and after all, jealousy is a great aphrodisiac!