ivan morris

A good lover will behave as elegantly at dawn as at any other time. He drags himself out of bed with a look of dismay on his face. The lady urges him on: “Come, my friend, it’s getting light. You don’t want anyone to find you here. He gives a deep sigh, as if to say that the night has not been nearly long enough and that it is agony to leave. Once up, he does not instantly pull on his trousers. Instead he comes close to the lady and whispers whatever was left unsaid during the night. Even when he is dressed, he still lingers, vaguely pretending to be fastening his sash. • Presently he raises the lattice, and the two lovers stand together by the side door while he tells her how he dreads the coming day, which will keep them apart; then he slips away. The lady watches him go, and this moment of parting will remain among her most charming memories. - • Indeed, one’s attachment to a man depends largely on the elegance of his leave-taking. When he Jumps out of bed, scurries about the room, tightly fastens his trouser sash, rolls up the sleeves of his court cloak, overrobe, or hunting costume, stuffs his belongings into the breast of his robe and then briskly secures the outer sash—one really begins to hate him.
—  –THE PILLOW BOOK OF SEI SHONAGON,TRANSLATED AND EDITED BY IVAN MORRIS”
The Heian Period

“An ever-pullulating [sic] brood of greedy, needy, frivolous dilettanti– as often as not foully licentious, utterly effeminate, incapable of any worthy achievement, but withal the polished exponents of high breeding and correct ‘form’…Now and then a better man did emerge; but one just man impotent to avert the doom of an intellectual Sodom…A pretty showing, indeed, these pampered minions and bepowdered poetasters might be expected to make.”

[Morris, pg. 21.]

[Morris, Ivan. The World of the Shining Prince: Court Life in Ancient Japan. From “A History of Japan,” by James Murdoch, pg. 230. London: Penguin Books, 1964.]