It’s rare for a series change so rapidly in the quality of its storytelling. It’s more rare for an Anime to draw such an emotional reaction from me when it used to be tepid at best. The third chapter in Chouyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi took me to a very dark place and never wrested its grip from my shoulders.
Let the winds of heaven
Blow through the paths among the clouds
And close their gates.
Then for a while I could detain
These messengers in maiden form.
They say that sometimes if you love someone, you have to let go. It seems so counter intuitive in all honesty. Shouldn’t we be there for the one we love and vice versa. Isn’t there some pact our souls make when we decide to be together? Isn’t there some sort of unspoken promise that has to be honored? Isn’t love enough?
These thoughts sift through your mind, collect at the corner of your eyes and flow freely across your cheeks as the dreaded moment comes. The moment you decide to let go. On his hundredth night, Munesada begins to tear the sash from Yoshiko’s body. Betrayed, he opens up to his carnal desires to free himself from having to make a choice.
But I guess love is a powerful force. Sapping his strength, the emotion lays him as a heap atop her. Exhausted from fighting for so long, he can’t even muster tears as he lies there. He knows that he has to let go. Yoshiko want’s her freedom, and she asked the only person that could give it to her. Munesada is her only attachment to the life society has prescribed for her.
Relationships are as much about personal growth as they are about comfort and stability. These three form the foundation for happiness. When a relationship threatens one of these qualities, people will often seek freedom from that sort of relationship. As a significant other, it is our job to communicate that feeling, and respect it when it is directed toward us. Yoshiko’s growth is threatened by her attachment to anyone outside the palace. She cannot bear the thought of stagnating into a simple house wife, even if it is for the one she loves. This might seem selfish at first, but aren’t Munesada’s demands self serving as well?
It’s when we realize this truth, that our desire to chain someone against their true wishes is a selfish act, that letting go is the only noble course of action. It is the only solution to promise a brighter future for both people involved.
Was I bitter when my ex of two years took a flight to L.A. to pursue her ‘acting’ career? I was. Did I stop her? No. Do I regret not taking the next flight to bring her back ‘home’. A part of me still does. Regrets are a realization of love. I think someone important said that.
Either that or I just made it up.
When looking at Henjo’s poem, the only solace he can give us is this: lets hope circumstances change. All you can hope for is the best. If you are truly what’s right for your partner, then a cloud will come and keep her near. I think it’s harder to live with resentment than pain. No one famous said it. I just believe that.