KEY WORD : art history / general terms
Also wake わけ. An aesthetic ideal of the Edo period merchant class in the Kamigata 上方 (Osaka-Kyoto) region implying a sophisticated understanding of contemporary life. Although the term is written with the same character, the Edo *iki いき(粋) and the Kamigata sui have different nuances, sui being more chromatically and sexually subdued. Sui originally may have been shortened from bassui 抜粋 (surpassing), seisui 精粋 (pure), Sui originally referred to the ability to grasp the essence of things, but came to mean experience in romance, and, eventually, someone knowledgeable in the ways of the floating world ukiyo 浮世. In this way sui incorporates aspects of the Edo term *tsuu 通. Yet sui can also mean chic style or sophisticated beauty, and is used to describe a beautiful women, an interesting fashion, or even the charming color of a flower. The possessor of sui was termed a suisama 粋様 and the term was frequently used to indicate a skilled lover. Sui appears often in the *ukiyo zoushi 浮世草紙 of Ihara Saikaku 井原西鶴 (1642-93) as well as in joururi 浄瑠璃 and *kabuki 歌舞伎 dialogues. The spirit of sui, and its synonym wake, are felt in the popular arts of the Kamigata, such as the prints of the Kyoto *ukiyo-e 浮世絵 school led by Nishikawa Sukenobu 西川祐信 (1671-1751).


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