Here there is a receptivity in your responses that is impossible to men, though I shall try occasionally to imitate it.
YURIKO. She told me a lot last night.
AKIKO MIWA. So she was at your place?
YURIKO. Yes. She told me you're going to remarry.
AKIKO MIWA. Not you too!
YURIKO. I called her a baby for getting so upset. I'm sure you have your reasons.
AKIKO MIWA. I suppose I do.
YURIKO. She's being unfair. She thinks about herself, then criticizes you. I told her so. She wouldn't even talk to me at work today. That's why I've come. To tell you the truth, I think she's crazy.
AKIKO MIWA. Why?
YURIKO. If I were her, I'd be eager to see you remarry.
AKIKO MIWA. Really? Why?
YURIKO. I know it sounds bad, but then I could marry without worrying about you.
AKIKO MIWA. Maybe you're right.
YURIKO. Sure! Who wouldn't think the same thing? Only Ayako. She's overly sentimental.
AKIKO MIWA. So you mean . . . I'm a burden?
YURIKO. Of course not. Well, maybe just a bit. Tell me, would you feel lonely?
AKIKO MIWA. That can't be helped. I'd endure it just to see her happy.
YURIKO. I'm impressed! You're so much easier to talk to. But you have to remarry, or Ayako won't marry either.
AKIKO MIWA. You think so?
YURIKO. I do. She said as much. If you get married I think she will too.
AKIKO MIWA. She's so much trouble.
YURIKO. She really is. What's she all upset about? Isn't it perfect?
AKIKO MIWA. What?
[In The Courtier], one soon notices that two of the characters, Gaspar and Octavian, are declared enemies of women and that they are steadily refuted by the rest. The majority opinion is that women are equal to men in understanding, virtue, and ability, including at times physical prowess. They are shown to be great rulers, poets, and conversationalists. Two of the four women in the dialogue are the moderators, and their decisions show them to be as well informed as the men about the topics being discussed. That (still in this portrayal) women's wish to preserve tenderness in their conduct may lead them to use different ways of doing what men do is true, but the result is nonetheless excellent. Men, although benefiting from women's civilizing influence, should not lose through refinement the robust aggressive qualities they are born with and need for their special tasks. — Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence, 2000, p. 85.Was it Barzun's or Castiglione's genius that put conversation with ruling and poetry-writing as accomplishments? In Ozu's films, the women are (invariably?) superior to the men.