Sometimes it's wise just to include something entirely without comment. Make of it what you will!I now look at this and wonder if I was giving the impression that I was mocking, or jeering at this period of Japanese society and history or at Sei Shonagon.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This is just a window into a remarkable courtly period in Japan where 'the rule of taste' prevailed above all others, and is probably not all that much different in some respects from its parallel in Eighteenth Century Europe.
Perhaps I didn't need to preempt such a criticism, but decades of teaching Japanese cultural history I wouldn't want misunderstood.