Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Understanding the Difference: The Case of Love and Lie (Gimu to Engi 1996)

Tamae Prindle.

This paper studies the different shades the cinema and television dramas of the same title cast over Uchidate Makiko’s novel, Love and Lie (Gimu to Engi 1996). It does so by harnessing Jean Paul Sartre’s existentialist philosophy. In the core of Sartre’s existentialist philosophy is the belief that one’s consciousness (l’être-pour-soi) is passive with respect to the world around it. Most of what l’être-pour-soi does is to endlessly reveal to itself that it is conscious of something, including itself and external “objects” (l’être-en-soi). Looking from the reverse angle, the self is no more than a l’être-en-soi of its own as well as another’s perceptions.
This frame of argument helps us understand each character’s perception of himself/herself, of others, and of other people’s perceptions of him/her. The Takeda couple’s assiduous lovemaking stems from their sense of conjugal obligation to each other. The Ohkura couple’s lack of physical relations stems from Mr. Ohkura’s understanding that the strength of the marital bond overrides physical rituals. While honoring this leitmotif, the cinema and television versions deliver different cultural messages.


Tamae Prindle  (United States)
Oak Professor and Chair of East Asian Studies
East Asian Studies Department
Colby College

After receiving her Ph. D. in Modern Japanese Literature from Cornell University in 1985, she started teaching at Colby College in Maine, U.S.A. She has translated and introduced a number of Japanese “business novels” and published articles on Japanese cinema. She is currently an Oak Professor of East Asian Literature.

  • Sartre’s Existential Philosophy
  • Passive Consciousness
  • Self as an Object
  • Assiduous Lovemaking
  • Marital Bond Overrides Physical Rituals
  • Different Cultural Messages

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)