The plays of the Japanese dramatist Chikamatsu Monzaemon, who wrote during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, strongly influenced the conception of ideal Samurai virtues, such as honor and loyalty, among the Japanese populace from his time forward. As his career progressed, Chikamatsu explored the tensions between the public and private spheres in Japanese society. He also made his heroic characters increasingly complex, realistic and compassionate. He ultimately came to assert that the Samurai ideals of virtue and honor were attainable by all Japanese, regardless of their social station.
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