The Yamato Clan came from the island of Honshu, which was very fertile and full of good farmland. The Yamato soon controlled most of the island, and they claimed to have directly descended from the sun goddess, which gave them the right to claim their position as emperors of Japan. The Yamato emperors slowly became only figureheads as other clans gained control of the imperial family, and the system continued to work until the 1900's! Click the button below for a history of the Yamato Clan.

The Yamato clan sent many people to China to learn about their culture and adopted many of their customs into their own culture, including aspects of Buddhism and government. There was also many achievements in art during this time, lots of which were influenced by China.

Bust of a warrior,Yamato period (ca. 3rd century–538), 5th–6th century Kanto region, Japan, Earthenware with painted, incised, and applied decoration; H. 13 1/8 in. (33.3 cm), W. 10 7/8 in. (27.6 cm)

The Heian Period

During the Heian period, Japan reached a peaceful prosperous time. People at this time adopted Chinese ethics and ideals such as ideas about family status, etc, and found works of art to be very important such as descriptive poetry. Most authors during the Heian period were women because they were encouraged to stay home and read or write. Some famous authors were Lady Murasaki Shikibu who wrote The Tale of Genji which was considered the world's first novel,and Sei Shonagon who wrote The Pillow Book. Click below to learn more information about the Heian period, and the circumstances of its rise and fall.