Japan (Yamato Clan/Heian Period)

The Yamato Clan

     The Yamato clan was a group of of people in Japan who lived on the Yamato plain. The Yamato plain was a rich farming area on the island of Honshu. The Yamato clan controlled much of the island of Honshu during the 500's AD. They did not control all of Japan, but the Yamato chiefs began to call themselves the emperors of Japan.

     Japan was a country with influences based out of both China and Korea. Korean travelers brought many news ideas to the people of Japan. Most of these influences originated in China also. One example is that Korean scribes introduced Chinese writing to Japan. The Japanese did not have a written language at the time so as a result, many Japanese learned Chinese writing. Koreans had also brought over Buddhism, which was at first looked down upon but by the 800's, it was a striving practice. Buddhism would influence Japanese art, including architecture from China.

     The Japanese adopted many Confucian ideas from the Tang Dynasty. These ideas were about family, such as the idea that wives should obey husbands and that children should obey parents. Japan also established a stronger central government and a bureaucracy to have more control.

Heian Period

     The Heian period began in 794 when the emperor of Japan moved to Heian, Japan (Present day Kyoto). The noble people in Heian, Japan lived in magnificent palaces and enjoyed living in ease. They were quite fond elegance and beauty and passed the time strolling through their gardens or admiring art.

     Women during the Heian period wore silk gowns made of 12 layers. The layers were cut and folded so that each one showed at the wrist. Nobles had began to take great care with how they spoke and wrote. Poetry had become a very proper and elegant to write anything during the Heian period. The main rulers during this period was the Fujiwara family.

Declan N. (Period 7)