Ancient Japan

                                                               By: Tyler Howard

Today I will give you a little tour through the lifestyle of Ancient Japan.

Fashion: The Japanese nobles often had very beautiful wardrobes. They also had silk robes and gold jewelry. Women wore long gowns made of up to 12 layers of silk with varying colors. These gowns were folded very cleverly to show off many colorful layers at once. The nobles even carried very decorative fans in order to complete their outfit.            

Literature: Japanese nobles took great care of how they wrote and spoke. The women wrote the most often. Many women wrote diaries or journals of their experiences in court. They really focused on making the words of their writing very beautiful. The men often wrote in Chinese, but the women normally always wrote in Japanese. One of the greatest Japanese writers was Lady Murasaki Shikibu. Lady Murasaki wrote "The Tale of Genji" in around 1,000. Both men and women wrote, but overall,women wrote more often, but not necessarily the most efficiently.

Visual Arts: The most popular visual arts of ancient Japan were paintings, calligraphy, and architecture. In their paintings, nobles appreciated bright, bold colors. They liked paintings that illustrated stories. Many of the popular paintings illustrated "The Take of Genji." Other paintings illustrated paintings or court life. Many artists painted on doors or furniture rather than paper or a canvas. Calligraphers illustrated poems, so normally they copied down the poems to better understand them.

Architecture: They made greatly admired the structures in the Chinese capital, Chang'an. They built many great temples using the Chinese style. For some buildings, nobles enjoyed simply airy designs. Most buildings included wood bases with tile roofs and large,  open spaces inside. Around most all buildings were elegant gardens and ponds. Similar things are still very popular today.

Performing Arts: The roots of Japanese drama can be traced back to the Heian period. People often gathered to watch musicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Plays were also extremely popular. Later, these performances became a more serious kind of drama called Noh. Created in the 1300's , Noh plays can combine music, speaking, and dance. These plays normally tell about great heroes or figures from ancient Japan's past.

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