Japan is an amazing place filled with unique cultures and unknown facts and many people, but ancient Japan is even cooler!
There are many interesting things in ancient Japan. One of my favorite topics is Japan's literature. There were people called nobles, and nobles were basically the rich people of Japan who devoted their time to helping the empower with anything and everything he needed. The nobles spent so much time around people of a higher class that they considered themselves way higher than the common farmer. In fact they felt so much higher or of a better class that they sometimes referred to them selves as "Dwellers Among the Clouds". The nobles spent most of their time involved in finer arts such as writing and reading. Some of the women even wrote in Japanese even though all the men wrote in Chinese. One of the greatest writers was a women named Lady Murasaki Shikibu, she wrote what historians considered to be the worlds first full written novel, her novel was known as "The Tale of Genji". Many people think it is a great book because it is very colorfull and realistic. Her writing is generally very clear,simple,elegant and she went into great detail about courting or dating in Japan.In this time period poems were usually only 5 lines long. Now current day japan is still influenced by their surroundings but their poems have a larger variety.
As well as literature the Japanese culture also visual art, such as paintings and calligraphy. Some Japanese nobles illustrated the book "the Tales of a Genji". The nobles of japan who dedicated their lives to the empower and making Japan a more beautiful place. In doing this they often used bright and bold colors. I guess you could say modern day Japan is still influenced by visual art because there are some paintings that still exist today.
Nobles still used similar bold colors on their architecture but they also liked these buildings to look natural so they would use wooden beams slightly bent at each end, and used thatch roofs to give their buildings a natural look and usually surrounded their homes in beautiful gardens and ponds. They used many of these ideas from China. Obviously Japan is influenced by their buildings, but do to the fact that there is very little space in japan they do not have room to build beautiful buildings instead they must build up. With all of this considered the Japanese culture still tries to stay in touch with nature.
Now back to Japanese art and fashion! Did you know that the nobles were pursuing art so much that 794-1185 was considered the golden age of art! Or how about this, did you know this? The Japanese culture loves beauty! (We'll if you didn't you really should by now) The Japanese women filled their closets with expensive fabrics such as silk, some women even wore 12 layers of gold colored silk. They also used decorated fans with strings and beads hanging off. Now I think that the current day Japanese culture has been influenced very slightly by their ancient fashion and that they have ween influenced much more by wester culture ie America.
The Japanese culture viewed religion as almost an art, they showed their love for rituals in their religion. The Japanese people quickly broke off into different branches of their religion, Buddhism , because some people had more time and more money than others and could devote more time to their religion. Buddhism became very popular among the common people of japan and these common people have influenced hundreds of thousands of people in modern day, not only in Japan but all over the world.
As you all know the Japanese culture love beauty and performing arts is one more example of this. People would watch jugglers, musicians and acrobatics all day. They often watched plays in which people mimicked heroes or people of Japan's history this type of play became Noh and was created in the 1300s .Modern day japan has been influenced by performing art but only slightly. Thank you for listening to my report of ancient japan.