ANCIENT JAPAN

Japan is an amazing place that was once an amazing city. Japan began as a small group of a few people, but is now a huge place that is small than California, but now has 3 times the amount of people. Ancient Japan has many things that was crucial to the development of modern day Japan.

     Japanese fashion caused nobles to fall in love with their own apperances. Their wardrobes were full of silk, and gold, and beautiful, elaborate outfits. Women wore long gowns made of 12 layers of colored silk. Nobles often carried decorative fans that were painted with flowers, trees, and birds. Some nobles even attached flowers, or long silk cords to their fans.

     Writing was very popular among nobles, especially women. Many women wrote diaries and journals. They carefully chose words to create beautiful writing. These noble women wrote with Japanese language, unlike others who write with Chinese. One of Japan's greatest novels is THE TALE OF GENJI. The characters in this book seem very real. This book was written by Lady Murasaki Shikibu.

     Japan's nobles loved visual arts. In paintings, they likes bright, bold colors. They also liked paintings that illustrated stories. Some paintings show scenes from nature. Anothe popular art was calligraphy.

     The nobles greatly admired Chinese architecture. They copied Chinese building styles, especially in the temples. They styles included wooden frames. Some buildings, though, had simple airy designs.

     The roots of Japanese drama is from the henna period. People would gather to watch musicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Plays were also very popular. Later, these types of drams became more serious and were called Noh. Noh plays combine music, speaking, and dance. These often tell about great heroes.

     Religion became something like an art to the Japanese. Pure land Buddhism didn't require any rituals. It chanted Buddha's name over, and over again. Another form of Buddhism is called Zen. They believed that good behavior or faith could not lead you to wisdom, instead, you should meditate.

     The tale of Gengi traces the life and and ventures of a noble named, " the shining Genji" . GENJI is the son of an emperor and a commoner and he can't inherit the throne. Instead, it is passed down to his half brother, and then to his son. " the shining Genji" should have been given the opportunity to rule.

     

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