Ancient Japan

Ancient Japan was a very cultural place. They created art, Fashion, literature, visual arts, architecture, performing arts, and Buddhism. One of the special things about Japan was the Lady Murasaki Shikibu. She was a very famous writer. Japan was a very interesting place to live in.

Japanese nobles create art- In Heian these nobles created an imperial court. Members of this court had little to do with the common people of Heian. They lived apart from poorer citizens and seldom left the city. The nobles of this court loved beauty and elegance. Because of this love, many nobles were great supporters of the arts.

Fashion- The noble's love of beauty began with their own appearances. They had magnificent wardrobes full of silk robes and gold  jewelry. Nobles loved elaborate outfits. For example, women were long gowns made of 12 layers of colored silk cleverly cut and folded to show off many layers at once.

Literature- One of the greatest writers in early Japanese history was Lady Murasaki Shikibu. She wrote The Tale Of Genji around 1000. Many people consider The Tale Of Genji one of Japan's greatest novels. The Tale Of Genji is the story of a prince named Genji and his long quest for love.

Visual Art- The most popular art forms of this period were paintings, calligraphy, and architecture. In their paintings, the nobles of Heian liked bright, bold colors. Another popular form of art in Heian was calligraphy, or decorative writing. Calligraphers spent hours carefully copying poems.

Architecture- They greatly admired Chinese architecture and modeled Heian after the Chinese Capitol ( Chang'an ). They copied Chinese building styles, especially in the many temples they built. For other buildings, the nobles liked simple, any designs. Most buildings were made of wood with tiled roofs and large, open spaces inside.

Performing Arts- The roots of later Japanese drama can be traced back to this time. People often gathered to watch performances by musicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Noh was a form of drama. These plays often tell about great heroes or figures from Japan's past.

Buddhism Changes- Religion became something of an art form in Heian. The nobles' religion reflected their love of elaborate rituals. Most of the common people in Japan, though equally religious, didn't have the time or money for these ceremonies. The Zen was popular new form of Buddhism. Zen Buddhists believed that neither faith nor good behavior led to wisdom.

Lady Murasaki Shikibu- She lived around 1000 in Heian. Lady Murasaki was a noble and a servant to the Empress Akiko. While in the empress service, she wrote lively observations of court life in her diaries. She also wrote the novel The Tale Of Genji. The Tale Of Genji is one of the world's oldest novels, and one of the best. Besides entertaining readers for hundreds of years, The Tale Of Genji describes the daily lives, customs, and attitudes of Japanese nobles of the time.

   Japan was the best ! The end.

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