Heian Culture (JESSICA POTTER)

Do you know what the ancient Heian culture was all about? Or maybe the Golden Ages. The ninles lives of early Japan were very easy and filled with beauty and elegance. The labled themselves as "dwellers among the clouds" because they were so removed from the rest of Japan. Because of their love for fashion, literature, visual art, and architecture, the court of Heian became a great center of culture & learning. 794 & 1185 was the Golden Age of Arts.


Their love of beauty started with their own.  Their wardrobes were filled with silk and gold jewelery! Woman wore long gowns with 12 layers of silk! Those layers were cut delicately and golden to show off the layers. Nobles often carried decorative fans to complete their outfits. The fans were painted with flowers, trees, and birds. Many nobles attached flowers and long silk cords to their fans.

Silk robes


Along with their appearance, Japanese took great care on how they spoke and wrote. Many women wrote journals about their lives at court, in which they carefully chose their words to make their writing beautiful most of early Japanese literature were written by women, since men wrote in Chinese. Lady Murasaki Shikibu wrote The Tale of Genji around 1000. The Talenof Genji is the story of s prince and his long quest for love and meets women from many different social classes. Both men and women wrote poetry. Nobles even held parties and took turns to read poetry. Most of these poems were 5 lines and  about love, nature or everyday events.

Lady Murasaki Shikibu-

Visual Art

Most popular art were paintings, calligraphy, and architecture. Japanese nobles loved bright and bold colors. Paintings were usually of illustrated stories that showed scenes from nature or from court lives. Usually painted on doors and furniture rather than on paper. Calligraphy was a decorative writting which were spent hours on. Calligraphers wanted their poems to look as beautiful as they sounded.  

Nobles greatly admired Chinese architecture and molded Heian after Chang'an. Their temple buildings