Heian nobles of the court loved beauty and elegance. It became a great center of culture and learning . Nobles were great supporters of the arts. In fact, the period between 794  and 1185 was a golden age of the arts in Japan.

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

Writing was very popular among the nobles , especially among the women. In their diaries, these women carefully chose their words to make their writing beautiful. Many of the greatest works of early Japanese literature were written by women.

One of the greatest writers in early Japanese  history was Lady Murasaki Shikibu. Around 1000, she wrote The Tale of Genji. In addition, Lady Murasakis' writing is clear and simple but graceful at the same time. She describes court life in Japan with great detail. Besides literature, Japan's nobles also loved he usual arts. The most popular art forms of the period were paintings, calligraphy, and architecture. In their paintings, the nobles of Heian liked bright, bold colors. They also liked paintings that illustrated stories.

In fact, many of the greatest  paintings from this such as The Tale of Genji. The nobles of Heian worked to make their city beautiful. They greatly admired Chinese architecture and modeled Heian after the Chinese capital, Chang'an . These styles featured buildings with wooden frames that curved slightly upward Aaron the ends. The wooden frames we're often left unpainted to look more natural. The performing arts were also popular in Japan during the Heian period.

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 thought equally religious, they didn't have the time or money for these ceremonies.

In the 1100s another popular new form of Buddhism called Zen, it arrived from China. Zen Buddhism believed that neither faith nor good behavior led to wisdom.

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