Early Japan

  Today I'll be blogging about early Japan and their cultures, religions, and customs.


           Did you know the nobles' love of beauty began with their own appearances? They had extremely magnificent wardrobes full of silk, They loved to wear elaborate outfits. For example, women wore gowns made of 12 layers of silk! Wow! To complete these outfits, nobles often wore and carried decorative colored fans.


           In addition to just looking good, the a Japanese took great care with how they spoke, and with how the wrote. Many women loved writing and would write diaries about their lives, and they would carefully choose their words to make their writing beautiful. One of the greatest writers in early Japanese history was Lady Maraski Shikibu. She wrote the first ever full-length novel.

Visual Art

          Japan's nobles also loved the visual art. The most popular forms of this period were paintings, calligraphy, and architecture. Calligraphy was a popular form of art in Heian. They wanted poems to look as beautiful as they sounded. In their paintings, the nobles used bright, bold colors.


          The nobles of Heian wanted their city to look beautiful. They greatly admired Chinese architecture so they modeled Heian after the capital of China, Chang'an. Most buildings had simple, airy designs. They were made of wood, with tiled roofs, and large, open spaces inside.

Performing Arts

         The performing arts were also greatly popular in Japan. People often gathered to watch performances by musicians, acrobats, and jugglers. Created in the 1300's, Noh, a serious drama, blossomed. It combines music, speaking, and dance. Much like a play, today.

Buddhism Changes

         A new art from the Heian came, called religion. It reflected their love of elaborate rituals. Different forms of Buddhism started in Japan. In the 1100's, another religion sprouted, Zen. Zen was similar to and almost a type of Buddhism, because of similar rituals and themes.

Fashion in Japan Today

         In Japan, there are many different fashions. Japan is basically divided into "wafaku", or traditional Japanese clothing, and, "yofuku", which literally means western-style clothing, and is now, everyday wear. Some women also wear kimonos, or long, detailed gowns.

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