Japanese Nobles Create Great Artbb

The nobles who followed Japan's emperor to Heian wanted to win his favor by living lose to him. In Heian, these nobles created an imperial court, a group of nobles who live near and serve or advise a ruler.  They lived apart from poorer citizens and seldom left the city.


 The nobles' love of beauty began with their own appearances.  They had magnificent wardrobes full of silk robes and gold jewlery.  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.  One of the greatest writers in early Japanese history was Lady Murasaki Shikibu.  Around 1000, she wrote "The Tale of Genji".  Many people consider "The Tale of Genji" one of Japan's greatest novels.

Visual Art

 The most popular art forms of the period were paintings, calligraphy, and architecture.  They also liked paintings that illustrated stories.  Another popular form of art in Hiean was calligraphy, or decorative writing.  They wanted the poems to look as beautiful as they sounded.


 The nobles of Heian worked to make their city beautiful.  For the nobles liked simple, airy designs.  Most buildings were made out of wood with titled roofs and large, open spaces inside.

Performing Arts

 The performing arts were also popular in Japan during the Heian period.  People often gathered to watch performances by musicians, jugglers, and acrobats.  Especially popular were the plays in which actors skillfully mimicked other people.

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