Ancient Japan art and culture

  1. The Pillow Book is a book of observations and musings recorded by Sei Shōnagon during her time as court lady to Empress Consort Teishi during the 990s and early 11th century in Heian Japan. The book was completed in the year 1002.

In it she included lists of all kinds, personal thoughts, interesting events in court, poetry, and some opinions on her contemporaries. While it is mostly a personal work, Shōnagon's writing and poetic skill makes it interesting as a work of literature, and it is valuable as a historical document.

Starting with the "exhaustiveness" of the "collection of similar things" and how it is represented by "as for worms", "as for the flowers of trees", "awful things", and "things of beauty", author Sei Shōnagon’s "Ramblings" observed the nature of everyday life and the four seasons, and described in diverse sentences "her recollections" (her diary) that look back at the society of the imperial court surrounding Empress Teishi of whom she served, among other things.

Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from 'budhi', 'to awaken'. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.

Japanese ancient clothing was majorly influenced by China. Vigorous trade between Japan and its continental neighbors brought in Chinese dresses and styles into Japan during the Han Dynasty. The Tang styles and Sui dynasty from China influenced clothing in Japan while it was developing from a collection of loose clans to an Empire. All robes in Japan were to be worn from left to right just like the Chinese. Right to left was considered barbaric in China and the ‘left over right’ became the conventional rule of wearing a Kimono ever since.


Japan began to emulate Western fashion during the middle of the 19th century. By the beginning of the 21st century, this emulation has formed street fashion, a fashion style in which the wearer customizes outfits by adopting a mixture of current and traditional trends. Such clothes are generally home-made with the use of material purchased at stores.

Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery,sculpture, ink painting andcalligraphy on silk and paper,ukiyo-e paintings and woodblock prints, kiri-e, kirigami, origami, and more recently manga—modern Japanese cartooning and comics—along with a myriad of other types of works of art. It has a long history, ranging from the beginnings of human habitation in Japan, sometime in the 10th millennium BC, to the present.

Comment Stream