Ancient Japan

Japanese Nobles

     When the emperor moved to Heian many of his nobles followed him. These nobles lived near him to try and gain his favor by advising him in court. The nobles loved grace and beauty which is why they wore elaborate outfits and painted. these arts helped shape many of our modern cultures.


      The nobles love of beauty started off with their own clothing. They would wear eel orate outfits with many layers of silk. Along with these outfits they would wear golden jewelry. They would also carry fans that matched their outfits. Their fashion is more different than modern day fashion because today we wear simple cotton t shirts with shorts or pants and on special occasions or work we will dress up in more elaborate outfits that may include a dress or a tuxedo.


      The nobles also enjoyed literature such as plays and novels. They would write with grace and beauty with simple,flowing words. One such author was lady Murasaki Shikibu who wrote the tale of Genji which is a bout a prince trying to find his true love. They're writing is different than modern day writing because they had to handwrite everything and didn't have printing presses to make the process faster. They also wrote poetry and would have parties were they would write and share poems .

Visual art

     The nobles also enjoyed visual arts. Such art includes painting calligraphy and architecture. They would paint on furniture and doors which is not usual in our society. Many skilled artisans would spend hours translating poetry into graceful calligraphy. Calligraphy is still used today but had lost popularity.


     The nobles wanted their city to be beautiful and clean and modeled their buildinfpgs after china. Japan's temples resembled Chinese building greatly and the unique design is no longer used in modern day architecture. They would use sodden frames that curved up with thatched roofs to make it feel natural. Their architecture is very unique and they would leave wide open spaces .

The nobles enjoyed performing arts as well. these drams and plays were the roots of Japanese performing arts. Many people would gather together to watch musicians jugglers or acrobats perform. Performing arts are dying out in modern society and television is taking over the modern age. Japanese plays are very wild and fun unlike traditional plays were it is usually quiet as the actors perform.


     To the nobles, religion was considered an art. Common folk didn't have time nor money for many religious ceremonies so they adapted a new form of Buddhism. This new form of Buddhism allowed them to worship without paying or using to much time. Today Christianity is one of the most popular forms of religion and not many Buddhists are in America. Buddhism appealed to Japan's warriors.

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