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ancient japan amazing project 101
Transcript of ancient japan amazing project 101
Architecture was another form of beauty that took influence from mainland Asia. Buildings called pagodas were taken from Chinese culture. They were towers with a series of curved roofs. They could stand several stories high. Religious Influences Before Buddhism came to Japan, the main religion was the traditional religion called Shinto. In this religion, its followers respected nature and worshiped spirits called kami. Kami could be natural occurrences or even special people. The goal of Shintoists was to become clean. When Buddhism made its way to Japan, its beliefs mixed with Shinto beliefs that made a form of Buddhism that was unique to Japan. Writing/Literature Chinese influence on Japan was more obvious than ever when it came to writing. Japan even borrowed letters from the Chinese alphabet. This was called Kanji. This worked temporarily, but some words in Japanese dialect did not work well with the Chinese characters. Eventually, Japanese writers developed kana, which used different symbols for different syllables.
In Japan, poems were extremely important. The earliest form of poems in Japan was called Tanka. These simple poems used 31 syllables. Heian-kyo Period The New Capital The Heian-kyo period, also known as the golden age, started when the capital city changed locations. It moved from Nara to Heian-kyo. It was believed that there were too many Buddhist priests influencing the government in Nara. It first moved to Nagaoka, but it was believed to be cursed. Heian-kyo was in forested lands with streams, rivers, and waterfalls. The city had many mansions and temples that were laid out on a checkerboard pattern. It was beautiful, and many aristocrats lived there. Fujiwara The family that had the most power in the golden age was the Fujiwara. The family had never had an emperor, but they married into the families and acted as regents. They started their 300 year reign in 858, when they started marrying daughters into the royal Japanese family. They also established power by giving advise to emperors. Michinaga was one famous Fujiwara. He had the most power in the golden age and his sons would carry this power on. He had 3 grandchildren that became emperors. Heian Court Nobles who lived in the Heian Court had extremely high social status, and all of their statuses depended on what family they were born into. Whatever class you were born into, you could not change.
The hierarchy dominated the first three ranks, and from there the ranks got lower and lower. These lower ranks were filled by officials that had minor jobs in the court. Writing/Literature The writing and literature that developed in the golden age of Japan has become famous and is still influential today. Women were especially admired as writers during this time. Some of the first novels were written by women in Japan. Another crucial aspect of writing during the Heian-kyo period was poetry. Both men and women wrote poems daily, and everyone was expected to be able to write. There were also two ways to write letters. Katakana and hiragana were the two ways. Katakana was more formal, and hiragana was less so.
The Tale of Genji is often considered the first novel. It's a love story written by the female author Murasaki Shikibu. Along with Sei Shonagon, Women began to control writing in the court. The End of the Golden Age The Heian-kyo period ended in the 1100s once it came under military control. Though it had lasted hundreds of years, this period of control over Japan ended because of the ignorance of nobles in the aristocratic court. As the rich lived the high life, poor farmers in the country side suffered. As their problems increased, the power of the government weakened. The government's tradition of giving the rich estates without paying taxes also continued to weaken the central government. Eventually a civil war broke out in 1180. Five years later in 1185, Minamota Yoritomo took over Japan with military force Samurai Control of China Rise of the Samurai When Minamoto Yoritomo established military power in 1185, the samurai dominated, and they were led by shoguns and daimyos. Shoguns had the most power, daimyos came second, normal samurai third, and the common people last. Eventually, daimyos gained more power and started warring with eachother. This put shoguns in virtually useless positions. Japan was without peace for many years, then Tokugawa Ieyasu reestablished peace in 1603. Armor/Weapons The armor that samurai wore was heavy and protective, but it allowed them to be flexible at the same time. The armor was made from several layers of cloth stacked and woven together to make thick armor. Different panels covered different sections of the body, such as the chest protector and shin guards.
The samurais main weapons were the sword and the bow and arrow. These warriors would train endlessly to become masters at using these two weapons. Samurais were extremely accurate with their shots, and they were extremely talented swordsmen. Bushido Bushido, or "The Way of the Warrior," was a code that was followed by samurai in ancient Japan. This code of conduct was very similar to Chivalry in Europe, but it was followed very closely by samurai unlike the knights. One of the main points of Bushido was to be loyal to your lord or master. Samurai were expected to always follow their daimyo into battle and to respect his orders. Another point was seppuku. Seppaku is ritual suicide performed by samurai. It was used when warriors were fighting a battle that they were guaranteed to lose, or when they broke to codes of Bushido. This form of suicide was very painful, and it was performed by cutting ones own stomach. Training Part of the samurai life was intense training in several areas. These areas included battle, mental, and writing. Most of their training was spent learning how to fight in battle. They studied martial arts and fencing to learn how to hold themselves in battle. They also trained themselves mentally. They needed their minds to develop quick reflexes and to keep calm in the deadliest situations. The samurai endured pain in order to train their mind to cope with it and not have weakness. The third type of training undergone was how to write. This was more significant in time of peace during the 17th century. Since samurai weren't fighting, they spent more time studying Bushido and literature. Religion The main religion followed by the japanese warriors was Buddhism. Buddhism in Japan included two different styles. This included Amida Buddhism and Zen Buddhism. Amida Buddhism started with an Indian prince named Amida. He eventually became a Buddha. Afterward, people followed in his foot steps by believing that anyone could reach paradise. Zen Buddhism was more popular with samurai. In order to reach paradise, followers of Zen must ask themselves questions called Koans. Koans are difficult questions that may never be answered. Samurai favored Zen because it was disciplinary.