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Japanese Literature Introduction Prezi
Transcript of Japanese Literature Introduction Prezi
-Tokugawa allowed the daimyo to spend every other year at the capital, Edo (now Tokyo), but the families of the daimyo had to settle permanently in the capital. Tokugawa took many measures to control the daimyo, including spying on them and preventing them from making too much money.
-Social classes were defined by shogun himself, and people were unable to switch classes.
-Japan was effectively closed to the outside world until the middle of the nineteenth century: European and Christian missionaries were driven from the country, Japanese ports were closed to foreign ships (except a Dutch ship permitted once a year), Japanese people were forbidden to leave their home islands, and foreigners landing in Japan were imprisoned and mistreated. The Downfall of Feudalism in Japan Roots of Japanese Civilization -The isolation by the Tokugawas came just as sweeping scientific, technological, economic, and political advances were beginning to occur in the West.
-Tokugawa leaders were aware of the new advances but chose not to tell anyone.
-When Matthew Perry, an American, had come to Japan to open trade, the Japanese people were astonished by the boat. They were used to only ships that were propelled by oars and sails.
-Tokugawa government signed agreements with the United States, and later several other countries. These agreements helped open Japan to the outside world.
- In 1868, a new government was established where Meiji, the new emperor, had real authority.
-This new government no longer had the feudal system, but quickly went into effort to reshape Japan into a modern nation equal to the great Western powers.
-Japan was on its way to becoming a major industrial military power. Shintoism and Buddhism The first inhabitants of the islands arrived there survived by hunting and fishing.
200BC- The flow of immigrants from Korea sparked the population growth
political system- divided into 3 tribes, which were constantly fighting, and dominated by aristocrats
607BC- influenced by Chinese
Buddhism and Confuscianism
System of centralized imperial rule
style of art, clothing, and architecture
writing system -Shintoism is simple nature worship that was introduced from China.
-Shintoism means “the way of the Gods”
-Shintoism: Belief that mountains, streams, lakes, and other elements of nature were inhabited by spirits, known as kami
-Japanese looked at Buddhism to teach them how to overcome the pain, misfortunes, and sorrows of life.
-Buddhism emphasized the impermenance of life on Earth and taught people to rid themselves of wordly conceits, pleasures, and ambitions.
-According to the Buddhist doctrine, turning away from wordly things could free people of the troubles of this life and move toward a blissful eternity.
-These two religions did not compete, and many Japanese thought they could embrace both religions. Zen -Zen: Zen rejects the notion that salvation is attained outside of this life and this world.
-Typically practiced by military aristocrats
-Believe that a person’s tranquility and insights into the true meaning of life comes from rigorous physical and mental discipline. Poetry -Manyoshu, or “the Book of Ten Thousand Leaves”, contains over four thousand poems, with works by a large range of social classes like the peasantry, the clergy, and the ruling class.
-The court held regular poetry contests and published a series of poetry anthologies. Nearly all these poems were in tanka form- consisting of five lines of five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables.
-Groups of poets worked together to write renga (chains of interlocking tanka), opening verse of a renga, known as a hokku, developed into a distinct literary form, with three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. The haiku, the name by which this verse form came to be known, soon replaced the tanka as the most popular Japanese verse form. The Heian Age Prose -Early 18th century prose focused on Japanese history, including Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters” and Nihon Shoki, “Chronicles of Japan”.
-Essays in Idleness: work of prose from the age of feudalism that is a loosely organized collection of insights, reflections, and observations by Buddhist priest Kenko. Drama -No plays are the earliest surviving form of Japanese drama
-Plays preformed on an almost bare stage by a small but elaborately costumed cast of actors wearing masks; the actors are accompanied by a chorus; and the plays were written either in verse or in highly poetic prose.
-During the Tokugawa period, Joruri and Kabuki developed.
-Joruri, now called Bunraku, is staged using puppets, while Kabuki involved lively, melodramatic acting and is staged using elaborate and colorful costumes and sets.
-Both are accompanied by an orchestea and generally focus on the lives of common people Historical Context -The leader of the dominant family, who was known as the shogun, was the true ruler of the country, using groups of warriors known as samurai to maintain order
-Japanese borrowed many things from Chinese culture including system of writing, Confucianism and Buddhism, and attempted to mimic their centralized imperial rule. Cultural Context -Japan developed its own distinctive cultural identity, even through the influence of the Chinese.
-Certain other elements are exclusively Japanese such as appreciation for nature, and preference for simplicity.
-Two other important elements of the Japanese culture appreciation for nature (mountains, rivers, and trees) and emphasis on perishability Literary Context -Elements of Japanese literature include simplicity, suggestion, irregularity, and perishability.
-The vast majority of Japanese poems reflect simplicity and suggestion by being brief.
-Japanese poems generally consist of uneven numbers of lines and syllables per line reflecting the emphasis on irregularity. Outside Source Number Two
"The Tokugawa Shogunate was a feudal military dictatorship in Japan that lasted for almost three hundred years. The period in Japanese history in which the Tokugawa Shogunate held power is called the Edo period, after the capital of Japan during the Shogunate. The Tokugawa Shogunate marks the period in Japanese history when the caste system was most rigid, leading eventually to social unrest, culminating in an overthrow of the Shogunate and the installation of Emperor Meiji." 794- named after the imperial capital (now Kyoto)
stopped copying China so much
power shift from emperor to aristocratic Fujiwara family
other aristocratic families settled in the countryside and assembled bands of warriors to revolt Essays in Idleness -Yoshida Kenko's reputation as a writer rests almost entire on his work Essay's in Idleness, which is a loosely organized collection of insights, reflections, and observations - He was born in a Shintu family, but became a Buddhist priest as a young adult - Reputation as a poet is widely believed to be undeserved, but his reputation as a prose writer has grown
- Essays in Idleness played a major role in defining Japanese aesthetic
-The title captures the quiet, contemplative existence that is characteristic of Kenko's position - Kenko condemns life of luxury; this reflects the Japanese emphasis on simplicity
- "Make do with what you have...Do not strive for elegance." Lord Kujo's Testament - Buddhism emphasizes the need to free oneself of material possessions and earthly desires
-"There is one thing that I...would be sorry to give up, the beauty of the sky." - Japanese associated certain elements of nature with specific seasons
- For example, they associate cherry blossoms with spring
- Interest in changing seasons and accompanying changes in nature reflects Japanese appreciation of perishability
- Japanese writers were influenced by works of Chinese poets - As a priest, Kenko tried to free himself of earthly desires, but his beliefs caused him to have an increased awareness of the instability of human life
- "It is sad to think that a man's familiar possessions, indifferent to his death, remain unaltered long after he is gone." - Japanese generally believe that people should conduct themselves in a restrained, dignified, and disciplined matter
-"You can judge a person's breeding by whether he is quite impassive even when he tells an amusing story, or laughs a great deal even when relating a matter of no interest." - Chinese philosophy of Confucianism has an influence in Japanese literature
- Confucianism teaches that a person's studies should not be motivated by the desire to impress other people
- A man is more likely to seem a true master of his art if he says, "I cannot tell for certain." - Shinto have a belief that the Japanese landscape is inhabited by numerous gods known as kami
- If the house is vacant...tree spirits and other apparitions will also manifest themselves Outside Source - http://djm.cc/library/The_Miscellany_of_a_Japanese_Priest_Gusa_Porter.pdf
- "The world is declining to its end, as I have just said, but there is cause for satisfaction in the fact that the venerable Palace is still uncontaminated by the outer world."
- Feudal Japan Power shift from Fujiwaras to rural lords
dominated by the samurai class and their bands of warriors
also, daimyos- militaristic lords
1160- Taira family seized control of Japan from the Fujiwaras,
1185- Minamotos defeat Tairas
Minamoto becomes shogun (chief general)
Shoguns could not control daimyos, who each ruled their own estate, and wanted to broaden their power
lasted about 100 years
Stuck to a strict code of conduct that emphasized loyalty, bravery, and honor. outside source http://www.taleofgenji.org/background.html "Up to that point, Japanese literature had consisted mostly of collections of poetry... Prose was limited to fairy tales and a couple of memoirs written in the new phonetic syllabary known as kana. No one had ever written a novel, let alone a novel with character development and a complex plot". http://www.wisegeek.com/what-was-the-tokugawa-shogunate.htm