Chapter 8 Section 2

If You Were There…
-you are a noble who is serving the Empress of Japan
-living in the capital city
-walking in the garden
-she gives you a small book with blank pages
-when you ask her why, she states the book is a diary for you to write in
-tells you that nobles, both men and women, keep diaries to record their lives

Japanese Nobles Create Great Art
-nobles who followed Japan’s emperor to Heian had wanted to win his favor by living closely to him
-in Heian, nobles created an imperial court
court: a group of nobles who live near and serve or advise a ruler
-members of noble court had little to do with common people of Heian
-lived apart from poorer citizens and seldom left city
-nobles enjoyed lives of ease and privilege
-lives were so easy and so removed from the rest of Japan that a lot of nobles called themselves “dwellers among the clouds”
-nobles of this court loved beauty and elegance
-due to this love, nobles were great supporters of arts
-to conclude, the court of Heian became a great center of culture and learning
-period between 794 and 1183 was a golden age of the arts in Japan

-nobles’ love of beauty started with their own appearances
-had magnificent wardrobes full f silk robes and gold jewelry
-nobles loved elaborate outfits
-an example includes, women wore long gowns made of 12 layers of colored silk that was cleverly cut and folded to show off many layers at the same time
-in order to complete their outfits, nobles of ten carried delicate decorative fans
-fans were painted wit flowers, trees, and birds
-nobles also attached flowers and long silk cords to their fans

-Japanese nobles took care with how they spoke and wrote
-writing was popular among nobles, especially among women
-women wrote diaries and journals about their life in court
-in diaries, women carefully chose their words to make their writing beautiful
-unlike the men, who usually would write in Chinese, noble wrote in Japanese language
-to conclude, many of the greatest works of early Japanese literature was written by women
-one of the greatest writers in early Japanese history was Lady Muraski Shikibu
-1000, she wrote The Tale of Genji
-historians consider this book to be world’s first full-length novel
-readers consider it to be one of the best
-The Tale of Genji is a story of Prince named Genji and his quest for love
-during search he meets women from many different social classes
-many consider The Tale of Genji to be one of Japan’s greatest novel
-characters it describes are colorful and seem real
-Lady Muraski’s writing is clear and simple but also graceful
-she describes court life in Japan with detail
-early Japanese prose was written by women
-women and me wrote poetry
-nobles loved to read and wrote poems
-nobles held parties at which they took turns writing poetry and reading their poems aloud to one another
-poems from this time usually only had five lines
-followed a specific structure that outlined how many syllables each line could include
-most were about love or nature
-some described every-day events
-an example includes of nature poem about the end of winter

Visual Art
-Japan’s nobles loved the visual arts
-most popular art forms of period were painting, calligraphy, and architecture
-in their paintings, nobles of Heian liked bright, bold colors
-liked paintings that illustrated stories
-many of greatest paintings from this period illustrate scenes from literature, including The Tale of Genji
-other paintings show scenes from nature or from court life
-artists painted on doors and furniture instead of on paper
-another popular form of art in Heian was calligraphy ( decorative writing)
-Calligraphers spent hours precisely copying poems
-wanted poems to look as beautiful as they sounded

-nobles of Heian worked to make their city beautiful
-greatly admired Chinese architecture and modeled Heian after Chinese capital, Chang’an
-copied Chinese building styles, especially in temples they built
-styles featured buildings with wooden frames that curved slightly upward at ends
-wooden frames were frequently left unpainted to look more natural
-thatched roofs added to natural feel
-other buildings, nobles liked simple, airy designs
-buildings were made of wood with tiled roofs and large, open spaces inside
-in order to add the beauty of these buildings, the nobles surrounded them with elegant garden and ponds
-similar gardens remain popular in Japan

Performing Arts
-performing arts were popular in Japan during Heian period
-roots of later Japanese drama traces back to this time
-people frequently gathered to watch performances by jugglers, musicians and acrobats
-performances were wild and fun
-mainly was the plays in which actors skillfully mimicked others
-in much later centuries, types of performances developed into more serious form of drama called Noh
-created in 1300s, Noh plays combine speaking, music, and dance
-plays often tell about great heroes of figures from Japan’s past

Buddhism Changes
-religion became art form in Heian
-nobles’ religion reflected their love of elaborate rituals
-most of the common people in Japan, though equally religious, didn’t have the time or the money for elaborate rituals
-as a result different forms of Buddhism developed in Japan
-one new form of Buddhism that was popular with Japan’s common people
-was called Pure Land Buddhism and didn’t require special rituals
-Pure Land Buddhism chanted the Buddha’s name constantly to achieve an enlightened state
-1100s another popular new form of Buddhism was called Zen arrived from China
-Zen Buddhists believed that neither faith or good behavior led to wisdom
-instead, people seeking wisdom should practice self-discipline and meditation, or quiet thinking
-ideas appealed to many Japanese, especially warriors
-as warriors gained more influence in Japan, so did Zen Buddhism