Growth of Japanese Culture

A Golden Age of Literature and Drama

Summarized by Aksel Swennumson

Japanese Writing systems

In about 400 the Japanese began using Chinese characters. They used it for objects, ideas, actions, and sounds later. They acted like words and letters.

Japanese Drama

In the 600s Japanese Drama was first used. It started with people doing religious dances. In 1300s Noh started. Noh plays were usually folks and legends being retold.

Actors wore painted wood mask to show emotion. Costumes and music were used to tell the story. Only men were in the plays. In the 1600s another style of drama called kabuki. It combines singing and dancing with heavy makeup and complex costumes.

Kashu-Juku Noh Theater

Japanese Drama and Literature

The Tale of Genji

In the 800s leaders ended relations to China. Chinas influence stayed but, Japan made new traditions. Literature was one of the biggest thing that was new. One of the best writers was Lady Murasaki Shikibu. She wrote The Tale of Genji. This was a novel on one person, a prince.

Japanese Poetry

Japanese poets often wrote about nature. One popular short Japanese poem is the haiku. Matsuo Basho was one of the best poets who wrote about Zen.