Growth of Japanese Culture

A Golden Age of Literature and Drama

Japanese Writing Systems

Japan adopted China's writing system such as using characters to stand for specific objects, actions, or ideas. In later years they also used characters to stand for certain sounds. In modern day Japan, it uses both letters and characters and is related to that of Korea.

Japanese Drama

In the 600's, people began performing religious dances at Shinto shrines. In the 1300's, they developed a special drama called Noh, which was usually retellings of legends and folktales. The actors wore colored masks to show emotion and used costumes, gestures, and music to tell stories. Around 1600, Japan developed a type of drama called Kabuki, which involved intricate costumes and lots of makeup. Kabuki is always played by men and Noh was usually played by men.
Kabuki Dance- Bando Tamasaburo. Yamanba

The Tales of Genji

Around 800 A.D., Japan stopped relying so heavily on China's vast culture. Literature is a huge example of this because the first person to write a novel was Japanese. It was a long realistic story about one person, the crown prince of Japan. The author lived in and around 1000 A.D. and was named Lady Murasaki.

Japanese Poetry

Most often Japanese poets wrote about the beauty of nature or the sadness of rejected love. A Haiku is a poem with 17 syllables and if you lined it up it would be 5-7-5. Around 1600 Matsuo Basho was born and made very well written haiku's. Haiku's are usually about nature.