Growth of Japanese Culture

Distinctive Japanese Arts - by Scott Glueck

Calligraphy and Painting

Calligraphy and Painting were very important to the Japanese culture. The Japanese also wrote by using brushes with ink and paper. The Japanese express beauty by writing. Each character that the Japanese used for calligraphy, is painted in a set order of brush strokes. The calligraphers express different meanings in the characters by using different shapes and sizes. In the 600s they started brush painting on paper scrolls with ink. The Japanese try to keep their designs extremely detailed. The designs show and describe, landscapes, historical events, and daily life.

Flower Arranging and Gardening

Buddhists brought another tradition to Japan, which was the art of flower arranging. This was a big thing in Japan because of the religion, Shinto. The people were interested in the simplicity of things, including simple arrangements. The Japanese tried to show off the natural beauty of flowers. Bonsai, is the art of growing small trees or shrubs in small pots or trays. They tried to create places that showed beauty of nature. Gardens that were inspired by Zen, are designed for people to think quietly. The Zen-inspired gardens have rocks and pathways and few flowers or trees. All of this is still important to Japan today.
Japanese brush painting: Water, mist and clouds
Essential question- What themes are reflected in Japanese arts?

Review question- How did Japanese culture reflect an interest in natural beauty?