Growth of Japanese Culture

A Golden Age of Literature and Drama. By TJ Peck

Japanese Writing Systems

Japan started using Chinese characters as Japanese words for ideas, characters, and actions. They also used them for sounds that worked like english syllables

Japanese Drama

Japanese drama started in the 600's with shinto dances and shrines. In the 1300's the Japanese developed a new form of drama called noh. Noh were based on folktales and the actors wore painted wooden masks. In the early 1600's they created another type of drama called kabuki. Kabuki is elaborate dancing and singing with heavy make up, mostly played by men. It is still played today.

The Tale of Genji

In early 800 the Japanese ended all relations with China. Lady Murasaki Shikibu was one of Japan's first writers and wrote the famous tale of Genji. This was a one of the first pieces of famous literature in China.

Japanese Poetry

Most of Japan's poetry was based on sadness or the beauty of nature and many were short. Haiku was one of Japan's most famous poetry styles. It developed in the 1600's and were about nature.

Essential Question: What is unique about Japanese literature and drama?

Review Question: What new forms of literature and drama did the Japanese develop?

Matsuo Basho - Haiku - Stillness, Cicadas - Japanese Literature and Poetry