Japanese Culture Charlie Foy

Japan is the 61st largest country in the world and is roughly 100 miles from China. The large "Home Islands" are: Hokkaido, Honshu (the "mainland"), Shikoku and Kyushu. The largest mountain is Mount Fuji.

The emporor was the most powerful followed by shoguns that were powerful military leaders. Although the Emporer was most powerful the shoguns ruled the government and the emporor was just a symbol of ancient monarchies. The next most powerful were the Daimyo who were the land owners. The samurai were the next lowest and were attached to the Daimyo and were the soldiers. This is much like the nobles and knights during the medieval times. Then we have the peasants who were the farmers. Then we have the artisans. They would often be sword smiths or craftsmen this is different too what had taken place in earlier history as the artisans would be more powerful than the peasants. The same is for the merchants that were even lower than the artisans even though in during this period in Europe they would be resonobly respected.

Kimonos were one of the most popular items of clothing. They were typically made out of linen and were used for day to day use. Kimonos change during the seasons in the colder months they are made out of heavier materials such as silk and wool and the colors change in to more rustic colours. In warmer months designs are much brighter and display things such as cherry blossoms.

During ancient Japanese times meat was very rarely consumed because of the Buddhist ban on the killing of animals. Regular people rarely ate rice because they had to pay their taxes in rice so they were forced to eat wheat and barley. They would turn these into a sort of porridge. It was often found that they would forage for insects and wild shrubs. As time moved on sweet potatoes became very popular and people would eat buns, miso soup, soy sauce and bean paste jelly. The rich would eat things like wild boar and wild dogs.

There were two major religions Shinto and Budhism. Shinto is the oldest Japanese religion. The main figures in this religion are sacred spirits that take form of things like water wind and fire. They also believe that all animals poses Kami a divine power. Budhism came from Asia in the sixteenth century and they believe in Budha who ran away from his rich life and was "enlightened".

Literature was very import during these times. The first novel was written and it became popular for women to write. The tale of Genji was written by Murasaki Shikibu and was considered Heian fiction. Woman started using literature as style and a way to attract men and poetry was used to express feelngs

Most of the buildings were made out of would and had curved edges a style taught by the Chinese. Tiled roofs were common as well. Another popular style was for the building to be slightly elevated of the ground. Many of these styles were influenced by the popularity of Budhism which encouraged temple building.

There were three types of music during this time, Instrumental, court music and theatrical. The music in the example is mostly instrumental. Court music is the oldest music in Japan and includes lots of vocals and dancing. Theatrical music as you can guess was played in theaters that were becoming popular at this time. The hayashi-kata was the most used instrument in this type of music. Instrumental music was used for ceremonies like the tea ceremonies and was calm and relaxing.

As I have already mentioned theatre was becoming very popular. There were dramas and love plays where women displayed there beauty. Another popular source of entertainment was of course sumo wrestling where one fighter had to push another fighter out of a circle mar caked on the ground. Go was a very popular game. It is now considered the oldest games still played to this day and is over 2500 years old. If you added up all of the possible game possibilities it would equal more than all of the atoms in the universe.

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