Genji - ImagesofGender,ClassandPower JapaneseArt Diane C Freedman Department of Social Science Community College of Philadelphia The Heian Period

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Images of Gender, Class and Power: Teaching Anthropology with  Japanese Art Diane C. Freedman Department of Social Science Community College of Philadelphia
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The Heian Period 794-1185 Murasaki Shikibu 970-1015 Served Empress Akiko, daughter to Fujiwara no Michinaga (966-1027) role model for Genji Fujiwaras consolidated their power through "marriage politics," daughters marry into the Imperial household. grandsons of the family, reared in the Fujiwara households, were often direct heirs to the throne.
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Fujiwara no Michinaga This image of Michinaga is a fragment from a scroll illustrating the diary of Murasaki, in which she gives further details of Heian court life.
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4 Byodo-in, The Phoenix Pavillion built by the Fujiwara family in the Heian Period at Uji
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5 Calligraphy Men were expected to write serious works in Chinese, while women were not expected to learn it the development in the early 9th century of a native kana syllabary with which to write the Japanese language freed women to participate in the intellectual life of the times. Left to women was the difficult task of creating a literary style from the spoken vernacular (Bowring 1996). This style of the woman's hand ( onna-de ) intersected in complex and convoluted ways with the male style of Chinese writing (LaMarre 1998). Morris notes the irony that it is the writing of the women that survives and defines the age for future generations (1964). Keene calls the style of the Heian period a "distinct feminine sensibility" embraced by both men and women (1995).
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6 Tale of Genji Handscroll 12th century
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7 13 Heian women are known to us from their literary works Ko-ogimi was a poet
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11th century novel written by a court woman depicts the roles of women in the Heian period in which it was written much visual art associated with this work prose, poetry and the visual arts were tightly woven together during the Heian period to provide a unified aesthetic experience gender, class and power relationships appear in these paintings Introducing The Tale of Genji
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The Tale of Genji The Tale of Genji was written by a woman we know as Murasaki Shikibu in the early days of the 11th century. It is sometimes called the first novel. It is now divided into 54 chapters. It is the only secular work from that time in any culture to have remained active in the popular imagination until today. The story is about Prince Genji, called the Shining One, and the romantic and political intrigues that involve Genji and his progeny.
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Prince Genji the Shining One a melancholy hero whose beauty, style, grace and sensitivity entrap him in a series of romantic misadventures that lead to his undoing He is not the western "hero with a thousand faces" who goes forth to conquer the demons and return with the boon tragic hero whom some scholars have seen as an archytypical theme in Japanese history Yet even through some of his actions are repellent to our modern sensibilities, the novel continues to fascinate us.
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This note was uploaded on 09/21/2011 for the course SOCIAL SCI 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at Community College of Philadelphia.

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Genji - ImagesofGender,ClassandPower JapaneseArt Diane C Freedman Department of Social Science Community College of Philadelphia The Heian Period

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