Japan 2-Bare-Bones

Japan 2-Bare-Bones - Japan 2 THE ELEGANCE OF HEIAN TO THE...

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Japan 2 THE ELEGANCE OF HEIAN TO THE RISE OF THE SAMURAI I. Introduction to the Heian A. In 794, the emperor Kammu established Japan’s capital in the new city of Heian- kyo (modern city of Kyoto) B. It became a flourishing center for the arts, literature and music—referred to as the Capital of Peace and Tranquility C. Copied after the Chinese capital of Chang-an D. While city was a cultural center, the surrounding areas were backward E. Most of the people outside the city were peasants who fought with one another and with the indigenous Ainu tribes from the north F. Yet within the city was an island of calm due partly to 1. The influence of Buddhism and its doctrine of nonviolence 2. Another reason was probably the political skills of the rulers who used intrigue instead of swordplay G. The ruling family for 200 years (9 th -11 th centuries) was the Fujiwaras 1. Efficient bureaucracy 2. Controlled emperor--marry Fujiwara daughters, after a few generations the Imperial Family had become Fujiwara H. How did this family relate to the emperor? 1. The important link between emperor and Shinto sun-goddess. 2. His aura through this link enabled him to protect the people I. Yet the Fujiwaras managed to actually govern Japan J. A third reason for the calm of the govt was due to the influence of Chinese culture on the aristocracy 1. The Japanese admired China and her culture 2. Spoke Chinese, wrote Chinese poetry, collected Chinese art 3. Brought back treasures from China after pilgrimages 4. After Tang, the trips to China ended because of unrest there 5. The calm remained in Japan, however, until the 12 th century II. Life of the Heian Aristocrats—“Dwellers Among Clouds” A. Aristocrats made up maybe 3000 of the city’s 100,000 people B. Associated with the Imperial Court, closed from outside its circles 1. The aristocracy rated commoners as subhuman 2. But within their ranks, world of manners, artistry, subtlety C. Slide #2: Layout of Heian-kyo D. Slides #3-5 Phoenix Hall, life of aristocracy E. Slide #6 Statue of Buddha—gentle religion of aristocrats 1. The gold color symbolized Buddhism F. The literature of the time was written almost solely by women G. Why? 1. The Japanese male scholars were consumed with writing in Chinese characters 2. Japanese women were not expected to so they were not encumbered with writing in Chinese. 3. They could become highly literate in kana 4. Some great literature emerges from this period—writings of sensitivity and depth 1
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5. The greatest example of this is The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki Shikibu III. The Tale of Genji (Read article in Reader about this novel) A. To fill the hours between court ceremonies, Lady Murasaki, a lady in waiting in the early 11 th century Heian Court, wrote a love story B. The Tale of Genji is the first major novel and Japan’s literary classic C. Describes the adventures of a certain Prince Genji and his descendants—a look into the Heian court D. The Heian aristocrats devoted themselves to the leisurely pursuit of pleasure and
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2012 for the course HUM 240 taught by Professor Francescalawson during the Fall '11 term at BYU.

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Japan 2-Bare-Bones - Japan 2 THE ELEGANCE OF HEIAN TO THE...

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