Medieval Japan - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


PPT – Medieval Japan PowerPoint presentation | free to view - id: 2f63e-Yjk0Y


The Adobe Flash plugin is needed to view this content

Get the plugin now

View by Category
About This Presentation

Medieval Japan


The earliest inhabitants of the Japanese islands were gatherers, fishers and hunters. ... with a sensitivity to human emotions and the beauties of nature. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

Number of Views:1185
Avg rating:3.0/5.0
Slides: 44
Provided by: sout69


Write a Comment
User Comments (0)
Transcript and Presenter's Notes

Title: Medieval Japan

Medieval Japan
Periods of Early Japanese History
  • Jomon 8000 bce-300 bce prehistoric
  • Yayoi ca. 300 bce-300 ce 1st Chinese
  • Yamato or Kofun ca. 300 ce-645 ce writing
  • Asuka 645-710
  • Nara 710-794
  • Heian 794-1185 period of The Tale of Genji
  • Gempei War Period 1156-1192 civil wars
  • Kamakura Shogunate 1192-1333
  • Ashikaga Shogunate 1333- 1467
  • Onin War 1467-1477

Jomon Period8000 bce-300 bce
  • The earliest inhabitants of the Japanese islands
    were gatherers, fishers and hunters.
  • Stationary communities of houses with flower
    gardens, cemeteries and domesticated dogs.
  • Jomon is the name of the era's pottery the
    earthenware pottery typically had rope like
    patterns on the surface. Jomon means "pattern of

Yayoi Periodca. 300 bce-300 ce
  • Immigration of rice growers from China mixed
    ethnically and culturally with Jomon-ji
  • Introduction of rice agriculture
  • More advanced pottery techniques
  • Access to metal wares bronze and iron
  • Clan culture
  • Emergence of nature religion, precursor to Shinto

Rice Cultivation
  • Farmers' life became the standard for the
    Yayoi-jin. When the sun was up, they went to the
    rice paddy for a day's work and when the sun was
    down, they went home. Life became more managed,
    otherwise, harvesting a satisfactory crop was not
    possible. Management of the seeds, time, water,
    and people became the main concern of the

Yayoi uji clans
  • Clans headed by single figure -- both war-chief
    and priest
  • Women held prominent place in uji, perhaps even
    serving as clan head or priestess
  • Each clan associated with a single god or kami
    -- which represented a force of nature
  • When one uji conquered another, it absorbed its
    kami into its own religious practices resulting
    in a complex pantheon of kami

Yamato or Kofun Periodca. 300-645 ce
  • Yamato great kings
  • Kofun giant tomb mounds
  • Military aristocracy
  • Capital at Naniwa (Osaka)
  • Imported Chinese culture via Korea
  • Writing
  • Confucianism
  • Buddhism

Prince Shotoku573-621
  • Regent during reign of Empress Suiko (r. 592-628)
  • Wrote the Seventeen Article Constitution, the
    earliest piece of Japanese writing and basis for
    Japanese government throughout history
  • Led Japanese court in adopting Chinese calendar
    and sponsoring Buddhism

Prince ShotokuKamakura period, early 14th
centuryGilt bronze
Asuka Period645-710
  • Capital in the Asuka District
  • Establishment of Imperial Power under Taika
    Reform Edict
  • Temple building and sculpture introduced with
    Buddhism -- heavily influenced by Korean and
    Chinese models

Taika Reform Edicts 645Fusion of Buddhism and
  • Influence of Chinese culture -- institutions,
    language, philosophy concept of national unity
    symbolized by Emperor's dual role
  • Shinto religious leader with elaborate rituals,
    ceremonial functions
  • Chinese-like secular Emperor
  • Emperor ruled by Decree of Heaven with absolute
    authority and by descent from Amaterasu, the sun
  • United provinces ruled by central bureaucracy
  • Government control of land culture

  • Shinto is a general term for the activities of
    the Japanese people to worship all the deities
    (kami) of heaven and earth
  • Towards the end of the 6th century, the 31st
    Emperor Yomei prayed before an image of Buddha
    for the first time as an emperor for recovery of
    his illness. In accepting Buddhism, a foreign
    religion, the Japanese realized the existence of
    a tradition of their own faith.
  • The Japanese called the worship ritutals 'Way of
    Kami (the deity or the deities).
  • This indigenous faith, Shinto, has developed into
    four main forms Koshitsu Shinto (Shinto of the
    Imperial House), Jinja Shinto (Shrine Shinto),
    Shuha Shinto (Sectarian Shinto), and Minzoku
    Shinto (Folk Shinto).

Shinto The Grand Shrines at Ise
  • The present buildings reproduce the temple first
    ceremoniously rebuilt in 692 CE by Empress Jito.
    The first temple had been built by her husband
    Emperor Temmu (678-686), the first Mikado to rule
    over a united Japan.        
  • Emperor Temmu had established Ise as the
    principal cult shrine (jingu) of Imperial Japan,
    but the site itself, and the cedar trees that
    grew on it, were already sacred before then.    
  • Besides trees, at the Ise Shrine, are many
    subsidiary shrines of rocks from the sea which
    are regarded as the abodes (iwakura or rock
    abodes) of deities.

Jingu http//
  • Ise Grand Shrine is Japan's most important Shinto
    shrine and serves as the center of all shrines
  • Situated near the banks of the Isuzu River, the
    shrine is surrounded by 800-year-old Ise Grand
    Shrine cedars.
  • The smooth pebble-lined approach to the shrine
    lends the site a majestic air.

  • The shrine consists of two groups of buildings
    the Imperial Shrine (Kotai Jingu), also known as
    the Naiku (inner shrine), and the Toyouke Shrine
    (Toyouke Daijingu ), the Geku or outer shrine.
  • The Naiku is dedicated to the Sun Goddess
    Amaterasu Omikami (Heaven-Illuminating Great
    Deity), and the Geku to the Goddess of Cereals
    Toyouke Omikami (Abundant Food Great Deity).
  • Both shrines are constructed of wood, and every
    twenty years both are totally rebuilt on an
    adjoining site. The only building on the empty
    site, which retains its sacredness for the
    intervening twenty years, is a small wooden hut
    (oi-ya) with post about seven feet high known as
    shin-no-mihashira (sacred central post). The new
    shrine will be erected over and around this post.

The Naiku
  • The most revered of all Shinto shrines, the
    Naiku, is located at Ise.
  • The Naiku enshrines Amaterasu Omikami, the
    ancestral goddess of Japan's imperial house and
    the great ancestral deity of the Japanese people.

Nara Period 710-794
  • 710 first permanent capital established at Nara
  • 712 A Record of Ancient Matters first book of
    orally preserved historic legends
  • Emperors embraced Buddhism leading to rapid and
    dramatic expansion
  • 759 The Manyoshu first poetry anthology
  • 784Rise in political power of Buddhist
    monasteries led to capital being moved to Nagaoka

Earliest Japanese Literature
  • 712 The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) --
    an anthology of myths, legends, and other stories
  • 713 The Fudoki (Records of Wind and Earth),
    compiled by provincial officials describe the
    history, geography, products, and folklore of the
    various provinces.
  • 720 Nihon shoki (Chronicle of Japan) -- a
    chronological record of history.

The Kojiki
  • The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) is
    traditionally viewed as Japan's first book. It
    was written in 712 by the courtier Ono Yasumaro
    (? - 723) at the behest of Empress Gemmei
    (661-721) and is in three volumes.
  • The Kojiki recounts the history of Japan from its
    mythological origins to the era of the Empress
    Suiko (554-628) in the Yamoto era and includes
    myths, legends, Imperial genealogy, history, and
  • Ono Yasumaru's work was based on the oral
    recitations of Hieda no Are

Wakawa-Japanese ka-poetry
  • Waka were first composed orally to celebrate
    victories in battle and love, or for religious
  • Around the 8th century the fixed forms Choka
    (long poem) and Tanka (short poem) emerged. These
    Waka are based on a set number of Mora
  • During the first great age of written waka in the
    seventh and eighth centuries, nagauta or choka
    'long poems were composed for performance on
    public occasions at the imperial court.
  • At the same time, tanka 'short poems', consisting
    of five 'lines' in the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7
    syllables, became a useful shorthand for private
    communication between friends and lovers, and the
    ability to compose a tanka on a given topic
    became an essential skill for any gentleman or
    lady at court.
  • It was not uncommon for parties to be thrown just
    to recite waka. One ritual was the Utokai. At
    Utokai parties each guest would come with an
    original waka and recite it to the group. All of
    the waka would then be judged by the host and the
    winner would be welcomed to eat at the head

The Manyoshu
  • Collected ca. 759
  • Anthology of over 4500 poems
  • Includes wide variety of poems courtly, rustic,
    dialectical, military, travel
  • Identified and anonymous poets
  • Syllabic poetry 5-7-5
  • Choka indeterminate number of lines culminating
    in a 7-syllable couplet
  • Tanka 31 syllable poem 5,7,5,7, 7

Heian Japan
  • 794-1185
  • Capital at Heian present-day Kyoto
  • Highly formalized court culture
  • Aristocratic monopoly of power
  • Literary and artistic flowering
  • Ends in civil war with emergence of samurai

Heian Style
  • A culture more independent of Chinese influence
  • miyabi courtlinessmakoto simplicityaware
    melancholymono no aware evanescence
  • Emphasis on the exquisite and evanescent
  • Literary poems, letters, pillow books
  • Extreme sensitivity to nature
  • Nocturnal
  • Importance of convention andfashion

Heian Society
  • Patriarchal but women inherited matrilineal and
  • Polygamous
  • Sexuality viewed as normal and necessary part of
  • Men exercised political power, but marriages
    created political alliances, and women could
    exercise significant political influence

Heian Painting Yamato-e
  • Otoko-e
  • strong calligraphic outlines on figures with
    washed colors so that these strong lines would
    not be overwhelmed by the color
  • the medium for action subjects involving war or
  • primarily concerned with the public life outside
    the court or house.
  • Onna-e
  • rich colors and subtle outlines.
  • the medium for courtliness, appropriate to the
    literature of miyabi, such as The Tale of Genji.
  • "cutaway" painting, in which interior scenes are
    painted by "cutting away" the roof.
  • primarily concerned with the Japanese life that
    goes on inside the court or house

The Kokinshu(Collection of Ancient and Modern
  • Anthology commissioned by Emperor Daigo (r.
  • 1111 tanka poems in 20 books
  • Set the pattern for later anthologies
  • Books divided by subjectlove, seasons,
    felicitations, parting, travel, names of things,
  • Poetic sequences linked narrations
  • Renga 'linked verse' pairs or groups of poets
    would compose jointly, with one poet supplying
    the initial 5-7-5 of a verse and another the
    concluding 7-7, often building up to hundred
    verse sequences.
  • The initial 5-7-5 of a renga became a poetic form
    on its own, the haiku

A confused array of red leaves in the current
of Tatsuta River. Were I to cross, I would
break the fabric of a rich brocade
Japanese Writing
  • Adapted from Chinese calligraphy, but a totally
    different language
  • Kanji ideogrammatic use of Chinese characters
  • Manyo-kana ideogrammatic and syllabic
  • Kana syllabic
  • Hiragana onna de or womens writing --
    cursive, does not require knowledge of Chinese
  • Katakana -- cursive, derived from Chinese

Heian Literature
  • Men continued to write Chinese-style poetry
  • Women began to write in Japanese prose
  • First novel Genji Monogatari by Lady Murasaki
  • Diaries
  • The Pillowbook by Sei Shonagan
  • As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams by Lady

The Tale of Genji
  • The Tale of Genji has 54 chapters and over 1,000
    pages of text in its English translation.
  • The novel has three gradual stages
  • 1. The experience of a youth (Chapters 1-33)
    Love and romance
  • 2. The glory and the sorrow (Chapters 34-41) A
    taste of power and the death of Genjis beloved
  • 3. The descendants (Chapters 42-54) After the
    death of Genji
  • The Tale of Genji depicts a unique society of
    ultra-refined and elegant aristocrats whose
    indispensable accomplishments were skill in
    poetry, music, calligraphy, and courtship.
  • The novel is permeated with a sensitivity to
    human emotions and the beauties of nature.

Gempei War Period Civil Wars
  • 1156 Hôgen Disturbance--Taira (or Heike) and
    Minamoto (or Genji) on both sides
  • 1160 Heiji Disturbance-- Taira were solidly
    aligned against the Minamoto. A Taira victory
    enabled the clan to become the new aristocracy at
    court from 1160 until the early 1180s
  • 1180 Taira-Minamoto War -- Minamoto chieftains
    rose in the provinces that led to the defeat of
    the Taira

  • Literally, "one who serves"
  • Also known as bushi ("military gentry") -- the
    warrior elite of pre-modern Japan that emerged in
    the provinces from at least the early 10th
    century and became the ruling class of the
    country from the late 12th century until the
    Meiji Restoration of 1868.

Origins of the Samurai
  • Failure of the central government in Kyôto to
    maintain adequate administration
  • Samurai became active in managing provincial
  • The first bushidan, or warrior bands, were
    family organizations, military units recruited by
    chieftains from among their kinsmen.
  • By the 11th century, however, bushidan had
    developed into more permanent entities structured
    on lord-vassal ties between fighting men
  • Taira and Minamoto clans emerged in the 10th
    and 11th centuries

  • Code of honor and conduct of the Japanese
    nobility requiring unwavering loyalty on the part
    of the vassal.
  • Borrowed heavily from Zen Buddhism and
  • Emphasized loyalty to ones superior, personal
    honor, and the virtues of austerity,
    self-sacrifice, and indifference to pain.
  • Commerce and the profit motive were to be
  • Formulated in the Kamakura period and put into
    writing in the 16th c.

Kamakura Shogunate 1192-1333
  • The victor in the Taira-Minamoto War was
    Minamoto no Yoritomo established the first true
    warrior government in Japanese history, the
    Kamakura shogunate (1192-1333)
  • Shogun the title that Yoritomo demanded when he
    defeated the Taira Sei i tai shogun , "barbarian
    conquering supreme general."
  • Feudalistic Society

Japanese Feudalism
  • Classes
  • Warriors
  • Daimyo feudal landowners
  • Samurai knight/retainers loyal to the Daimyos
  • Bushi warriors
  • Peasants bound as serfs to the land who paid
    harvest rent to samurai
  • A third class of merchants, craftsmen and
    entertainers arose as peace settled in.
    Merchants, especially, became powerful as they
    became rich.

Mongol Invasion of Japan
  • Defining moment for the Kamakura dynasty
  • In 1258, Kublai Khan had conquered the Korean
    peninsula and in 1266, he declared himself
    Emperor of China.
  • In 1266, representatives of the Mongolian court
    came to Japan and demanded its immediate
    surrender -- Japan refused.
  • In 1274, Kublai Khan sent a vast fleet to invade
    Japan but it was destroyed by a hurricanethe
    Japanese called this fortunate hurricane
    kamikaze, or "wind from the gods."
  • Again in 1281, Kublai launched the largest
    amphibious assault in the history of the ancient
    and medieval worlds. Another hurricane struck,
    and the bulk of the Chinese army sank with the

Heike Monogatari
  • Tales of the Heike War
  • Told by professional storytellers, biwa hoshi ,
    whose job it was to establish definitive versions
    of various tales and commit them to memory--
    their profession came to be known as heikyoku
    ("Tales of the Heike Narration").
  • By the 13th century heikyoku constituted the
    leading contemporary performing art form in
    14th-15th century
  • During this period, the various tales were
    written down so the composition of the Heike
    monogatari can be said to have taken place
    between 1200 and 1600.

Noh Drama
  • Emerged in the 14th c.
  • Frozen in the 17th c.
  • Invention attributed to Kanami Kiyotsugu
  • Perfected by his son, Zeami Morokiyo (1363-1443)

A scene from Aoi no ue based on The Tale of
Noh Characters
  • Conventional roles in all dramas
  • Shite principal character -- the only true
  • Waki secondary character -- introduces story
    and asks questions often a priest
  • Tsure shadowy companion to shiite and/or waki
  • Kokata child
  • Kyogen clown -- usually lower class

Noh Conventions
  • Very short, plotless, tragic in mood
  • Highly stylized with very slow pace 200-300
    lines of play can take an hour to perform
  • Integrate singing, speech instruments, and
  • No limitation in time or space
  • Highly allusive, poetic, symbolic language
  • Less about characters than emotions

Yugen haunting poetic quality, suggesting quiet
elegance and grace, and subtle and fleeting beauty
Types of Noh Plays
  • A Days Entertainment contains
  • A god play
  • A warrior play
  • A woman play
  • A realistic play
  • A demon play
  • Kyogen Plays placed between Noh plays as comic
  • No music
  • Broad humor
  • About 20 minutes long

In Japan, during the Fifteenth Century the bonds
of loyalty between the Ashikaga Shogunate and the
daimyo or lords grew increasingly frayed until
the outbreak of the Onin War (1467-77) and the
descent of Japanese society into the Warring
States period of the 16th Century.