The Heian Period: The Influence Of Buddhism In Japan

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The East Asian country, the islands of Japan, has a history of over 2000 years, during which there have been countless rulers, invasions, and time periods. Among all of these periods, Japan had one major period called the Heian period that lasted from 794 AD to 1185. The Heian period started after the fall of the Nara period (645- 794) with the change in capital. The ruler of the time, Emperor Kammu, named his new capital “Heiankyo”, present day, Kyoto, during his reign from 781 to 806. During the Nara period, as the influence of Buddhism in Japan grew, the Japanese built many temples and shrines, shaping Japan’s architecture and religious styles of writing and art such as with the rising necessity for creating many Buddha statues and sculptures.…show more content…
The Heian period started to develop more of own their style. Japanese brick roofing tiles and a type of cypress classed hinoki were used for roof. The use of stone, mortar and clay, wooden walls, floors and partitions in architecture started to become more and more prevalent in Japan. During this Heian period, the Japanese also developed new inventions called byobu and fusuma. Byobu is folding screens and fusuma is sliding doors that can be seen in Japanese traditional houses. The layouts for temples were also based on nature, for example many temples included nature items such as gardens and ponds. Chinese models and designs also had influences on architecture during this era. The new capital, Heian-kyo was built with a specific plan and order, which can be seen in the orderly, regular avenues and streets that were built parallel and perpendicular to one another. The architecture was influenced by their religion, Buddhism, such as the influence of the Shinto shrines that represents a place for the god. There was the Heian Shrine, which, because of this religion, people painted the normally unfinished timers with the red cinnabar color. Just like religion and other factors played a large role in influencing Japanese architecture, there were many factors that also influenced Japanese art during the Heian period that set it apart from other periods,…show more content…
Most poems during this period were written by lovers as they courted each other. Men’s abilities in the arts were more favored than their bureaucratic skills by women for the next thousand years. Japanese writers often displayed their work colorfully and decorated it with color and put perfume on their works. The calligraphy of the literary works of this time was remarkable and the aesthetic beauty of the writing was as important as the ability to create poetry. In one of the most famous novels from the Heian period titled The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu, the main character Prince Genji states that "We live in a degenerate age. Almost nothing but the 'woman's hand' seems really good... The old styles have a sameness about them. They seem to have followed the copybooks and allowed little room for original talent." This is an excerpt from the chapter titled "Plum Tree Branch" (Mumegae). Women also had a large influence on Heian literature, for example through this tale, written by one of the Fujiwara clan, Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote the first Japanese novel, made up of a compilation of poems or conversations. Tanka was developed during this Heian period, known as a thirty-one-syllable poem divided into five lines, usually with the syllables divided into a pattern of: 5/7/5/7/7. Tanka is similar to Haiku, but uses more syllables, and it includes similes, metaphors, and personifications. In The Tale of Genji, there were 400

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