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Ancient Japanese Literature

Kenny Bjellquist & Olivia Eberle

Jmon Period
Prehistoric Japan: ~1450 B.C. 300 B.C.

Named Jmon because of poetry


discovered in late 1800s.

Stable hunters and gatherers Closer to 900 B.C., more interaction with
Korean peninsula, shared techniques:

- Farming
- Poetry

Coexisted peacefully for roughly 1,000


years.

Yayoi Period
300 B.C.-300 A.D. Named after the neighborhood of Tokyo
where archaeologists first discovered artifacts and features of the era

New pottery Styles More complex villages and buildings More expansive farms (rice)

Kofun Period
~250-538 Named after burial mounds Development of military Relationship between Korea and Japan Five Kings of Wa

Japanese Language

Earliest written Japanese document: 252 AD Writings composed of hiagana, katakana, and kanji

Modern Japanese uses the Latin alphabet, rmaji


Hindu-Arabic and Sino-Japanese numbers used http://www.japanese-name-translation.com/

Hiagana

Katakana

Kanji

Japanese Music
Music in Japanese: Traditional music based on human breathing Three types: instrumental, theatrical, and court music
- Instrumental: Kangen, Bugaku - Theatrical: Noh, Kabuki ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67-bgSFJiKc ) - Court Music: Gagaku (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_NKL-dYSco )

Japanese Art
Painting and calligraphy
- Importance of the brush

Sculpture
- Buddha Vairocana

Lacquered, gilded, and painted wood, sometimes bronze

Japanese Architecture & Gardens



Heavily influenced by China Temples, Shinto shrines, castles

Gardens are influenced by Zen ideas


Based on monochromatic ink paintings

Japanese Origami

Significant part of Japanese tradition during Heian period Samurai warriors and noshi

Mentioned in a short poem by Ihara Saikaku


http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File%3ACrane.ogv

Ancient Literature: Pre 794 A.D.


No written language until 710
- Man'ygana

Nara Period
- Kojiki (712 A.D.), Nihon Shoki (720 A.D.) and Man'ysh (759 A.D.)

Heian Period: 794-1185



Classical Period Golden era of art and literature

The Tale of Genji


Kokin Wakashu (905), Makura no Soshi (990s), Iroha poem Pre Sci-Fi work: Taketori Monogatari(~1120)

Konjaku monogatarishu- new dimension

Kamakura-Muromachi Period: 1185-1573


Government seized, new aristocracy
- Heike mono-gatari (Pre 1219)

Shin kokin wakashu (~1205) Hojki (1212), Tsurezuregusa (1330) Rival of two imperial courts for power rom 1318-1367
- Taiheiki (published during power struggle)

Edo Period: 1603-1868


Using literature for social commentary became popular Renga- multiple people writing several verses of the same poem each Matuso Basho
Genroku era (1688-1704)

Merchants and artisans supported literature, then professionals followed suit Ihara Saikaku & Chikamatsu Monzaemon
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7LWaoaLlLQ )