Japanese Art, Architecture, Poems & Plays

Japanese Art, Architecture,
Poems & Plays
Art & Architecture
• Japan borrowed artistic ideas from China and Korea
• Japanese artisans made many things with shiny red and black
lacquer coating, such as:
• Wooden Statues * Furniture * Household Items
• Learned “Landscape Paintings” from the Chinese
• Used Ink or Watercolors
• Painted Images of Nature or battles on paper scrolls or on silk
• Origami – Japanese nobles learned to fold paper to make
decorative objects
• Flower arranging
• Buddhist monks and the Samurai Tea Drinking into a beautiful
Shinto Shrines
• Built in the Japanese Style
• Built near a sacred rock,
tree, or other natural
• Usually a wooden
building with a single
room and a roof made of
rice straw
• People enter the shrine
through a sacred gate
called a “Torii”
Buddhist Temples
• Built in the Chinese
• Had massive tile roofs
held up by thin
wooden pillars
• Richly decorated
• Had many statues,
paintings, and altars
Religious Shrines
Shinto Shrine
Poems & Plays
• Japanese borrowed China’s writing system
– Wrote the language of Chinese pictures that stood for whole words
• Since the Japanese & Chinese languages were so different, in the A.D.
800’s they added symbols that stood for sounds (much like the alphabet)
– Made reading and writing easier
• Believed a person’s handwriting revealed much about a person’s
education, social standing, and character
• Wrote poems, stories, and plays
– Oldest form of poetry was the Tanka
• Tanka is an unrhymed poem of five lines (captured Nature’s beauty and the joys and
sorrows of life)
– Haiku formed in the 1600’s
• Consisted of three lines of words with a total of 17 syllables
– Were colorful and full of emotion and imagery
• Created Plays
Created Plays
– The oldest type of plays were called “NOH”
Used to teach Buddhist ideas in the 1300s
Performed on a simple, bare stage
Actors wore masks and elaborate robes
They danced, gestured, and chanted poetry to the beat
of drums and flutes

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