FACTS ABOUT JAPAN Japan known now as a developed country, which is famous because of its inventions, companies and arts. Here we are going to reveal some Japanese cultures, and some of their heritage that have a great effect on their culture.
JAPANESE STYLES Japan as a country has a past withits styles in its own tradition, inclothing, building and foods.-Clothing: Japanese people used theirtraditional clothing in the past, nowthey wear it just in special occasions.
JAPANESE STYLESBuildings & Gardens: In Japan there are many differentbuildings and gardens, that are a big partof its culture. They do not actually comefrom Japan, their ideas come from China.
JAPANESE LITERATURE Japanese Literature is one of the major literatures of the world comparable to English literature in age and variety.
JAPANESE LITERATUREJapanese Literature is one of the majorbodies of Oriental Literature. It is lessvoluminous than Chinese Literaturebut comparable to Arabic, Persian andIndian Literature. It covers the periodfrom the fifth century A.D to the present.
JAPANESE LITERATUREPoems and odes to the Gods werecomposed in the early JapaneseLanguage before the art of writing wasknown in Japan. Only fragments of thisLiterature have survived, but these arethought to have been extensive. Duringthe first centuries of writing in Japan,the spoken language and writtenlanguage were identical.
JAPANESE LITERATURE The Tale of GenjiWritten by Japanese writer MurasakiShikibu in the 11th century, isgenerally regarded as the earliestnovel in any culture and as thegreatest masterpiece of Japaneseliterature. In this scene from the novel,Prince Genji is visiting with hisfavorite wife, Murasaki, whilewatching his housemaids, whom he hassent outside to build a snowman. Thenovel is remarkable for its detaileddepiction of the refined culture ofHeian-period Japan.
Classical and Heian Period (700-1185)Man’yoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) (ca. 700-750)The Man’yoshu, the oldest collection of Japanese poetry,was compiled in the 8th century and consists of more than4,000 poems, some of which date from as early as the 5thcentury. While consisting mainly of 31 syllable poems(tanka, also called waka), it also contains many examplesof long poems (choka). The subject matter of the poemsvaries from travel descriptions to elegies and poems of loveand loss. There are also poems reflecting Chinese andBuddhist influences. The Man’yoshu poems are direct andaccessible to any audience unfamiliar with Japaneseculture and the conventions of Japanese poetry.
Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries Child’s Play (1895-96) by Higuchi Ichiyo (1872-1896)Set in the pleasure quarters of the late Meiji era, thisshort story focuses on neighborhood adolescents whoexperience the beginning of adulthood. A gang of boysand one girl, once close-knit playmates, drift apart asthey face the inevitabilities of growing up. Twocharacters in the story, Nobu, a boy following the pathto priesthood, and Midori, a girl who will eventuallybecome a prostitute in the licensed brothel quarters,hold mutual affection for one another but sadly realizethat their paths will never cross as they are about toshoulder life’s responsibilities.
Medieval and Tokugawa Periods (1185-1868) The Tale of the Heike (ca. 1250)The Tale of the Heike is a warrior epic of thehistoric battles between the Genji (Minamoto clan)and the Heike (Taira clan) between 1169 and1185. The Tale follows the rise of the Heike, theirarrogance and abuse of power, and theirdestruction at the hands of the Genji. Students whoare interested in the transition to and the rise ofthe warrior class in Japanese history will find thisa content-rich work.
JAPANESE LITERATURE In written form from at least the 8thcentury AD to the present. One of the oldest and richest nationalliteratures. Since the late 1800s, Japanesewritings have become increasinglyfamiliar abroad. Genres such as haiku verse, nō drama,and the Japanese novel have had asubstantial impact on literature in manyparts of the world.
Japanese Ancient Literature (pre-8th Century)With the introduction of kanji (漢字, lit."Chinese characters") from the Asianmainland, writing became possible, as therewas no native writing system.Consequently, the only literary language wasclassical Chinese to begin with; later, thecharacters were adapted to writeJapanese, creating what is known as themanyōgana, the earliest form of kana, orsyllabic writing.
Japanese Ancient Literature (pre-8th Century)• Nara Period include Kojiki (712: a partlymythological, partly accurate history of Japan)•Nihonshoki (720: a chronicle with a slightlymore solid foundation in historical records thanthe Kojiki), and Manyōshū (759: a poetryanthology).• The language used in the works of this perioddiffers significantly from later periods in both itsgrammar and phonology. Even in this early era,significant dialectal differences within Japaneseare apparent.
Writers Behind Japanese LiteratureNatsume Soseki• Japanese author Tanizaki Jun’ichirō• first gained public attention with his • Many of the works of JapaneseWagahai wa neko de aru (1906; I Am aCat, 1961) author focus on male-female relationships.•a generally light-hearted series ofobservations that a cat makes about • He is best known for Tade kuuhumans. Soseki later published more mushi (1929; Some Prefer Nettles,serious psychological novels. 1955), about a failing marriage.
Japanese Writings1. KANJI The Kanji includes about 2000"characters" derived from Chinesestarting more than 1500 years ago, withmore than 5,000 possible pronounciations[a single character may have from one tomore than six or seven] and covering atleast 5000 possible "meanings" or"semantic fields" which form the heart ofthe writing system. Most of these would berecognized by most educated Japanesereaders. Several thousandmore Kanji were also adopted for use bythe Japanese (and have "standardized"Japanese pronounciations)
2. KANA Some time after adopting Chinese characters, theJapanese developed two syllabaries (KANA), partially derivedfrom Kanji. Syllabaries are writing systems in which whole syllables,rather than discrete sounds (phonemes), are represented by signswhich cannot be broken down into their constituent sound elements. 2a. Hiragana In this syllabary verb endings and othergrammatical elements--not present in the Chinese character system--and other features of the Japanese language are reflected inwriting.Hiragana appears to be more cursive ("rounder")than katakana. 2b. Katakana This syllabary, which covers exactly the samesyllable sound-system, is used primarily for writing out the sounds ofborrowed words (especially of non-Asian origins) and foremphasis. Katakana is written in a more angular, linear form thanis hiragana. 2c. Furigana These are smaller than usual syllable signs(usually hiragana) that are written alongside or abovea Kanji primarily to indicate its correct pronounciation (rememberthat any Kanjimay have several pronounciations or readings whichmay or may not alter its meaning).
JAPANESE CEREMONIESThe Tea Ceremony The Wedding Ceremony
JAPANESE CEREMONIES Death CeremonyThe Birth Ceremony
Festivals and Celebrations Many festivals and celebrations had its own customs: Many involved contests that tested athletic, poetic, or artistic skill. For example, in the Festival of the Snake, cups of wine were floated in a stream. Guests took a cup and drank from it. Then they had to think up and recite a poem.