The Heian period was a culture that lasted from 794-1185 CE. During this time Japan saw a gigantic increase in creative literature and paintings. This soon became known as the “Golden Age” of Japan because of the immense cultural influence it has on the culture of Japan As stated on www.classroom.synonym.com, the Heian period became a time where Buddhism, Taoism, and other Chinese influences were at their heights. It is during this time that the schools of Tendai and Shingon took their place and began introducing new religious beliefs by engaging with Shintoism (native language).  A lot of the religious influence was shown through their art. For example, religious paintings, mandalas, statues, and sculptures were made in the forms of Buddhist deities. During this time wood also replaced metal for the making of the Buddhist sculptures. To dig a little deeper into the history of one of Japan’s most influential times, a little background on how it all began. In 784 Emperor Kammu was being threatened by the growing power of the Buddhist institutions in the city of Nara, because of this he moved the capital of Japan to what we know now as Kyoto, which remained the imperial capital for around 1,000 more years. www.courses.lumenlearning.com also found that the samurai class rose, took power, and started a new time in Japan. Www.kidspast.com stated that in 1336 A.D., a war broke out in Japan. The shogun (commander-in-chief) and the emperor remained in office, but only as the face for the people, they held no political power. Soon after this, landowning warriors known as samurai (which we mentioned before) pledged their allegiance to lords and promised to fight to protect their land. An example would be the samurai protecting poor farmers after they’ve paid their taxes for their right to farm. When the Tang dynasty began to fall and all most contact with China had been cut off, Japan began to build up its own culture that was more Japanese and only had slightly refined versions of chinese art forms. During this time many independent women artists and writers left their  imprint on the Japanese culture. (www.factsanddetails.com) Because of the separation from the Chinese influences in all of the forms of art, this culture became uniquely Japanese. The three major theatre art forms in Japan are Noh theatre, Kabuki theatre, and Bunraku.  During the Heian period professional dancers or actors would dance to drums and acto out small plays that included some dialogue, singing, and dancing. These professional troupes would be attached to temples and shrines to attract an audience. (www.britannica.com) Stated on www.google.com/culturelinsitute, The Heian period occurred before the Kimono ever came into view so the Japanese had these Chinese style costumes called Karafu. Many other garments were used such as the Sokutai (formal uniform with round-collared jacket), the Kariginu, which was less formal, the women’s layered costume (itsutsuginu-karakoromo), and inner pleated trousers called Keiko. The royal family wears these costumes for events such as weddings. Priests also wear costumes to the ceremonies and festivals. The Sokutai and the Junihitoe are both the most formal court attires that mean and women wer. They are both made from woven silk and are made by many layers worn over the other. Www.google.com/culturelinsitute also says that the junihitoe has to be belted in place until another layer is added. It requires skill and knowledge to dress the people wearing the costumes. The costumes stand out because of their layering, colors, and fabric. The colors and the layering of colors are named so that certain things are brought to mind.                        The process to make these costumes is not any easier than it was back in 794. Www.google.com/culturalinstitue stated that now the design in planned on the computer, the threads are then selected and then are set on the loom. The costume is then woven as it is shown on the design that was created.  Each costume is still hand woven! To make the fabric lighter, the cloth is stretched out and a paste is brushed onto it. Eventually the fabric is cut and tailored into the costume. When sewing, more often than not you will use a straight stitch but the edges could also be rolled up and glued. Now the Heian period is a long time in Japan filled with battles and retaliations but it is also filled with the beauty in the uniqueness in Japanese culture. They found a way to make their own culture while being isolated and cut off from outside influences. Their art, poetry, theatre, dance, and costuming is just important as the history that also dawned on them. The “Golden Age” of Japan is sure one to remember.

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