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Heian Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Heian Period

The Heian Period of Japanese history covers 794 to 1185 CE and saw a great flourishing in Japanese culture from literature to paintings. Government and its administration came to be dominated by the Fujiwara clan who eventually were challenged...
Kamakura Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Kamakura Period

The Kamakura Period or Kamakura Jidai (1185-1333 CE) of medieval Japan began when Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199 CE) defeated the Taira clan at the Battle of Dannoura in 1185 CE. The period is named after Kamakura, a coastal town 48 kilometres...
Ancient Japan
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Ancient Japan

Ancient Japan has made unique contributions to world culture which include the Shinto religion and its architecture, distinctive art objects such as haniwa figurines, the oldest pottery vessels in the world, the largest wooden buildings anywhere...
Nara Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Nara Period

The Nara Period (Nara Jidai) of ancient Japan (710-794 CE), so called because for most of that time the capital was located at Nara, then known as Heijokyo, was a short period of transition prior to the significant Heian Period. Despite the...
Heiankyo
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Heiankyo

Heiankyo (Kyoto), located in the centre of Honshu island, was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years and gave its name to one of the golden ages of Japanese history, the Heian Period (794-1185 CE). Built according to Chinese design...
Emperor of Japan
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Emperor of Japan

The emperor of Japan is a position as the head of state which traditionally dates back to the 7th century BCE and the legendary figure of Emperor Jimmu (r. 660-585 BCE). Emperors came to be known as the Tenno or 'heavenly sovereign' in reference...
Samurai
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Samurai

The samurai (also bushi) were a class of warriors that arose in the 10th century in Japan and which performed military service until the 19th century. Elite and highly-trained soldiers adept at using both the bow and sword, the samurai were...
Muromachi Period
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Muromachi Period

The Muromachi Period (Muromachi Jidai, 1333-1573 CE) refers to the period of Japanese medieval history when the Ashikaga shogun capital was located in the Muromachi area of Heiankyo (Kyoto). Replacing the Kamakura Shogunate (1192-1333 CE...
The Pillow Book
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

The Pillow Book

The Pillow Book (Makura no Soshi) is a personalised account of life at the Japanese court by Sei Shonagon which she completed c. 1002 CE during the Heian Period. The book is full of humorous observations (okashi) written in the style of a...
Izumi Shikibu
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Izumi Shikibu

Izumi Shikibu was a writer, poet, and member of the Japanese court during the Heian Period (794-1185 CE). Her birth date is variously given as sometime in the 970's CE, and she died in the 1030's CE. In her celebrated memoirs, known as the...
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