The origins of Japanese culture go back to the 5th century and show strong Chinese influences that evolved into a specific Japanese culture in later epochs. The adoption of the Chinese script established the beginnings of Japanese literature. Court lyric poetry was a focus here, later also short prose. In contemporary literature, under Western influence, there are increasingly new topics (e.g. social novels). The Nobel Prize for Literature went to Y. Kawabata in 1968 and K. Ōe in 1994.
The Japanese music is characterized by a rich Resulting from the lyric songs. Classical music from Europe has also been able to gain a great influence. Modern light music is represented by J-pop, heavy metal and rock. Japanese theater hasdeveloped special forms. These include the traditional Singspiele of the Nōtheater, the puppet theater (bunraku) and the action-packed kabuki theater.
The Japanese film experienced, especially in the 1950s heyday with the Samurai -Epen director A. Kurosawa . A very popular contemporary genre of film is the animation (anime). The Japanese art has a strong focus on aesthetics. Color woodcuts by K. Hokusai , lacquer work and the art of calligraphy provide numerous examples. The arts and crafts have developed their own shapes with the art of arranging flowers (Ikebana) and folding paper (Origami). Japanese comics (mangas) have found international acclaim.
The art of beautiful writing in Japan
In East Asia, the art of calligraphy is highly developed. When the Chinese script was adopted in Japan, it was linked to religious content from Buddhism and Confucianism. In China as in Japan, writing is viewed as a living structure: the brushstrokes are, as it were, the bones, the ink the flesh around them. As in some of the medieval monastery rooms in Europe, writing was a religious exercise.
Japanese children learn the art of calligraphy during their nine years of elementary school, and for many adults it is a hobby. Anyone who wants to devote themselves to calligraphy in Japan needs basic equipment: A black, soft mat, called Shitajiki, serves as a writing surface. The thin calligraphy paper (Hanshi), a rice paper, is placed on this and weighted down with a metal rod (Bunchin). To write you need two brushes (Fude), a large brush for the main characters and a smaller one for the secondary characters and the name of the artist. In a heavy, black container called Susuri, the ink or Indian ink required for writing is kept. It consists of a soot-containing solid material that originally had to be rubbed into the water-filled susuri.
The Japanese script is a word script. The characters, of which there are tens of thousands, are called Kanji. By combining two or more Kanji, new words can be formed; this is how the word “railroad” originates. B. from the combination of the characters for “car” and “electricity”. After the Second World War, as part of a major writing reform (1946–51), the government limited Kanji “for daily use” to 1,850 word characters, which have since been used in official texts and taught in schools. In 1981 they were expanded to 1,945 word characters. Due to the large number of Kanji, the Japanese writing is difficult to learn, especially since the strokes of the characters have to be performed in a certain order.
In addition to Kanji, there are two other scripts: Hiragana and Katakana, collectively called Kana. These are syllabary scripts, greatly simplified Kanji, that were created because you wanted to put inflected endings in writing. They only consist of 46 basic characters that are easy to learn. Five characters stand for the vowels, the rest for syllables, which are composed of a consonant and one of the vowels. The hiragana characters are generally used for the grammatical endings of verbs, adjectives, and words for which no kanji exists. However, foreign words are written with katakana. Mastering as many symbols as possible is still considered the highest art in Japan, one of countries beginning with letter J listed on Countryaah.
Japanese garden art looks back on a long tradition. In the modern architecture of the cities, because of the shortage of land, increasingly taller skyscrapers dominate; One-room apartments that are subdivided by thin sliding door elements are widespread in residential construction. The Japanese national sport is sumo wrestling , in the tradition of the samurai there are the kinds of martial arts (Budo). Other popular sports are baseball and soccer, as well as winter sports such as ski jumping and speed skating.