Lesson 2: Social Geography of Japan

So far you have learnt about the Geography of Japan; now it is time to learn about its culture.

Culture can be defined as “the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts.” With this in mind, today we will be focussing on the different arts practised traditionally in japan and the role clothing hold within traditional japanese culture.

Starter

In preparation for your next Japan blog, you will need to do some research around kimonos. These are traditional japanese and I would like you to delve into their origins and history.
Write 3 facts that you have learnt about the kimono in the comments below.

Task 1

 For this task, you will need to research your own traditional art forms. You have free range and can choose to research any of the following (traditional):
– Ikebena
-Tea ceremony
-Guiesha
-Noh, kabuki
-Bunraku

Many of us looked at elements of the above during History week recently and you created some WOW work! Therefore, I would like you to choose one and write a summary explaining what it is.


For example:

The Japanese tea ceremony first began during the 9th century, when it is thought that a monk brought the tradition from China. To perfect the ritual tea serving a person train and practise for many years; it is said that the rictual “signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible”. Throughout Japan there are many different schools of the tea ceremony, there are a multitude of ways that the ceremony can be performed but generally, the host will wear a kimono and the more formal the meeting is, and the more important the guest, the longer the ceremony lasts.

In your explanation I would like you to include:

  • How/when the tradition began
  • Why the tradition is considered to be important
  • The purpose of the tradition (why do they do it? for fun?)
  • Key facts about the tradition
  • GD – can you add a quote about the tradition, preferably embedded into a sentence.

33 thoughts on “Lesson 2: Social Geography of Japan

  1. The Tea Ceremony began during the Kamakura period which was inbetween 1192 and 1333 and was first practised by Zen monks, they drank tea in order to be awake during long sessions of meditation. The tradition was important as it would create bond with the host and the guest to create inner peace. It would also only be practised by the Elite Zen monks and the noble warlords.
    The tea ceremony used to only be for men.
    A quote from the Tea Ceremony: “Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves–slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

  2. Ikebana

    The Ikebana was introduced in Japan in the 6th century by Chinese Buddhist missionaries who had formalized the ritual of offering flowers to the Buddha. Furthermore the meaning for this tradition to be important is that Zen is understanding and enjoying the transience of life although ikebana uses seasonal flowers to help us appreciate the changes of times and seasons. The purpose of the Ikebana tradition is that In ikebana,the Japanese art of flower arranging, blossoms, branches, leaves, and stems find new life as materials for artmaking.

  3. Starter:
    1. The first instances of kimono-like garments in Japan were traditional Chinese clothing introduced to Japan via Chinese envoys in the Kofun period.
    2. The kimono that the world associates with Japan was actually created in the late-nineteenth century as a cultural identifier. Kimono, in English, means “wearing thing.”
    3. Kimono makers are almost always women, and to become a professional, candidates must construct a kimono in just eight hours. Department stores that farm out their orders to these seamstresses usually request two weeks for delivery. In a pinch, most stores can supply finished kimonos in two days.

    Task 1:
    1. The history of kabuki began in 1603 when Izumo no Okuni, possibly a miko of Izumo-taisha, began performing with a troupe of female dancers a new style of dance drama, on a makeshift stage in the dry bed of the Kamo River in Kyoto. The Kabuki form dates from the early 17th century, when a female dancer named Okuni (who had been an attendant at the Grand Shrine of Izumo), achieved popularity with parodies of Buddhist prayers.

    2. A Noh play portrays one all-encompassing emotion dominating the main character, the shite (she-tay). Whether jealousy, rage, or sorrow, all music, gesture, dance, and recitation are used to build the emotion to its final climax at the close of the play. Okuni’s Kabuki was the first dramatic entertainment of any importance that was designed for the tastes of the common people in Japan. The sensuous character of the dances (and the prostitution of the actors) proved to be too disruptive for the government, which in 1629 banned women from performing.

    3. Although the basic purposes of Kabuki are to entertain and to allow the actors to demonstrate their skills, there is a didactic element, an ideal represented by the notion of kanzen-chōaku (“reward the virtuous and punish the wicked”).

    4. Noh, theater is structured around song and dance. Movement is slow, language is poetic, tone is monotonous, and costumes are rich and heavy. Plots are usually drawn from legend, history, literature and contemporary events. Themes often relate to dreams, supernatural worlds, ghosts and spirits

  4. GEISHA:

    -How/when the tradition began?

    The geisha system is thought to have emerged in the 17th century to provide a class of entertainers set apart from courtesans and prostitutes, who plied their trades respectively among the nobility and samurai.

    -Why the tradition is considered to be important?

    Tradition contributes a sense of comfort and belonging. It brings families together and enables people to reconnect with friends. Tradition reinforces values such as freedom, faith, integrity, a good education, personal responsibility, a strong work ethic, and the value of being selfless.

    -The purpose of the tradition:

    The main function of the geisha is to provide an atmosphere of chic and gaiety for her wealthy clientele. Geisha are usually exquisitely dressed in traditional kimonos and delicately mannered and have a knowledge not only of the past but also of contemporary gossip.

  5. lkebana :
    The four principles of ikebana are a fresh approach, movement, balance and harmony. Ikebana can be traced back to the As The puppets are carefully crafted for a lifelike performance. Ashokagn as Period (1338-1573), along with the ancient Japanese tradition of tea .
    Tea ceremony:
    A full, formal tea ceremony is a multi-hour event that starts with a kaiseki course meal, is followed by a bowl of thick tea and ends . Until the late 1800s only rich nobles such as samurai and monks could afford to drink the matcha tea.
    Geisha :
    This article is about geisha, the traditional Japanese female entertainers and hostesses. Geishas use safflower lipstick to colour their lips red and add sugar to create a shine.
    Noh, Kabuki :
    Traditional theatre includes Noh, a spiritual drama, and its comic accompaniment . Noh (能) is a traditional Japanese art form that includes dance, drama and music performed by men.
    Bunraku :
    The story of a a young man who has spent his life searching for revenge only to find himself up against a bigger challenge than he originally bargained for. The puppets are carefully crafted for a lifelike performance.

    Summary about ikebana .
    Ikebana has there 3 rules they are the four principles of ikebana are a fresh approach , movement , balance and harmony . Ikebana can be traced.

  6. I have learnt that the kimono is a long, loose traditional Japanese robe with wide sleeves, tied with a sash/ garment similar to a kimono worn elsewhere as a dressing gown.
    And Kimonos are made from various handmade and hand-decorated fabrics. Traditionally, these include linen, silk, and hemp. Today, materials like rayon, cotton, and polyester are often used.

    Task 1
    An ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arrangement, with formal display according to strict rules.
    The four principles of ikebana are a fresh approach, movement, balance and harmony. The three elements are line, color and mass.
    The symbolism of Ikebana
    The complete structure of the Japanese floral arrangement focuses on three main points symbolizing the sky, earth and man through the three pillars: asymmetry, space and depth. These three stems represented heaven, man and earth.
    What is ikebana style?
    Ikebana is the art of beautifully arranging cut stems, leaves, and flowers in vases and other containers that evolved in Japan over seven centuries. To arrange the stems and flowers exactly as one wishes, a familiarity with many different ways of fastening and positioning them is necessary.
    The proportions that govern traditional ikebana designs are still described in terms of religious symbolism. The tallest branch represents heaven. A second stem that’s two-thirds the height of the tallest element represents man.
    Ikebana was introduced in Japan in the 6th century by Chinese Buddhist missionaries who had formalized the ritual of offering flowers to the Buddha. The first school of flower arranging in Japan, Ikenobō, was founded by Ono no Imoko in the early 7th century.
    Geisha
    Geisha is a Japanese hostess trained to entertain men with conversation, dance, and song.
    The Japanese word geisha literally means “art person,” and singing, dancing, and playing the samisen (a lutelike instrument) are indispensable talents for a geisha, along with the ability to make conversation. Many geisha are also adept at flower arranging, performing the tea ceremony, or calligraphy.
    Do geishas still exist today?
    Today, geishas are still hired as upscale entertainment for banquets, celebrations and events. Dining at a ryotei with geishas can cost thousands of dollars. But the Covid-19 pandemic has slashed spending and gatherings, as celebrations have been cancelled.
    The geisha system is thought to have emerged in the 17th century to provide a class of entertainers set apart from courtesans and prostitutes, who plied their trades respectively among the nobility and samurai.

    • Bunraku
      Bunraku (文楽) is the traditional puppet theater of Japan. It started of as popular entertainment for the commoners during the Edo Period in Osaka and evolved into artistic theater during the late 17th century. Along with noh and kabuki.
      What does a bunraku mean in Japanese?
      Bunraku, Japanese traditional puppet theatre in which half-life-size dolls act out a chanted dramatic narrative, called jōruri, to the accompaniment of a small samisen (three-stringed Japanese lute).

  7. Starter Facts:
    1.The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment and the national dress of Japan.
    2. The kimono is a wrapped-front garment with square sleeves and a rectangular body.
    3.It is worn left side wrapped over right, unless the wearer is deceased.
    Task 2 Bunraku:
    Bunraku is a traditional Japanese puppet theatre, founded in Osaka in the beginning of the 17th century, which is still performed in till this day.
    Also Bunraku started of as popular entertainment for the commoners during the Edo Period in Osaka.
    This was developed by Yoshida Bunzaburō, master puppeteer of the Takemoto-za.

  8. Bunraku started during the Edo Period. Bunraku is from a puppet troupe and was found in the early 19th century. It started of as popular entertainment for people. It is still performed in the modern days. It was created in the 17th century.

  9. Starter
    1. The kimono is over a thousand years old.
    2. Kimono means something you wear.
    3. Men and women also wear kinomos with different sleeves.
    Task 1
    Ikebena means the art of Japanese flower arrangement, with formal display according to strict rules.

  10. Ikebena

    It was introduced in the 6th century where Chinese Buddhists would give flowers to the Buddha. The first flower arranging school was ikenobō which was founded by Ono no Imoko in the 7th century. It is important because it is the art of flowers. It also shows embody harmony, peace, and beauty. The purpose of ikebena is to give nature a new purpose and it also brings out the inner qualities of flowers and leaves. It also symbolises faith.

  11. Task 1
    Tea ceremony 🍵 🍵 🍵
    How/when the tradition began?
    Ritual tea drinking, which originated in China, was first practiced in Japan during the Kamakura period (1192–1333) by Zen monks, who drank tea to keep awake during long sessions of meditation. It later became an active part of Zen ritual honouring the first patriarch, Bodhidharma

    Why the tea ceremony important:
    Japanese Tea Ceremony represents harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity which we must embrace in order to achieve the main purpose of the tea ceremony. This event is unique as every process from the tea equipment preparation until the tea is drunk has a distinctive technique.

    The purpose of the tea ceremony:
    It is a ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea typically in a traditional tearoom with tatami floor. Beyond just serving and receiving tea, one of the main purposes of the tea ceremony is for the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from the fast pace of everyday life

  12. Task 1
    Tea ceremony 🍵 🍵 🍵
    How/when the tradition began?
    Ritual tea drinking, which originated in China, was first practiced in Japan during the Kamakura period (1192–1333) by Zen monks, who drank tea to keep awake during long sessions of meditation. It later became an active part of Zen ritual honouring the first patriarch, Bodhidharma

    Why the tea ceremony important:
    Japanese Tea Ceremony represents harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity which we must embrace in order to achieve the main purpose of the tea ceremony. This event is unique as every process from the tea equipment preparation until the tea is drunk has a distinctive technique.

    The purpose of the tea ceremony:
    It is a ceremonial way of preparing and drinking green tea typically in a traditional tearoom with tatami floor. Beyond just serving and receiving tea, one of the main purposes of the tea ceremony is for the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from the fast pace of everyday life.

  13. The Kimono is a traditional Japanese garment and the national dress of Japan. The kimono is a wrapped-front garment with square sleeves and a rectangular body, and is worn left side wrapped over right, unless the wearer is deceased.The kimono is traditionally worn with a broad sash, called an obi, and is commonly worn with accessories such as zōri sandals and tabi socks.
    Ikebena
    the art of Japanese flower arrangement, with formal display.Ikebana was introduced in Japan in the 6th century by Chinese Buddhist missionaries who had formalized the ritual of offering flowers to the Buddha.

  14. Task 1
    Bunraku
    Bunraku is A puppet theatre in Japanese culture, this was made for entertainment as it shows a form of their tradition and cultural beliefs.it began way back In the 17th century.did you know it is still around todays. it had become a Playscript and Had rose in popularity and still is occurring to this day.they do it to show their history some times.

  15. Starter:
    A kimono is a traditional Japanese dress.
    Kimono means “things to wear”.
    It was originated in China.

    Task 1:
    Bunraku is a traditional puppy theatre it even means it
    founded in Osaka in the 17th century during the Edo period?
    It is still performed in Japan,It rose to popularity when a playlist
    name Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653-1724).

  16. The art of flower arrangement in Japan is known as Ikebana. they appeared as religious pictures in the 14th century as the first attempt to show natural scenery. It is important because it depicts lotus being offered by a monkey in front of a frog mimicking the Buddha.
    Quote:
    Just as musicians express themselves through the language of music, Ikebana artists must use the language of flowers.

  17. Starter:
    The kimono represents fortune and longevity. Kimonos are wore depending on the occasion. Kimonos originated from China.

    Task 1)
    The Japanese tea ceremony is done in the Tatami room and the aim of this ceremony is to get peace, tranquility, harmony and purity it is done in a formal manner and is done perfectly in the most polite way. These ceremonies are known as chanoyu or sado in Japan. It lasts for around 4 hours.

  18. Tea ceremony began in the 9th century in China and to create bonding between the host and the guest to have inner peace. This is so the guests to enjoy the hospitality of the host in an atmosphere distinct from the fast pace of everyday life. Tea ceremony’s used to only be for men.

  19. 1)a kimono is a robe shaped like a T it was originally from china .
    2)In the edo period the kimono 👘 was really popular with house wife’s Also wife’s shaved their eye brouse and drew them one

  20. The Bunraku began during the 17th century (during the edo period), it is the traditional puppet theatre of Japan.
    It is important as it recalls the history of Japan through storytelling and music. The Japanese community consider this a serious form of art which are based on tales and legends.

  21. Japanese Tea Ceremony represents harmony, respect, purity and tranquillity which we must embrace in order to achieve the main purpose of the tea ceremony. This event is unique as every process from the tea equipment preparation until the tea is drunk has a distinctive technique.
    By Saffiyah and Rahaniya.

  22. Starter:
    The kimono is over a thousand years old.
    Kimono means something you wear.
    Men and women also wear kinomos with different sleeves.
    Task 1:
    Ikebana
    Ikebana or Kado ( “arranging flowers” or “making flowers alive”)is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. This tradition dates back to Heinz period, were floral offerings were made at altars.

  23. 1.) The Japanese tea ceremony first began during the 9th century.
    2.) It is important because it has to be performed in an excellent and most polite way.
    3.) They do it to show harmony and respect.
    GD
    “signifies no more than the making and serving of a cup of tea. The supremely important matter is that the act be performed in the most perfect, most polite, most graceful, most charming manner possible”.

  24. Task 1:
    Ikebena was introduced in the 6th century( the edo period ) by Chinese Buddhist missionaries who had formalized the ritual of offering flowers to the Buddha it was founded by Ono no Imoko in the 7th century.
    It’s important because it represents Japanese Culture and Zen Philosophy
    Zen is like calm and peace no tension.it’s recognised as also known as kadō 華道

  25. Starter:
    After researching about the rich history of kimonos, I have learnt that the term kimono was first adopted in the mid 19th century and most most commonly worn by commoners. As well as this, I have learnt that from the 16th century kimono became the principle item of dress for all classes.

  26. IKEBANA:
    Ikebana can be traced back to the Ashikaga Period (1338-1573), along
    with the ancient Japanese tradition of tea ceremony. During this time, early versions of ikebana flower arrangements were always high and pointed upward toward heaven to symbolise faith.The real purpose of it is the representation of the flower art. In ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, blossoms branches, leaves and stems find new life as materials for art-making. The meaning of ikebana are asymmetry, space and depth.The flower art also shows a part of emotions.

  27. Task 1
    The purpose of the Japanese tea ceremony is to make a bond between the host and guest.The host always wears a kimono.Japan tea ceremonies are also cultural as it used to be practiced by the zen monks
    and noble warlords for most of history.

    The tradition began once it was found out that zen monks and noble warlords practiced it.

    Japan tea ceremony quote:
    Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves–slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”

  28. Bunraku is A puppet theatre in Japanese culture, this was made for entertainment as it shows a form of their tradition. This tradition began in the 17th century. Bunraku is still performed in Japan. After a while, it had become a Playscript and Had rose in popularity and still is occurring to this day. Bunraku history came back in the 16th century it originates of a modern society that still it is traced around the 1680s.

    -Ridwan and Mishal

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