Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

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Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The Japanese have a convenient method of calling their historical periods by the names of the places which were the seats of government while they lasted. The first of these epochs of real importance is the Nara Period, which began A.D. 710 and endured until 794; all before that may be classed as archaic. Previous to the Nara Period, the Japanese had been a semi-nomadic race. As each successive Mikado came to the throne, he built himself a new palace, and founded a new capital; there had been more than sixty capitals before the Nara Period. Such shifting was not conducive to the development of literature and: the arts, and it was not until a permanent government was established at Nara that these began to flourish. This is scarcely the place to trace the history of Japanese literature, but fully to understand these charming. "Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan," it is necessary to know a little of the world they lived in, to be able to feel their atmosphere and recognize their allusions.

We know a good deal about Japan to-day, but the Japan with which we are familiar only slightly resembles that of the Diaries. Centuries of feudalism, of "Dark Ages," have come between. We must go behind all this and begin again. We have all heard of the "Forty-seven Ronins" and the Nō Drama, of . . .

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