Classical Japan: Cherry Blossoms, Swords and Teacups (CD-ROM)
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Author: Burch, Sam
During Japan's Classical Period — culminating with the Tokugawa Shogunate (also known as the Edo Period-1603-1867) — many of Japan's long-standing cultural and artistic traditions attained new levels of sophistication and refinement. Taking a number of key aesthetic motifs from within Japanese culture, this PowerPoint challenges students to carefully examine the symbolism of these aesthetic artefacts, and to explore the many perspectives on life, death, pleasure and suffering, and the ultimate character of Japanese civilisation that they impart. In situating these questions within the context of the Edo Period — whose later stages some considered as representing the 'Pinnacle of Japanese Civilisation' — this presentation also encourages students to question the reality of these idealised forms of Japanese culture, against the backdrop of the often violent and debaucherous nature of everyday life in a sprawling capital city of over a million people.
The sword of the samurai may have represented the high ideals of Bushido (the Warrior's Code); the tea-cup may have represented ceremonial meditation upon nature and the self; and the cherry blossom may have represented the ideals of a 'fleeting life' and a 'good death'; but how did these symbols contrast with the indulgent delights and dangers of the 'Floating World': an intoxicating maze of theatres and restaurants, bath-houses and bars, filled with singers, 'pleasure women', wrestlers, dancers, gamblers and all manner of shady, violent and eccentric characters. Filled with high-quality images, this PowerPoint is designed to stimulate discussion and critical thinking regarding the development, contradictions, and deeper symbolism of Japan's rich cultural and artistic heritage during this period.
- Format: CD-ROM
- Series: Japanese History PowerPoint Series
- Publication Date: 20/02/2012
- Publisher: Knowledge Books and Software
- Subject: History
- Audience: Secondary
- Curriculum: Australian