Heian Period ( 794 AD – 1185 AD )

The early Heian period is marked with the characteristics of elegance and beauty. Mission to tang China was ceased after 894, stemming the flow of mainland culture into Japan. There was revival of Ritsuryo system but the concept of Kochi – Komin philosophy plunged the imperial govt. into financial crisis. Fujiwara family consolidated their grip on the power in 10th and11th century. SHOEN – building up great landed estates and temples, became the basis of their economy but ultimately thwarted by the INSEI (system in which the retired emperor wielded the power) due to their weak centralized military administration. Worrier class emerged as influential power in politics.

Heian period is notable for flourishing art and Japanese culture, language, literature, potteries etc. Waka poetry Kokin Wakashi and Tale of Genji are the finest literary examples, consisting of 54 vols., describing the elegant and refined existence of nobles at the imperial court, focusing on life and loves of Prince Genji written by Murasaki Shkubu. Creation of Kana phonetic from Chinese characters is one of the major contributions toward development of national literary tradition of this period



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