Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese Tea Ceremony (chanoyu or chado) is a cultural tradition involving very particular places, procedures, and equipment for drinking green tea. Originating as a habit of Chinese Buddhist monks to aid their meditation, tea-drinking...
Ancient Japan has made unique contributions to world culture which include the Shinto religion and its architecture, distinctive art objects such as haniwa figurines, the oldest pottery vessels in the world, the largest wooden buildings anywhere...
Tea in Ancient China & Japan
Tea, still probably the world's most popular prepared beverage, was first drunk by Chinese monks to aid meditation and those who valued its medicinal qualities, but it quickly grew in popularity, spreading to other East Asian cultures, especially...
Inari is the Shinto god of rice, the protector of food, and bringer of prosperity. He has over 40,000 shrines dedicated to him large and small across Japan, the oldest and most important of which is the Fushimi Inari Shrine near Kyoto with...
The Jomon Period is the earliest historical era of Japanese history which began around 14500 BCE, coinciding with the Neolithic Period in Europe and Asia, and ended around 300 BCE when the Yayoi Period began. The name Jomon, meaning 'cord...
Ancient Japanese & Chinese Relations
Relations between ancient Japan and China have a long history, and in certain periods the exchange of political, religious and cultural practices between the two was intense. China, the much older state and the more developed, passed on to...
The Nara Period (Nara Jidai) of ancient Japan (710-794 CE), so called because for most of that time the capital was located at Nara, then known as Heijokyo, was a short period of transition prior to the significant Heian Period. Despite the...
The Yayoi Period is one of the oldest historical periods of Japan spanning from c. 300 BCE to c. 250 CE, preceded by the Jomon Period and followed by the Kofun Period. The name Yayoi comes from the district in Tokyo where the first artifacts...
Nara, located around 30 km south of modern Kyoto, was the capital of ancient Japan between 710 and 784 CE. It gave its name to the Nara Period (710-794 CE), although the name during the 8th century CE was Heijokyo. Modelled on the Chinese...
Interview: Korea-Japan Relations Through the Prism of Archaeology
Ancient East Asia was dominated by the three states known today as China, Japan, and Korea. The complex chain of successive kingdoms created a rich web of events that archaeologists have sometimes found difficult to disentangle; a situation...
The Ginkakuji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, formally referred to as Jisho-ji and otherwise known as 'The Serene Temple of the Silver Pavilion', was first built in the 15th century CE. It is a Rinzai Zen temple with the complex consisting of the...
The Asuka Period (Asuka Jidai) of ancient Japan covers the period from 538 CE to 710 CE and, following on from the Kofun Period (c. 250-538 CE), so constitutes the latter part of the Yamato Period (c. 250-710 CE). For some scholars...
The Heian Period of Japanese history covers 794 to 1185 CE and saw a great flourishing in Japanese culture from literature to paintings. Government and its administration came to be dominated by the Fujiwara clan who eventually were challenged...
Following the Yayoi Period of Japan when farming and metalworking techniques were introduced from mainland Asia was the Kofun Period (c. 250 CE - 538 CE) where the religion of Shinto emerges from the beliefs of previous eras and the Yamato...
Ancient History Encyclopedia in Japan
The “Ancient Japan” initiative at Ancient History Encyclopedia arose as there is a dearth of open access and digitally curated information concerning early Japanese history available online and in English. East and Southeast Asia...
The Jomon Period (c. 14,500 - c. 300 BCE) of ancient Japan produced a distinctive pottery which distinguishes it from the earlier Paleolithic Age. Jomon pottery vessels are the oldest in the world and their impressed decoration, which resembles...
Emperor of Japan
The emperor of Japan is a position as the head of state which traditionally dates back to the 7th century BCE and the legendary figure of Emperor Jimmu (r. 660-585 BCE). Emperors came to be known as the Tenno or 'heavenly sovereign' in reference...
Life in a Japanese Buddhist Monastery
Buddhist monasteries have been part of the Japanese cultural landscape ever since the 7th century CE, and they remained both powerful and socially important institutions right through the medieval period. Today, many of Japan's finest examples...
Ancient Korean & Japanese Relations
Ancient East Asia was dominated by the three states known today as China, Japan, and Korea. These kingdoms traded raw materials and high-quality manufactured goods, exchanged cultural ideas and practices, and fought each other in equal measure...
Heiankyo (Kyoto), located in the centre of Honshu island, was the capital of Japan for over a thousand years and gave its name to one of the golden ages of Japanese history, the Heian Period (794-1185 CE). Built according to Chinese design...
The Muromachi Period (Muromachi Jidai, 1333-1573 CE) refers to the period of Japanese medieval history when the Ashikaga shogun capital was located in the Muromachi area of Heiankyo (Kyoto). Replacing the Kamakura Shogunate (1192-1333 CE...
Daily Life in Medieval Japan
Daily life in medieval Japan (1185-1606 CE) was, for most people, the age-old struggle to put food on the table, build a family, stay healthy, and try to enjoy the finer things in life whenever possible. The upper classes had better and more...
The medieval period of Japan is considered by most historians to stretch from 1185 to 1603 CE. Stand out features of the period include the replacement of the aristocracy by the samurai class as the most powerful social group, the establishment...
A Traditional Japanese House
The traditional house of ancient and medieval Japan (1185-1606 CE) is one of the most distinctive contributions that country has made to world architecture. While the rich and powerful might have lived in castles and villas, and the poor...
Daily Life and Society in Feudal Japan
This activity has been designed to fit a 30-minute slot for your class and is suitable for both online and classroom teaching, as well as homeschooling. Students have to read one article (also available in an audio format) describing...
Buddhism in Ancient Japan
Buddhism was introduced to ancient Japan via Korea in the 6th century CE with various sects following in subsequent centuries via China. It was readily accepted by both the elite and ordinary populace because it confirmed the political and...
Arts & Culture in Medieval Japan
This activity has been designed to fit a 30-minute slot for your class and is suitable for both online and classroom teaching, as well as homeschooling. Students have to read three articles (also available in an audio format) on the three...
The Yakushiji temple, located in Nara, Japan, is the headquarters of the Buddhist Hosso sect and one of the most important temples in the country. Originally founded in 680 CE at Fujiwara-kyo but then relocated to Nara in 718 CE, its famous...
Pottery in Antiquity
Pottery is the first synthetic material ever created by humans. The term refers to objects made of clay that have been fashioned into the desired shape, dried, and either fired or baked to fix their form. Due to its abundance and durability...
Prince Shotoku: Founder of Japanese Buddhism and the Japanese Nation
In Japan in 573 CE Anahobe, the wife of the Emperor's son, had a dream of a priest in golden robes who asked her if he could lodge in her womb as he was about to be born as a world-saving Bodhisattva. The child was born painlessly and...
The Horyuji Temple near Nara in Japan was founded in 607 CE by Prince Shotoku and is the only surviving Buddhist monastery from the Asuka Period in its original state. The complex, consisting of 48 listed buildings including a 5-storey pagoda...
Emperor Kammu (aka Kanmu) reigned in ancient Japan from 781 to 806 CE and is most noted for relocating the capital to Heiankyo (Kyoto) in 794 CE. Kammu was one of the most powerful emperors Japan had seen or would ever see, and his reign...
Japan in Medieval Times
The history of medieval Japan (1185-1603 CE) involved the rise of the military and such figures as the shoguns and samurai but there were many other cultural developments in between and during the many wars that troubled the country. In this...
The Kamakura Period or Kamakura Jidai (1185-1333 CE) of medieval Japan began when Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199 CE) defeated the Taira clan at the Battle of Dannoura in 1185 CE. The period is named after Kamakura, a coastal town 48 kilometres...
Ancient Greek Pottery
The pottery of ancient Greece from c. 1000 to c. 400 BCE provides not only some of the most distinctive vase shapes from antiquity but also some of the oldest and most diverse representations of the cultural beliefs and practices of the ancient...
Prince Shotoku (574-622 CE) ruled as regent of Japan from 594 to 622 CE and is one of the most celebrated figures in all of Japanese history. The prince was a great supporter of Chinese culture and Buddhism, spreading both during his reign...
The History of Tea and the Spread of 'Cha' and 'Tea' for International Tea Day
The History of Tea is a long journey, which begins in southwest China in the Yunnan Province during the Shang Dynasty of China between 1500 and 1046 BCE. International Tea day used to be celebrated on December 15th until 2020 when the UN...
Japanese Art History: Jomon, Yayoi and Kofun Periods
The art of Neolithic Jomon and the Protohistoric Yayoi and Kofun periods of Japan.
The Mongol Invasions of Japan, 1274 & 1281 CE
The Mongol invasions of Japan took place in 1274 and 1281 CE when Kublai Khan (r. 1260-1294 CE) sent two huge fleets from Korea and China. In both cases, the Japanese, and especially the samurai warriors, vigorously defended their shores...
Shinto, meaning 'way of the gods,' is the oldest religion in Japan. The faith has neither a founder or prophets and there is no major text which outlines its principal beliefs. The resulting flexibility in definition may well be one of the...
Inca Food & Agriculture
The Inca empire controlled four climate zones and, consequently, their agricultural produce was diverse. Ancient Andean people were largely vegetarian, supplementing their diet with camelid meat and seafood if they could. The Incas developed...
Japanese Art History: Asuka & Nara Periods
The Impact of China and Buddhism on Japanese art during the Asuka and Nara Periods.
Food & Agriculture in Ancient Greece
The prosperity of the majority of Greek city-states was based on agriculture and the ability to produce the necessary surplus which allowed some citizens to pursue other trades and pastimes and to create a quantity of exported goods so that...
Japanese Tea Ceremony
The Japanese Tea Ceremony.
The Japanese Invasion of Korea, 1592-8 CE
The two Japanese invasions of Korea between 1592 and 1598 CE, otherwise known as the 'Imjin Wars', saw Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1537-1598 CE), the Japanese military leader, put into reality his long-held plan to invade China through Korea. The...
Kofukuji is a Buddhist temple which was founded in 669 CE and relocated to its present location in Nara, Japan in 710 CE. It was the main Buddhist temple of the influential Fujiwara clan during the Heian Period (794-1185 CE). The temple's...
Aztec Food & Agriculture
The Aztec civilization, which flourished in central Mexico between c. 1345 and 1521 CE, was able to provide an astonishingly wide range of agricultural produce thanks to a combination of climatic advantages, diverse artificial irrigation...
In this pack, you will find four lesson plans about feudal Japan, including activities, assignments, homework, and keys (all suitable for online teaching), as well as: Multiple choice quiz questions in an excel format Glossary of...
Maya Food & Agriculture
For the Maya, reliable food production was so important to their well-being that they closely linked the agricultural cycle to astronomy and religion. Important rituals and ceremonies were held in honour of specialised workers...
Todaiji is an ancient temple complex in Nara, Japan. Founded in 738 CE and officially opened in 752 CE when Nara was the capital, the temple is the headquarters of the Buddhist Kegon sect. The temple has a 500-ton sculpture of the Buddha...
Food in the Ancient World
Meals in the ancient Mediterranean revolved around the common staples of cereals, vegetables, fruit, and olive oil, with an occasional bit of fish and meat thrown in for those who could afford it. The Phoenicians and Greeks then spread their...
Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent & Mesopotamia
The ancient Near East, and the historical regions of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia in particular, are generally seen as the birthplace of agriculture. In the 4th millennium BCE, this area was more temperate than it is today, and it...
Japanese Tea Ceremony Hishaku & Chawan
A hishaku (bamboo ladle) and chawan (bowl) used in the Japanese tea ceremony. Before mixing the tea the bowl is rinsed with fresh water.
Insei: Cloistered Government in Ancient Japan
Insei or 'cloistered government' describes the strategy of emperors during the late Heian Period (794-1185 CE) in ancient Japan where they abdicated in favour of a chosen heir yet still ruled in some capacity, typically after retiring to...
The samurai (also bushi) were a class of warriors that arose in the 10th century in Japan and which performed military service until the 19th century. Elite and highly-trained soldiers adept at using both the bow and sword, the samurai were...
Chanoyu - Japanese Tea Ceremony
The essential implements of the chanoyu or Japanese tea ceremony.
Dinner with the Romans: An Interview with Farrell Monaco
The ancient Romans left behind a wealth of remains which help archaeologists and historians to understand what daily life was like in the Roman Empire. From ancient frescos of rich table spreads, to broken wine vessels, carbonized loaves...
The Azuchi-Momoyama Period (Azuchi-Momoyama Jidai, aka Shokuho Period, 1568/73 - 1600 CE) was a brief but significant period of medieval Japan's history which saw the country unified after centuries of a weak central government and petty...
The Fujiwara clan (Fujiwara-shi) was a powerful extended family group which dominated all areas of Japanese government during the Heian Period (794-1185). Founded by Fujiwara no Kamatari in 645 CE, male members held on to key official positions...
Tea Master Sen no Rikyu
A portrait by Hasegawa Tôhaku of the celebrated tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591 CE) who is credited with creating the established procedures for the Japanese tea ceremony.