Essay about Japanese Literature during the Medieval Period

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During the Medieval period (1185–1603) in Japan there was change and innovation in Japanese literature. “Waka composition practices change as Japanese society does” (Huey 652). The medieval world was greatly reflected in Japanese literature because during this time there were numerous civil wars that led to different classes in society. “In fact, many different types of people helped shape the medieval period. Over 400 years, from the late twelfth to the late sixteenth centuries, emperors and priests, women and merchants, poets and playwrights, and, of course, samurai created a complex yet fascinating society” (Segal). These were the years of Japan’s first two warrior governments: the Kamakura (1185-1333) and the Muromachi (1336-1573). The …show more content…
The tale nonetheless valorizes the courage and shrewdness of the Minamoto, even as it laments the downfall of the Taira. The tale embraces the Japanese sense that their tradition is both courtly and military; both urban and provincial; both elegant and rustic.”
This tale plays a big role by being told and passed on due to it covering over 90 years of history. “Heike texts vary not only in wording, but also content, revealing the development of social attitudes and ideals of conduct” (Citko 1). It shows a sense of religion such as Kiyomori`s sins leading to his downfall of himself and his clan. There was the rise of the warrior class and military was shaped and valued. Conflicts of the old values, court, and new provincial military arose. Lastly, Buddhism was strong by having Pure Land sects and Jodo referenced. “The atmosphere of the whole work is permeated by the Buddhist doctrine that all human activity is ephemeral and illusory, and that nothing avails but faith in the grace of the Buddha Amida”(Citko 1). Another important tale was author Kamo no Chōmei's Hōjōki “An Account of my Hut” essay written in 1212, which was the same year as Japanese leader of Buddhism, Hōnen. Hōnen “taught his followers to place complete faith in the Buddha Amida. Amida had vowed to save others before achieving enlightenment. Thus, Pure Land practitioners believed that by repeatedly expressing

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