Elementary School (4-5),Middle School (6-8),High School (9-12)
Lesson or Activity
This selection of resources introduces students to the vocabulary, techniques, and values of East Asian ink painting. Lessons and background information compliment the Brushpainting: Nature in Art school program at the Asian Art Museum.
Students will use images of samurai armor and weaponry to learn related vocabulary. They will describe the functional and aesthetic aspects of armor through focused viewing and reading, and they will draw conclusions about the changing code of the samurai over the course of 800 years.
Students will discuss the ways in which spiritual belief supported and enhanced the military function and cultural values of the samurai. They will experience this practice through an ink painting activity.
Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry made of three lines (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) that is commonly a meditation on nature. Make an image using colorful paper and ink, and then write a haiku inspired by your creation.
The term, bushido, is often used to describe the samurai warrior code during medieval and modern times. The definition refers to a late 19th century description and was actually quite different than codes from earlier times. Compare warrior codes from different times with the modern definition of bushido. Then, choose which code you think matches the samurai in the screen painting, the Battles at Ichi-no-tani and Yashima, from The Tale of the Heike.