During the Muromachi period (1338–1573) the vogue for Chinese art, especially among the Ashikaga shoguns, who ruled as the military leaders of Japan during this period, led to the development of new architectural environments in which to display collections of tea-related objects. Learn more.
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Learn how to read a woodblock print.
Learn about samurai armor by exploring artworks in the Asian Art Museum's collection.
In addition to superior strategic and military ability, most elite samurai were expected to be versed in the cultural arts. The warrior’s ideal balance of military and artistic skill is captured well in this description of the sixteenth century daimyo Hosokawa Yusai (1534–1610): “Renowned for his elegant pursuits, he is a complete man combining arts [bun] and arms [bu] . . .” Learn more.
Students demonstrate mastery of narrative content and develop vocabulary by supplying words deleted from a text of "The Monkey King" story and through an expository writing activity summarizing the "Monkey King" story. Includes a shadow puppet extension activity.
In addition to giving artistic instruction on the art of writing, a teacher of Islamic calligraphy trained a student in how to prepare and use a multitude of materials and tools.
The Arabic saying, “Purity of writing is purity of the soul” vividly describes the status of the master calligrapher in Islamic society. It was believed that only a person of spiritual devotion and clear thought could achieve the skill required for this supreme art.
Over the centuries, two main branches of Buddhism emerged: a transmission that traveled to Southeast Asia, and a transmission that evolved in East Asia. A further offshoot of the northern transmission also developed. All three branches began in India, and developed further as they moved across Asia.
Turkish calligraphers were masters of transforming words and phrases into the shapes of animals. Artists achieved these effects by elongating, wrapping, and rotating letters to create the contour (outline) as well as details of the animal. Students will create a zoomorphic drawing composed of an adjective that describes the animal.
Haniwa in the form of a warrior, approx. 300–552. Japan; excavated at Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture. Kofun period (300–552). Earthenware. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60S204.