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Lesson

Code of the Samurai in Art and Literature

Students will view representations of literary epics, read related excerpts, and discuss how those scenes exemplify the code of the samurai.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

The Spiritual Life of the Samurai: Meditation and Brushpainting

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.

GRADE LEVEL: High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

The Four Treasures and Other Utensils for a Scholar's Desk

Writing was so valued by the Chinese that they called the most essential implements for the art The Four Treasures–the brush, ink stick, ink stone, and paper.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Background Information

An Introduction to the Geography of China

Much of China, a country slightly larger than the continental United States, is hilly or mountainous. To its east lies the Pacific Ocean; to its south thick jungles. Learn more.

GRADE LEVEL: College and Beyond, High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

Map Activity: Japan's Warrior Government

Students will complete a map of Japan, identify how its proximity to China and Korea influenced samurai culture, and discuss how its geography informed governing policies.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)

Activity

Create a Simulated Woodblock Print

Students will be able to identify, compare and contrast images of traditional Japanese woodblock prints. They will then create their own simulated woodblock prints.

GRADE LEVEL: Elementary School (4-5), High School (9-12), Middle School (6-8)

Lesson

History and Traditions of the Samurai

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.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School (6-8)