Literature of Japan


Japanese writing was initially heavily influenced by Chinese writing.

By the fourth century Japan developed its own rich literature. Between the 4th-8th century an antholgy of 4,500 poems were developed. Japanese poetry expressed its themes with great simplicity. Early Japanese poems included thirty-one syllables .
One of the major literary acheivements of Japan was the writing of the novel The Tale of Genji. It was written by Murasaki Shikibu around the year 1,000 and tells the tale of the golden age of the court of Fujiwara. It traces the loves and life of the court courtier.
Another well known Japanese novel is The Tale of Heike, which tells the tale of warfare between rival clans in 12th century Japan.