Modern Japan Section 4 Literature and the Arts

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Modern Japan

Important People

Kawabata Yasunari

Kurosawa Akira

  • Japan’s best- known movie director and writer


  • Haiku – short poem of only 17 syllables (5-7-5)

  • Kabuki – exciting and colorful dramas that dealt with themes such as love and revenge

Values of Zen

  • Simplicity, self-discipline, and closeness to nature

  • The idea that beauty can be found in ordinary objects and in daily tasks.

Art Today

  • Japanese people as do their American counterparts enjoy television and movies.

  • However, some like No plays and Kabuki theater as well.

  • Most modern Japanese art reflects middle- class interests and tastes.

A Comparison of No plays and Kabuki theater

  • Both plays use a chorus to chant the story along with musical accompaniment.

  • No plays have basically no plot and unfold without much action.

  • Kabuki consists of exciting drama and has elaborate stage settings.

Influence on the World

  • Japanese film writers have influenced American movies.

  • Zen rock gardening has impacted floral arrangements in the US and Europe

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