Japan 700–1400

Japan is a series of islands with its own distinctive cultural and artistic traditions, though in many ways what makes Japanese tradition distinctive is how it has been adopted and then modified from its continental neighbors, China and Korea. For example, Japan adapted the Chinese writing system and used it to produce literature in two literary languages: vernacular Japanese and "literary Chinese." The Nara Court (710–784) became an important center for writing during this time, and this continued into the Heian period (794–1100), when the capital was moved to modern-day Kyoto in 794 (1b). Works like Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji (NAWOL, Volume B) provides intimate details of court life during this time period.