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Resources for students and educators


The Four Religions of East Asia

This lesson provides an introduction to China and Japan’s four mjor religions: Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Shinto.

Provided by Cleveland Museum of Art


Japan’s indigenous belief system dates back over 2,000 years. Kami devotion varies throughout Japan, but was termed Shinto during the Meiji Period (1868-1912)

Provided by Asian Art Museum

Buddhist Painting

Look closely at paintings of the Buddha’s guardian deities as you learn about their historical and ritual significacnce.

Provided by Kyoto National Museum

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.

Provided by Asian Art Museum

Amaterasu: The Sun Goddess

Asian Art Museum Storyteller, Liz Nichols, tells a Japanese story about Amaterasu, the sun goddess, in the museum’s Japan galleries.

Provided by Asian Art Museum

Ancient Temples of Nara

Explore Nara’s ancient Buddhist art and architecture.

Provided by Asian Art Museum

Esoteric Buddhism in Japan: Fudo Myoo

Fudo Myoo (the Immovable One) is one of the powerful deities known as the Five Bright Kings in Japanese Buddhism and folk religion. Fudo is believed to protect Buddhism and its true adherents. Like all Bright Kings, Fudo assumes a frightening form, with a sword in his right hand and a rope in his left. He sits in front of a swiring flame of fire, with which he purifies evil.

Provided by Asian Art Museum

Learning from Asian Art: Japan

Introduce students to Japanese art and culture as they explore works in the Philadelphia Art Museum’s collection. Each art image is accompanied by background information, a set of looking questions, and related classroom activity suggestions that students can use individually, in small groups, or as a whole class.

Provided by Philadelphia Museum of Art

Journey to Japan

From simple, Zen-like tea bowls to ornate lacquer boxes the objects in this presentation illustrate Japanese aesthetics and demonstrate both ways of making art particular to Japan, and techniques pioneered elsewhere and perfected in Japan. Functional objects introduce daily life during different time periods. Connections are made between Japanese and Chinese culture and art.

Provided by Cleveland Museum of Art

History of Japan: The Standard Narrative

Chris Bovbjerg provides an overarching history of Japan in this introductory lecture.

Provided by Asian Art Museum
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