Samurai - Culture

Culture

As de facto aristocrats for centuries, samurai developed their own cultures that influenced Japanese culture as a whole. The culture associated with the samurai such as the tea ceremony, monochrome ink painting, rock gardens and poetry were adopted by warrior patrons throughout the centuries 1200–1600. These practices were adapted from the Chinese arts. Zen monks introduced them to Japan and they were allowed to flourish due to the interest of powerful warrior elites. Musō Soseki (1275–1351) was a Zen monk who was advisor to both Emperor Go-Daigo and General Ashikaga Takauji (1304–58). Musō, as well as other monks, acted as political and cultural diplomat between Japan and China. Musō was particularly well known for his garden design. Another Ashikaga patron of the arts was Yoshimasa. His cultural advisor, the Zen monk Zeami, introduced tea ceremony to him. Previously, tea had been used primarily for Buddhist monks to stay awake during meditation.

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