Japan in the Heian Period and Cultural History: Crash Course World History 227

When your class thinks of medieval history, they probably think of European castles and knights. But they may not know that the Heian period in Japan, which coincided with the Middle Ages in Europe, saw a significant development in Japanese culture, literature, society, and art. Learn more in a video by Crash Course World History that covers the Japanese aristocracy from 794 CE to 1185 CE.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Assign excerpts from The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu as part of a unit on Japanese history
  • Have learners compare and contrast Japan during this period with other countries in Asia, Europe, and Africa
  • Assign a journal entry or love letter in which learners write about their day from the perspective of upper-class men or women in the Heian period
Classroom Considerations

  • Narration moves quickly; consider pausing periodically to discuss new topics
  • Part of a larger video playlist on world history
Pros

  • Narration is engaging and accessible to high schoolers
  • Contains gorgeous Japanese art and images
Cons

  • None