Feudal Japan:  The Sign of the Chrysanthemum


Learn more about the author Katherine Patterson by clicking here

During our study on Japan we will read a historical fiction novel by Katherine Patterson.  Click the link above to learn more about Katherine Patterson and other novels that she has written.  We will regularly use this page to do class work and even homework occasionally.  In this section you will find reading comprehension questions and other assignments related to our work with the novel. 

Chrysanthemums:  A Symbol of Divine Power

Japanese Garden:  Chrysanthemum Festival http://www.japanesegarden.com/events/chrysanthemum

Virtual Field Trip to Japan! 
Before we begin our unit we are going to virtually travel to Japan.  Below you will see photographs of present day Japan and images from the past.  Press "play" to begin the trip at any time.  You can stop the slide show at any time to examine or read the captions by pressing the "stop" button or you can run the cursor across the screen.  Occasionally, if you pause an image you will find a link to another site about that topic, take your time to explore each image carefully.  Read the captions to gain knowledge on this new unit.  The map at the right shows you where the images are from. 

click on the file below entitled Unit Preview and complete the worksheet.
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Part I:  Feudalism in the 12th Century

Samurai warrior
Feudalism was a system of land ownership where the wealthy nobility controlled the daily lives of those living on their property in exchange for providing protection for them.

Click here to learn more about the history of Japanese Feudalism

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Part II:  Japanese Geography

Geography Documents:

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Geography Links:

360 degree panoramic view of Mt. Fuji

360 degree panoramic view of Shirato waterfalls

Daily Life:  Silk screen digitally enhanced photos

Part III.  Religion:  Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan

Listen to the Buddhist Chanting below and think about what feelings they evoke. 
Guiding Questions:
What Buddhist values are reflected in the chants?
How are the chants different from each other?
What do these cultural differences exist and what does that tell us about Buddhism?

Tibetan Buddhist Chanting

Shinto/Buddhism Images

What is Shintoism?

Shinto and Buddhist Resources:


Part IV:  Genji and Heike History


Map of Gempei War

Pictures of Heike and Genji Battles

The Emperor's Loss of Power

Fujiwara and Civil War

Part V:  The Samurai


Click on the link below to learn about the samurai code of conduct or bushido

 Click on the link below to see images and descriptions of the history of the samurai

Samurai poetry, clothing, wisdom

Photographs of samurai swords

Click on the link below see images and descriptions of Japanese katana or sword making


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Examples of Tanka Poems


Click here to visit the Civ 6 Japan image archives