Examine Japan's literary and dramatic developments.

Japanese noh actor
Japan's first language system and literature  was actually not first created by themselves, for they had taken some of their systems from China and Korea.  The language of the Japanese comes from the Chinese, though a lot of the writing system comes from Korea.  The Japanese used characters to stand for words and symbols.  But differently then the Chinese and Koreans, Japanese language also used some characters to stand for sounds, much like our language.  The literacy of Japan was extremely important for communication and much of their language could be spoken and written with the Koreans and the Chinese, their closest neighbors.  Drama is an art form that involves the acting of a person to replay an event or create a mythical story with an important meaning.  The drama of Japan dates back to about the 600's, when the early Japanese would perform Shinto rituals and dances at religious shrines.  But in the 1300's, the Japanese developed a new form of drama.  This new drama was called noh.  The noh plays mostly depicted the retellings of myths and folktales of the Japanese.  The noh plays were almost all performed by men, even in a woman's part.  These actors would use costumes, emotions, gestures, and music in their story's to add excitement or to further explain what is happening.  Both the upper and lower classes could and would perform these noh plays as usually entertainment (though sometimes ritual) purposes.  In the 1600's, a new form of drama was created, which was called kabuki.  It used much melodramatic singing and dancing to convey its messages.  The kabuki were much more informal than the noh plays.  The kabuki plays, too, were played by men and no women.  During the earlier times (600's and 700's) the Japanese had this relationship with China for creating much of its literature and some drama.  In the early 800's though, the Japanese ended this relationship and began to be more dependent on themselves for creating their own culture in literature and drama.  In literature, one of the greatest writers in Japan was Lady Murasaki Shikibu.  She lived in the emporer's court in the early 1000's.  Lady Murasaki created an extremely imortant novel called The Tale of GenjiIt was so important because it was considered the first real novel in history to ever be written.  The earlier forms of novels were only retellings of the real story.  Another type of literature flourished under Japan.  It was called poetry.  The Japanese created a new form of poetry called haikus.  Haikus consisted of three lines that were in the traditional form of five syllables, then seven syllables, and finally five syllables again.  These haikus normally would relate to aspects of Japanese Zen Buddhism.