The Heian Era
Between 800 and 1200 A.D., the Japanese aristocracy began to push a new cultural movement known as Heian Culture. The focus of this movement was to find as much beauty as possible. Every aspect of life was modeled around trying to find beauty, including handwriting, dress, appearance, gardens, and homes.
During this period some of the most beautiful Japanese poems were written. It was not uncommon for individuals to spend hours writing poetry.
All this attention on beauty did have a downside, however. With all of their energies focused elsewhere, the Japanese government grew weaker. As the government was neglected, ambitious warlords began to grow more independent of the central government.