Classical Conversations Cycle 1 Week 10


Heian PeriodWhat was the Heian government? (image source)

Emperor Kammu, who took the Japanese throne in 781, made Japan a centralized government and moved the capital to Heian (in 794). This marks the Heian era, which represents the height of aristocratic, classical culture and the rise of the samurai warrior. In the 11th century, the capital Heian was renamed Kyoto.

ShogunsWho were the shoguns? (image source)

The height of the shoguns was during the 10th century as the traditional monarchy began to decline. They were wealthy landowners and estate holders. The Shogunates were military governments that began in 1192 when Yoritomo, a shogun, was appointed to the highest military post. Under the shoguns, were local warlords called the diamyo who each commanded a number of samurai warriors. There were three eras that marked the shogun period: Kamakura (1185-1333), Muromachi (1336-1573), and Edo/Tokugawa (1603-1868).


Period of IsolationWhat was the reason behind the period of isolation?

The period of isolation happened slowly from approximately the late 1500’s to the mid 1800’s. The first notable incident was in 1587, when Jesuit missionaries were expelled from Japan. They were believed to have gained too much power and were loyal to the Pope, not the emperor of Japan. Foreign trade began to gradually disappear between 1623 and 1638, due to the Japanese’s negative feelings towards foreigners. In 1639, the Portuguese were ordered out of Japan as the result of accusations that they were aiding the Jesuits and rebels. Other trades began to fall including trade with the Dutch, Netherlands, and China. By 1640, Japan was essentially a closed country with the exception of some connections with Korea, and indirectly China.

800px-Commodore_Matthew_Calbraith_PerryWho was Commodore Matthew Perry?

Matthew Perry was born in Rhode Island in 1794. By the age of 15, he received his commission for the US Navy. During his career he earned the rank of Commodore, served in the Mexican American War, and was sent by President Fillmore to reopen trade with Japan. Perry died four years after the success of his mission in Japan in 1858.

Commodore_Perry's_second_fleetHow did Perry restore trade to Japan?

President Fillmore commissioned a military expedition led by Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853. The goal was that Japan would open it’s ports so that the US Pacific whaling industry would be able to refuel and obtain provisions. Perry arrived in Japan with four American warships. He demanded for Japan to open it’s ports, allow trade to resume, and for Japan to provide aid to shipwrecked sailors. Japan refused his request and a year later, Perry returned with eight American war ships. Perry’s demands were then granted and the period of isolation ended.

MeijiWhat role did the Meiji play in Japan’s modernization?

In 1868, warlords replace the shoguns with 15-year old Mutsuhito, who took the name Emperor Meiji. He moved the capital to Edo, which is modern day Tokyo, and set out to reclaim the emperor’s power. During his reign, he sent Japanese students abroad to study, outlawed the caste system, welcomed foreigners into Japan, abolished the samurai, and began the industrial revolution that modernized Japan. Emperor Meiji reigned until his death in 1912.

Other Resources: Story of the World V.3 Ch.5 & 10, V.4 Ch 2; Everything You Need To Know About World History Homework pp. 38-39; Kingfisher pp. 84, 118, 119, 146, 156, 157, 232, 233, 242, 244, 241, 314, 352, 353


Kinds of Leaves & Leaf Parts



Spines – Sharp leaves for defense





Needles – Wax covered leaves to decrease water loss by evaporation





Tendrils – Long leaves which are helpful for climbing





Bracts – Colorful leaves that attract pollinators like bees



bud scales


Bud Scales – Tiny leaves that cover a developing bud/plant





Palmate – Leaf that has several main veins spreading from the same point at the base





(Pinnate – Leaf that has a main vein with smaller veins branching ones) **not included in memory work this week




Other Resources: Everything You Need To Know About Science Homework pp.26-27


Skip count the squares

Click here to be taken directly to the YouTube video for skip counting by squares.


Prepositions (week  10 prepositions start at 38 seconds)



4th Declension starts at 1 minute and 45 seconds






Other resources for Japan: Story of the World V. 2 Ch.9

Fine Arts

Tin Whistle & Music Theory

We’re not doing the tin whistle this year, so I have to turn this part of my post over to a mom who is doing it, and doing it well! I’m so thankful for the amazing resources and wisdom from Half a Hundred Acre Wood. She has an entire post dedicated to the tin whistle for weeks 7-12 and with tons of great resources. Click here to be taken there! 🙂

Timeline (week 10 starts at 4 minute and 14 seconds)


History Timeline Song Video with Music Only – Classical Conversations from Eneldo on Vimeo.


Click here for a great correlating booklist  created by The list is broken down for each CC subject.

Click here for another great reading list created by

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