Dynastic culture thrived some 1,200 years ago in Heian-kyo, heavily influenced by mainland Asian, especially Chinese, culture. Over time, it developed its own idiosyncrasies and permeated all aspects of life: clothing, architecture and food. The invention of the kana syllabary spawned waka poetry, essays and novels. For 800 years the Reizei clan has kept the waka traditions and other aristocratic rituals alive. The roots of today's Japanese culture can be seen in elements of dynastic culture.