Japanese Art

Japanese Painting is one of the oldest and most highly refined of the Japanese arts, encompassing a wide variety of genre and styles. As with the history of Japanese arts in general, the history of Japanese painting is a long history of synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and adaptation of imported ideas. Ancient Japanese sculpture was mostly derived from the idol worship in Buddhism or animistic rites of Shinto deity. In particular, sculpture among all the arts came to be most firmly centered on Buddhism. Materials traditionally used were metal—especially bronze—and, more commonly, wood, often lacquered, gilded, or brightly painted. By the end of the Tokugawa period, such traditional sculpture – except for miniaturized works – had largely disappeared because of the loss of patronage by Buddhist temples and the nobility.

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