Japanese art - In Japanese, "geido" is "the Way of art."

Asymmetry, "hacho," is the type of balance most characteristically found in Japanese art.

See articles on some of Japan's dynasties and periods, religions (Buddhism and Shinto), media (such as bronze, ceramics, and textiles), and forms (such as netsuke, screen, scroll, and woodblock printing).

Making generalizations about the visual culture of any group of people is a crude endeavor, especially with a culture as diverse as Japan's. With this thought in mind, know that this survey, as any must be, is tremendously limited in its breadth and depth.

[Expect a more in-depth article to appear here soon.]

Periods / Styles in Japanese History
 Name  Time
 Jomon  c. 4500 - 200 BCE
 Yayoi  c. 200 BCE - CE 200
 Kofun  200 - 500
 Asuka  552 - 645
 Hakuho or Early Nara  645 - 710
 Nara  710 - 794
 Heian  794 - 1185
 Kamakura  1185 - 1333
 Muromachi/Ashikaga  1392 - 1573
 Momoyama  1573 - 1615
 Edo/Tokugawa  1615 - 1868
Meiji  1868 - 1912
Modern   1912 - present




Japan, Jomon period, c.4500-200 BCE, Jar, earthenware, 22 x 16 inches, Birmingham Museum of Art.



Japan, Asuka period, 7th century, Incense Burner with Magpie Tail-shaped Handle, Tokyo National Museum. (National Treasure)



see thumbnail to leftJapan, Asuka period, Bodhisattva Seated with One Leg Pendent, dated 606 or 666. (Important Cultural Property)





see thumbnail to rightJapan, Pagoda at Horyu-ji Buddhist temple complex, c. 8th century. See pagoda and wood.



Japan, Late Heian period (897-1185), Fudo Myo-o, twelfth century, wood with color and gold leaf, height 80 inches (203.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. This statue of Fudo, whose name means "immovable," is a staunch guardian of the Buddhist faith, warding off enemies of the Buddha with his word of wisdom and binding evil forces with his lasso. A symbol of steadfastness in the face of temptation, Fudo is one of the most commonly depicted of the Esoteric Buddhist deities known as Myo-o, "King of Brightness." Here his youthful, chubby body and his skirt and scarf are modeled with the restrained, gentle curves typical of late Heian sculpture. Fudo's hair was once painted red and his flesh dark blue green.




see thumbnail to left Japan, Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), 1397.



see thumbnail to rightJapan, Storage jar, Shigaraki ware, Muromachi period (1392-1573), 14th-15th century, stoneware with natural ash glaze, 18 3/8 x 15 1/2 inches (46.7 x 39.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See wabi-sabi.




see thumbnail to leftJapan, Stationery box, Momoyama period (1568-1615), early 17th century, lacquer, with sprinkled gold decroation in Kodai-ji style, inlaid with gold and silver foil, height 8 1/4 inches (21 cm), width 17 15/16 inches (45.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.



see thumbnail to rightJapan, Kosode, 1600-1649, first half of the 17th century, plain-weave silk with warp floats, silk embroidery, and impressed gold, 56 5/16 x 46 1/4 inches (143 x 117.47 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.



see thumbnail to leftOgata Korin (Japanese, 1658-1716), Eight-Planked Bridge (Yatsuhashi), Edo period (1615-1868), 18th century, pair of six-panel folding screen, ink, color, and gold-leaf on paper, each 70 1/2 x 12 feet 2 1/4 inches (179.1 x 371.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.





see thumbnail to rightToshusai Sharaku (Japanese), The Two Actors Sanogawa Ichimatsu III and Ichikawa Tomiemon, 1774, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Berlin.





see thumbnail to leftKatsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760-1849), The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, from "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji", Edo period, 1823-29, color woodcut, 10 x 15 inches, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.




see thumbnail to rightAndo Hiroshige (Japanese, 1797-1858), Great Bridge: Sudden Rain at Atake, Edo period, 1857, color woodcut. Rain is pelting pedestrians on the bridge at Ohashi in the city of Edo (modern-day Tokyo).



see thumbnail to rightYayoi Kusama (Japanese, 1929-), Baby Carriage, 1964, repainted c. 1966, baby carriage, cloth, stuffing, silver metallic paint, 38 x 23 1/4 x 40 inches (96.5 x 59 x 101.6 cm), Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, OH. See found material.




see thumbnail to leftHiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, 1948-), Boden Sea, Uttwil, 1993, depicted: Uttwil, Switzerland, gelatin silver print, 42.3 x 54.2 cm (16 5/8 x 21 5/16 inches), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See seascape.





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Also see anime, archaeology, beni-e, benizuri-e, bokusaiga, bokuseki, bonsai, bun-chin, bunjinga, bunraku, busshi, calligraphy, chado, daho, edakumi-ryo, edokoro, ema, emakimono, eshi, ethnic, flags of Asia, fusuma-e, genpitsu, gyo, gyotaku, hoso-e, ikebana, kakemono, kakemono-e, kanshitsu, makimono, namban, nise-e, oban, shakudo, shibuichi, shin, shoji, shuji, so, suiseki, sumi-e, surimono, torii, tradition, uki-e, ukiyo-e, and wabi-sabi.







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