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Asian & Oceanic Art

The best books, eBooks, articles media and open access resources for Asian and Oceanic art.

Focus on Japanese Art & Architecture

Neolithic Japanese art consisted of crudely executed terracotta figurines and some ceramic ware. The introduction of Buddhism via Korea in the 6th century and the influence of Chinese culture initiated a great period of temple building, sculpture (chiefly of the Buddha), and the development of the art of flower arrangement (See ikebana). In the Kamakura period (12th-14th centuries) the refined Fujiwara style was replaced in sculpture by a vigorous naturalism. In painting, a uniquely Japanese style developed in continuous narrative paintings on horizontal scrolls and realistic landscapes. Another entirely Japanese art form was the coloured woodblock print of the Tokugawa period (1630-1867). These prints, portraying the transient world of theatre, teahouse, etc., and produced by such artists as Hokusai and Kitagawa Utamaro, enjoyed a popularity in Europe in the late 19th century, being particularly influential among impressionist painters (See ukiyo-e). Examples of applied arts are the small wood and ivory carvings (netsuke) and the gold inlaid sword guards (tsuba). Ceramic art is illustrated by the cha-no-yu wares.

Japanese architecture, like Chinese, dates from the introduction of Buddhism, with many Chinese styles being preserved. One of the earliest Japanese buildings to survive is the 7th-century Buddhist monastery at Horyuji, the pillared hall of which is the basis for all Japanese temples (See also pagoda). Japanese houses are usually simple single-storey buildings with distinguishing decorative fixtures. In the 19th century native architecture was heavily influenced by Western styles, which culminated in Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel, Tokyo (1916, now demolished). Modern Japanese architects, influenced by Le Corbusier, include Kenzo Tange.

From CREDO Japanese art and architecture. In The MacMillan encyclopedia

Art: Navaro Rapids, Ando Hiroshige


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