Japanese Art

  1. Joman Culture, Early Japan Joman culture was from 10,500 - 300 BC. This Timeline of Art History web gallery highlights six artworks that beautifully illustrate their unique "cord markings" style of pottery. The essay explains how the artworks were created.

  2. Ukioye: Japanese Woodblock Prints This is a wonderful web gallery created by the U. S. Library of Congress. There is a wide range of prints and excellent images to study.

  3. The Arts of Japan The Minneapolis Museum of Art has put together a very interesting web gallery of the Arts of Asia. There are beautiful Japanese art works as well as information about the history and culture of Japan. Check out the great maps.

  4. One Hundred Views of Mt. Fuji Mt. Fuji has been a popular subject of Japanes art for centuries. This web exhibit has 18 examples of artworks featuring Mr. Fuji. They are from some of the most famous woodblock artists, Hokusai and Hiroshige, as well as other artists from th 1700's through to the 1900's.

  5. Buddhism: A Journey Through Asia For over 25 centuries Buddhism has grown and flourished - and sometimes declined and disappeared - all over southern and eastern Asia. This short web essay gives you a brief overview of the Buddhist religion and three beautiful artworks. Buddhism: Introduction is another good source of information.

  6. Far Eastern Art The San Diego Museum of Art web gallery has an interesting and brief introduction to the art of China, Korea and Japan. At the bottom of the page you will find 46 thumbnail images that take you to highlights of their collection. The images are clear and can be enlarged; frequently there is extensive information.

  7. The Creative Eye The Asia Society invited artists, architects and writers to select an item from their collection of Indian, Japanese, South East Asian and Chinese art then write comments about the art. Some of the texts are scholarly, some poetic, some personal and some all three. Choose some of the 75 artworks yourself and see if you and the commentator agree.

  8. Here are three sacred sites in Japan. They are from the Sacred Sites/Asia web site.

    • Izumo Taisha, Japan Situated at the foot of the sacred Yakumo and Kamiyama hills, the temple of Izumo Taisha is considered to be the oldest and most important Shinto shrine in all of Japan.
    • Miyajima Island Located several miles off the coast of Hiroshima city, the holy island of Miyajima is a sacred site of both Shintoism and Buddhism and one of the most enchantingly beautiful places on Earth. Long before Buddhism came to Japan in the 5th century AD, Shinto sages lived as hermits in the mountainís forested hills. Today the small island of only 12 square miles is much visited by pilgrims and tourists (Ms. Rindsberg has been there twice - it's very special.)
    • Ryoanji Temple Ryoan-ji, the Temple of the Peaceful Dragon, was founded in 1473 by Katsumoto Hosokawa. Within the precints of the beautiful temple is the famous Zen garden of Soami, completed in 1499. There is a nice photograph of the Zen garden, but unfortunately, not a close-up and there are no images of the beautiful, large landscape garden that surrounds it.
  9. Oriental Architecture If you are interested in seeing more examples of Japanese architecture, visit this web site then click on the link to Japan. You will have a choice of many architectural examples to explore. Photographs are donated by generous people so quality varies, but it is fascinating to see many details and get an idea of the size of a building or temple.

  10. Fire Over Earth Throught the seven artworks in this Asia Society web exhibition, you'll learn about the ceramic traditions of China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia. This area of the world is rich in clay and the minerals needed to make brilliant artworks that are artisticly beautiful and technically outstanding.

  11. More Than Meets The Eye: Japanese Art in the Asia Society Collection This web exhibition features more than twenty-five artworks, including paintings, prints, sculpture, and ceramics from the Neolithic to the early modern period. The exhibition shows how patrons influenced the production of art and how artists tailored their artistic approach to differing ideals of "Japaneseness" at critical times in Japan's history.

  12. Masterpieces of Japanese Art The Burke Collection is the feature of this web exhibition. The 15 artworks include brilliantly colored screens, ceramics, woodblock prints and scrolls. You'll learn about the interests of royalty and the common people.

  13. The Virtual Museum of Japanese Arts This web gallery introduces you to six different categories of Japanese art: Fine Arts, Crafts, Performing Arts, Pasttime Arts, Martial Arts and Others. It's a good introduction to the broad range of art and artists.

  14. Kunisada and Kabuki This is a great site where you can learn more about the traditions of the Kabuki theater and see the colorful woodblock prints of one of it's most famous artists. There's an introduction to Kunisada's art, a section where you can see what a Kabuki theater looked like and a virtual gallery of all the prints.

  15. Tokyo National Museum Their collection can be viewed by type: sculpture, painting, calligraphy, and decorative arts or by region: Japan, China, Korea, India and Central Asia. They also have information about their current exhibits and what is now on display. You can enlarge the thumbnails to see great details.

  16. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a wonderful feature, the Timeline of Art History. There are hundreds of beautifully illustrated articles on special topics organized chronologically, or from the oldest to the newest, as art developed around the world. Here are topics and artworks of interest for this period of art history.

    • Jomon Culture 10,500 -300 BC The best known artworks from the Jomon period are the bold "cord markings" pottery vases, jars and figures.
    • Kamakura Period 1185-1392 The ruling warrior class favored artists who showed direct honesty and energy in paintings and sculpture. Realism was honored in samurai and religious artworks.
    • Muromachi Period 1392-1573 The arts grew beyond painting to include an appreciation of garden design, flower arranging, the decorative arts, interior design, architecture, calligraphy and the preparation and presentation of food.
    • Seasonal Imagery in Japanese Art From ancient times to the present, the Japanese people have celebrated the beauty of the seasons. Painters and artisans created works of visual beauty in response to seasonal themes and poetic inspiration - the cherry blossoms in spring and the harvest moon in the fall are just two examples.
    • Art of the Edo Period 1603-1854 It was not the royal court or samurai elite who inspired artists of this period. The artisans and merchants of Kyoto and Tokyo refined traditional artforms and developed new ones. This site links to three others.
    • Japonisme Japanese woodblock prints greatly affected Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists. The poster artist Toulouse-Lautrec adapted the exaggerated colors, contours and facial expressions of Kabuki prints in his eye-catching posters.


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