Summary of Japanese Painting History

Summary of Japanese Painting History
Summary of Japanese Painting History

Contents

 

Asuka Period (592-710)

Asuka Japanese Painting History

Introduction of Buddhism


Around 538: King Seong of Baekje presented the dynasty with a Shaka Buddhist image and the Buddhist scriptures and commentaries, and Buddhism was officially introduced to Japan.

→ Started to produce Buddhist paintings. (wall paintings, crafted products, etc.)

Hōryū-ji Kondō Wall Paintings
Hōryū-ji Kondō Wall Paintings
Tamamushi Shrine
Tamamushi Shrine

 

Nara Period (710-794)

Nara Japanese Painting History

Buddhist Paintings Became Prosperous.


Kentōshi (Japanese missions to Tang China), *Chingokokka


*Chingokokka : a government policy to stabilize internal affairs using Buddhism or a thought that Buddhism has power to protect and stabilize a country.

 

Eingakyō
Eingakyō
tsuzureori taima mandarazu
Tsuzureori Taima Mandarazu
Yakusiji Kichijōten zō
Yakusiji Kichijōten zō

 

Heian Period (794-1185)

The Early Part: Esoteric Buddhism paintings


Heian Japanese Painting History

794: The capital was moved from Nara to Kyōto to eliminate the influence of Nara Buddhism.

→ Shingon sect became pupular. → Esoteric Buddhism paintings became prosperous.

Takao Mandara Kongōkai
Takao Mandara Kongōkai
Takao Mandala Taizōkai
Takao Mandala Taizōkai

 

The Latter Part: Aristocratic Culture


Heian Nara Japanese Painting History
Heian Nara Japanese Painting History

Kokufū Bunka (Japan’s Original National Culture)

894: The Kentōshi was abolished. → *Yamato-e paintings developed.


*Yamato-e paintings:
In the latter half of the 9th century, during the Heian period, as court culture became more Japanized, paintings depicting scenery characteristic of Japan began to appear in response to the demand for paintings that express Japanese sentiments. From about the end of the 10th century, this kind of painting, inheriting the style of the Heian period, began to be called yamato-e, to distinguish it from the Chinese painting/Chinese-style paintings (later known as kanga), or paintings with Chinese themes that were influenced by Song and Yuan painting styles. The style of the yamato-e paintings were transmitted through edokoro (official bureau of painting) which had been in charge of court paintings since the Heian period. When the Tosa family inherited the administration of the edokoro (the courtly office for paintings) in the Muromachi period, the word yamato-e began to be used to refer not only to themes and style, but also to the concepts of the Tosa School.

Genji Monogatari Emaki
Genji Monogatari Emaki

Amida Raigō-zu (Image of the Descent of Amida Buddha)

The belief of Amida ‘if someone believes in Amida Nyorai, he will come and guide the person to the heavens at the time of death’ became popular in the middle Heian period, and many Amida Raigō-zu were painted.

Amida Raigōzu
Amida Raigō-zu

Emakimono (literally ‘picture scroll’)

  • Genji Monogatari Emaki
  • Ban Dainagon Ekotoba
  • Shigisan-engi
  • Chōjū Jinbutsu Giga
Genji Monogatari Emaki
Genji Monogatari Emaki
Ban Dainagon Ekotoba
Ban Dainagon Ekotoba
Shigisan-engi
Shigisan-engi
Chōjū Jinbutsu Giga
Chōjū Jinbutsu Giga

 

Kamakura Period (1185-1333)

Kamakura Japanese Painting History

Introduction of Zen Paintings and Suibokuga Ink Wash Paintings from Song Dynasty


  • Trade between Japan and the Song Dynasty
  • Zen monk came from Southern Song dynasty.

→  Introduction of Zen Buddhism → Zen paintings / e.g. chinzō (commemorative portraits of Zen masters), paintings of Bodhidharma, etc

→ Introduction of Suibokuga ink wash paintings / e.g. Sansui-ga landscape paintings, kachō-ga flowers & birds paintings, etc

Representative: Kaō Sōnen, Mokuan Reien

Chinzō Portrait of Bujun Shiban
Chinzō / Portrait of Bujun Shiban
Painting of Bodhidharma
Painting of Bodhidharma
Bamboo and a Sparrow by Kaō
Bamboo and a Sparrow by Kaō Sōnen
Hotei Budai by Mokuan
Hotei Budai by Mokuan Reinen

 

Kenmu Restoration (1333-1336)

 

Muromachi Period (1336-1573)

The Early Part: Culture of Song and Yuan Dynasties Became Prosperous.


Muromachi Kamakura Japanese Painting History

Painters, who had a close relation with the Ashikaga Shōgun family, showed: Josetsu

 

Hyōnen-zu by Josetsu
Hyōnen-zu by Josetsu

The Middle Part: Higashiyama Culture by Ashikaga Yoshimasa


Muromachi Kamakura Japanese Painting History


  • Nōami, Geiami, Sōami: ‘Dōbōshū’ (a kind of advisor on arts, as good consultant of things imported from China), who served the Ashikaga Shogun Family.
  • Tenshō Shūbun: Goyō-eshi (official painter) of the Ashikaga Shogun Family

  • Sesshū Tōyō (1420-1506): Studied under Shūbun; then moved to Suō province. Studied Chinese paintings in Ming Dynasty.
  • Oguri Sōtan (1413-1481): Became goyō-eshi after Shūbun.

  • Kanō Masanobu (1434?-1530): The founder of the Kanō school. Became goyō-eshi after Oguri Sōtan.
  • Tosa Mitsunobu (1434?-1525): Yamato-e painter. Became Kyūtei Edokoro azukari (Head of the Courtly Office for Paintings). Originator of the restoration of the Tosa school.

 

Lotus by Nōami
Lotus by Nōami
Viewing a Waterfall by Geiami
Viewing a Waterfall by Geiami
Landscape by Shūbun
Landscape by Tenshō Shūbun
Landscapes of Autumn and Winter by Sesshū Tōyō
Landscapes of Autumn and Winter by Sesshū Tōyō
Appreciating Lotuses by Kanō Masanobu
Appreciating Lotuses by Kanō Masanobu
Portrait of Momonoi Naoaki by Tosa Mitsunobu
Portrait of Momonoi Naoaki by Tosa Mitsunobu

The Latter Part: Foundation For the Prosperity of Kanō School Was Established.


Muromachi Kamakura Japanese Painting History

Kanō Motonobu (1476-1559): Son of Kanō Masanobu. Perfected the painting style of the Kanō school and laid the foundations for the success of the Kanō school, which continued until the modern era.

 

White-robed Kannon,_Bodhisattva of Compassion by Kanō Motonobu
White-robed Kannon,_Bodhisattva of Compassion by Kanō Motonobu

 

Azuchi-Momoyama Period (1573-1603)

Azuchi Japanese Painting History

4 Great Masters of the Japanese Art World from the Momoyama Period


Sengoku daimyō (Japanese territorial lord in the *Sengoku period) built their castles with luxurious, splendid and decorative wall and sliding screen paintings to show their power.


*Sengoku period: 1467-1590

  • Kanō Eitoku (1543-1590): A leading painter of the Kanō school (a painting school that served as a focal point for the art circles of Japan from the Muromachi period through to the Edo period) and remains one of the best-known painters in the history of Japanese art. As the head of Kanō school, Eitoku served Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who took control of the country, and he created wall paintings for places such as Azuchi-jō Castle, Jurakudai residence and Ōsaka-jō Castle.
  • Hasegawa Tōhaku (1539-1610): Rival of Kanō Eitoku. Many of his works were apparently affected by Muqi, and his best work Shōrinzu Byōbu (folding screen with the painting of pine tree forest) is the fruits of his study.
  • Kaihō Yūshō (1533-1615): Specialized in dragon paintings. Priest, samurai (warrior) and painter. Dragon paintings of the Kennin-ji temple in Kyōto is his representative works.
  • Unkoku Tōgan (1547-1618): Painter in the service of the Mōri family and who had inherited the artistic style of Sesshū Tōyō.
 "Karajishi-zu byōbu" (The huge folding screen of Chinese lions) by Kanō Eitoku
“Karajishi-zu byōbu” (The huge folding screen of Chinese lions) by Kanō Eitoku
"Shōrin-zu byōbu" (The folding screen of Pine Trees) by Hasegawa Tōhaku
“Shōrin-zu byōbu” (The folding screen of Pine Trees) by Hasegawa Tōhaku
"Unryū-zu" (images of clouds and dragons) by Kaihō Yūshō
“Unryū-zu” (images of clouds and dragons) by Kaihō Yūshō
"Sansuizu byōbu" (folding screen with painting of landscape) by Unkoku Tōgan
“Sansuizu byōbu” (folding screen with painting of landscape) by Unkoku Tōgan

 

Survival Strategy for Kanō School


Pinch of Kanō School: Death of Kanō Eitoku, the rize of Hasegawa Tōhaku and the Warring States period.

→ Survival Strategy for Kanō School: Decentralized the Kanō family and served 3 major authorities (the Imperial Court, the Toyotomi family and the Tokugawa family) in those days separately.

→ After Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, Tokugawa Ieyasu took over power through the victory of the Battle of Sekigahara.

Kanō Tan-yū, who had been close relationship with the Tokugawa family, solidified the position of the Kanō school in the art world more as the official painter goyō-eshi of the Edo shogunate.

Bamboo and plum tree in the snow by Kanō Tan-yū
Bamboo and plum tree in the snow by Kanō Tan-yū

 

Edo Period (1603-1868)

Edo Japanese Painting History

Various Painting Styles Were Born during the Peaceful Edo period.


The Tale of Genji: Asagao by Tosa Mitsuoki
The Tale of Genji: Asagao by Tosa Mitsuoki
"Fujin Raijin-zu byobu" (The folding screens of Wind God and Thunder God) by Tawaraya Sōtatsu
“Fujin Raijin-zu byobu” (The folding screens of Wind God and Thunder God) by Tawaraya Sōtatsu
Kakitsubata-zu (Irises) drawn on a folding screen by Ogata Kōrin
Kakitsubata-zu (Irises) drawn on a folding screen by Ogata Kōrin
"Fuusokazu" (commonly called Natsuakikusa zu Byobu) Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn by Sakai Hōitsu
“Fuusokazu” (commonly called Natsuakikusa zu Byobu) Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn by Sakai Hōitsu
Asagao-zu Byōbu Morning Glories Folding Screens by Suzuki Kiitsu
Asagao-zu Byōbu Morning Glories Folding Screens by Suzuki Kiitsu
Beauty Looking Back by Hishikawa Moronobu
Beauty Looking Back by Hishikawa Moronobu
Chūnagon Asatada by Suzuki Harunobu
Chūnagon Asatada by Suzuki Harunobu
Women and Events of the12 Months by Katsukawa Shunshō
Women and Events of the12 Months by Katsukawa Shunshō
Young Lady Blowing on a Poppin by Kitagawa Utamaro
Young Lady Blowing on a Poppin by Kitagawa Utamaro
Ōtani Oniji III in the Role of the Servant Edobei by Tōshūsai Sharaku
Ōtani Oniji III in the Role of the Servant Edobei by Tōshūsai Sharaku
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai
The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Katsushika Hokusai
Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake by Utagawa Hiroshige
Sudden Shower Over Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake by Utagawa Hiroshige
Cats Suggested as the Fifty Three Stations of the Tōkaidō by Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Cats Suggested as the Fifty Three Stations of the Tōkaidō by Utagawa Kuniyoshi
Rōkaku Sansui-zu Painting of a Palace and Landscape by Ikeno Taiga
Rōkaku Sansui-zu Painting of a Palace and Landscape by Ikeno Taiga
A Black Hawk and Two Crows by Yosa Buson
A Black Hawk and Two Crows by Yosa Buson
"Kōyo Tanshō-zu" (The Paintings of Scenic Spots, Made during the Break of His Public Service) by Tani Bunchō
“Kōyo Tanshō-zu” (The Paintings of Scenic Spots, Made during the Break of His Public Service) by Tani Bunchō
"Sesshō-zu Byōbu" (The Folding Screen of Pine Trees in the Snow) by Maruyama Ōkyo
“Sesshō-zu Byōbu” (The Folding Screen of Pine Trees in the Snow) by Maruyama Ōkyo
"Hakubai-zu Byōbu" (The Folding Screen of White Plum Blossoms) by Matsumura Goshun
“Hakubai-zu Byōbu” (The Folding Screen of White Plum Blossoms) by Matsumura Goshun
"Gunkei-zu" (The Painting of Fowls) by Itō Jakuchū
“Gunkei-zu” (The Painting of Fowls) by Itō Jakuchū
“Unryū-zu” (images of clouds and dragons) by Soga Shōhaku
“Unryū-zu” (images of clouds and dragons) by Soga Shōhaku
Hakuzō Kokugyū zu Byōbu White Elephant and Black Bull Folding Screens by Nagasawa Rosetsu
Hakuzō Kokugyū zu Byōbu White Elephant and Black Bull Folding Screens by Nagasawa Rosetsu
Pair of Phoenixes in the Morning by Shen Quan
Pair of Phoenixes in the Morning by Shen Quan
A Pair of Cranes by Kumashiro Yūhi
A Pair of Cranes by Kumashiro Yūhi
Kanbai Jutaichō zu (A Pair of Birds with a Long Tail) by Sō Shiseki
Kanbai Jutaichō zu (A Pair of Birds with a Long Tail) by Sō Shiseki

 

Meiji Period (1868-1912)

Meiji Japanese Painting History

The Dawn of Nihonga Japanese-style Paintings → Foundation of the Nihon Bijutsu-in


Painter’s Hardship due to the Meiji Restoration:

  • Loss of patrons due to the collapse of the shogunate system.
  • The value of Japanese art decline due to Westernization influence.
  • Destruction due to Haibutsu-kishaku (a movement to abolish Buddhism)

→ Resuscitation: Foundation of the Ryūchikai group (1878)… old school

Ernest Francisco Fenollosa and Okakura Tenshin: Foundation of the Kangakai group… Improvement of conventional Japanese-style paintings by adding characteristics of Western paintings → Kanō Hōgai, Hashimoto Gahō

→ Foundation of the Tōkyō Bijutsu Gakkō (Tokyo School of Fine Arts) / The first principal = Okakura Tenshin

→ Trouble of the Tōkyō Bijutsu Gakkō (1898) → The dawnfall of Okakura TenshinOkakura Tenshin founded the Nihon Bijutsuin organization with Yokoyama Taikan, Hishida Shunsō, Shimomura Kanzan, Hashimoto Gahō, etc. → new school

 

"Hibo Kannon" (Avalokitesvara as a Merciful Mother) by Kanō Hōgai
“Hibo Kannon” (Avalokitesvara as a Merciful Mother) by Kanō Hōgai
Hakuun Kōju-zu" (the painting of white clouds and autumn leaves) by Hashimoto Gahō
Hakuun Kōju-zu” (the painting of white clouds and autumn leaves) by Hashimoto Gahō
Spring Dawn of Chichibu Mountains Scenery by Yokoyama Taikan
Spring Dawn of Chichibu Mountains Scenery by Yokoyama Taikan
Autumn Leaves by Hishida Shunsō
Autumn Leaves by Hishida Shunsō
Yoroboshi by Shimomura Kanzan
Yoroboshi by Shimomura Kanzan

 

Start of the Bunten Exhibition


After winning the Sino-Japanese War and Russo-Japanese War, Japan became one of the great world powers.

→ Necessity of world-class Japanese art → Start of the Bunten (Ministry of Education Arts Exhibition) in 1907

 

Taishō Period (1912-1926)

Taishō Japanese Painting History

Re-Evaluation of Tawaraya Sōtatsu


Tawaraya Sōtatsu is considered to be an artist who was modeled by Ogata Kōrin and the founder of the Rinpa school; however, there was not a high general opinion of his work through to the Meiji Period (to July 1912), with Ogata Kōrin’s paintings being considered to be of a higher grade. For this reason, many of his works, including his famous Matsushima-zu Byōbu (a folding screen: Waves at Matsushima) were exported overseas. In 1913, he was rediscovered at the Tawaraya Sōtatsu Kinenkai exhibition by the Nihon Bijutsukyōkai, and  many painters were affected by his decorative painting style.

 

Revival of the Nihon Bijutsu-in


The Nihon Bijutsu-in organization didn’t hold any exhibition after 1903. In addition, Okakura Tenshin was recruited by Ernest Fenollosa to assist in his efforts to introduce Chinese and Japanese arts to the Western world via the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and soon lost interest in guiding this organization. → The organization went on hiatus.

Death of Okakura Tenshin in 1913 → The Nihon Bijutsu-in was revived a year later in 1914 under Yokoyama Taikan and held the 1st Saikō Inten exhibition in 1914. → The organization became a major force.

 

Bunten → Teiten


The Bunten was reorganized to the Teiten (Imperial Fine Arts Academy Exhibition) because system of the Bunten was criticized.

 

Shōwa Period (1926-1989)

The Early Part: the 1920s to the 1930s → Study of Japanese Classical Paintings


Shōwa Japanese Painting History

Many painters progressed study of Japanese classical paintings, and made an effort to apply those techniques to their own works.

 

The Middle Part: During the War (1935-1945)


Showa

Matsuda Kaiso

1935: Reorganization of the Teiten by Matsuda Genji (Matsuda Kaiso) → Start of the Shin Bunten (New Bunten Exhibition) in 1938

Military Art

Many painters created battle-pieces for the Japanese government. The government suppressed its opponents.

 

The Latter Part: After the War

Around 1950: Dispute about Nihonga’s Collapse


1946: Reorganization of the Shin Bunten → Start of the Nitten (Japan Fine Arts Exhibition)


Painting styles before/after the war were not changed in the Japanese art world because main Japanese-style painters aged.

→ The Japanese paintings were criticized. → The dispute about Nihonga’s Collapse occured.

 

From around 1950 to around 1990: New Generation of Japanese-style Painting


New stars arose in the Japanese art world.

 

Midori Hibiku (Green Sounds) by Higashiyama Kaii
Midori Hibiku (Green Sounds) by Higashiyama Kaii
Kyū by Sugiyama Yasushi
Kyū by Sugiyama Yasushi
Moon by Takayama Tatsuo
Moon by Takayama Tatsuo
Moon at Loulan by Hirayama Ikuo
Moon at Loulan by Hirayama Ikuo
Waves in Spring and Autumn by Kayama Matazō
Waves in Spring and Autumn by Kayama Matazō

 

The Collapse of the Bubble Economy in around 1990 → Globalization


Some Japanese-style painters, who take an active role in the world, showed from the 1990s.

  • Senju Hiroshi: Representative work, “Waterfall”
  • Murakami Takashi: Fusion of the Japanese-style paintings and Japanese pop culture

 

Waterfall by Senju Hiroshi
Waterfall by Senju Hiroshi
By Murakami Takashi
By Murakami Takashi