Throughout the centuries, Japan has produced some amazing artists. Even today, several Japanese artists are prevalent throughout the world.
Japanese artists are good because Japan has a long history of art being at the forefront of Japanese culture. Japanese artists also believe in not just hard work but also consistent practice. The Japanese artist is exposed to artistic forms as woodblock prints, manga art, and anime art.
I am a great fan of Japanese art and Japanese artists. Through my study of Japanese art, I have listed out my top 8 reasons why I believe Japanese are such great artists.
Here are my top 8 reasons why Japanese artist are and continue to be such great artists.
1 – Japan Has Long Rich Artistic History
The country of Japan has existed for over 1000 years; Japan has a long and rich artistic history. In fact, the first art produced in Japan is from the 7th and 8th centuries; this early Japanese art was connected to Buddhism.
The early Japanese art consisted of painting, calligraphy, architecture, pottery, sculptures, bronzes, jade carvings, and other fine decorative and visual arts. Japan has had a long and rich history of art and artistic development.
2. – History of Japanese Ukiyo-e Woodblock Prints
One of Japan’s most important art movements with the ukiyo-e woodblock prints. This is not only a fascinating Japanese art form, but it is one that also has affected western art movements and many western artists.
Famous artists as Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet were fans of the Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints. It was Claude Monet who once explained his artwork to an art critic when he said
3- Japanese Culture Reflected in Arts
A lot of the Japanese culture is also reflected in Japanese art. Over the centuries Japanese artists aligned their cultural and religious beliefs with their art; this is why a lot of the Japanese art reflects the Japanese culture. This helped the development of Japanese art and even today helps influence Japanese artists as they continue to produce works of art.
Japanese artists also showed a lot of the Japanese daily life in their art. One of the most famous woodblock prints is Hokusai and his woodblock print The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. Even today, this woodblock print is trendy. You can discover more about Hokusai and The Great Wave by reading The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Japanese Artist Hokusai (1790-1849) by clicking here.
4 – Japanese Believe in Hard Work
Hard work in Japan it’s not just something you do; it is inherent in the culture of Japan. Japan is the birthplace of Karoshi, which literally means “death from overwork.” The word Karosh was invented to describe the deaths caused by work-related stress and pressures.
This work ethic no doubt influences the Japanese artist and their artwork. Famous Japanese artists today are known to be extremely hard workers. Take, for example, one of the most well-known Japanese artists Yayoi Kusama. Even though Yayoi Kusam is dealing with mental illness, she goes to work every day and puts in long working hours. Yayoi Kusama continues to produce an astonishing amount of artwork – all by herself.
You can learn more about Yayoi Kusama, by reading our blog What Type Of Artist Is The Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama? by clicking here.
5. Japanese Believe in Practice Over Pure Talent
In the west, many people believe to be an artist you must be born with an extraordinary amount of natural talent. But in Japan the Japanese believe talent is important but also hard work and practice can help you to achieve your goals.
This is a little bit different from how many of us view artistic skills. A Japanese views artistic skills as something you can learn and master through practice and hard work. A person can learn to draw not because they are born with the talent, but they can practice and hard work at the skill of drawing. In other words, artistic skills can be learned and mastered with practice and hard work.
6- Exposure To Manga Art (Japanese Comic Books and Graphic Novels)
One influence of Japanese art is Manga art or Japanese Comic Books and Graphic Novels. This art continues to influence many Japanese artists.
Manga art continues to be so influential for artists around the world. Over the last few years, Manga art has continued to gain popularity, even in the United States. For example, Udemy, the popular online school, offers an art course on drawing Manga art.
7 – Japanese Obsession With Anime (Animation)
The Japanese also have an obsession with anime or animation. A lot of the animation that is taking place in the west has influences from the Japanese form of anime or animation.
No doubt many Japanese children have grown up learning to draw manga and watching anime. This of course has influenced Japanese art including many contemporary Japanese artists.
A Japanese artist where you can really see this influence of Manga and Anime is the wildly successful Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. You can see in Takashi Murakami’s work some references to anime and manga. You can learn more about Takashi Murakami by reading Why is Takashi Murakami So Popular? The Japanese Artist Takashi Murakami by clicking here.
8 – Examples Widely Successful Japanese Artists
Japan has examples of some wildly successful international artists who are successful within Japan and throughout the world. Two of them that come to mind are Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama – both show in major galleries and museums around the world. They have licensing deals with companies like Louis Vuitton and others.
Throughout the centuries, Japan continues to produce amazing artists and artwork. Many of the world’s most famous and popular artists are Japanese. I expect that we will continue to see many great artists come out of Japan.
I really love the story of 17th Century Japanese Woodblock Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi. Success did not come to him right away. In fact, it through his determination and hard work when he finally became successful as an artist. You can learn more about Utagawa Kuniyoshi by reading Who Is the Japanese Woodblock Print Artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798 – 1861)? by clicking here.
As an artist, I am truly inspired by all of the hard work and talent of Japanese artists. One of the things I learned from these Japanese artists is not being afraid of hard work and practice; these two things can really help your success as an artist.
How Do You Identify A Japanese Artist’s Signature on Woodblock Prints?
The signature on a Japanese woodblock print is the Japanese characters above or near the red artistic seal or chop. Sometimes the artist would add words behind their own name, such as “designed by.” Other times the artist would use different chops or seals during different periods of their life. Many times the actual artist’s signatures are complicated to read.
You can learn more by reading How Do You Identify A Japanese Artist’s Signature on Woodblock Prints? by clicking here.
What Is The Main Difference Between Japanese and Chinese Art?
The main differences between Japanese and Chinese art include the materials used and how they were executed. Religion played a major role in influencing both Japanese and Chinese art. Both countries were Buddhist, but Japan also had the Shintoism influence, and China had Confucianism and Taoist.
You can read more by reading What Is The Main Difference Between Japanese and Chinese Art? by clicking here.