Ancient Japanese Art

Ancient Japanese Art: History, Artists, Artwork and Paintings. What has Japanese Animation Manga got to do with it? Ancient Japanese Culture and Art Pictures.


Ancient Japanese Art Culture

There’s a common saying that Japan is the land of contrasts. That is so true. Technology lives right next to Ancient Japanese culture, Modern Art co-exists peacefully with Ancient Japanese Artwork. You can see it when you enter a modern skyscraper and find traditional interior design. Geisha still entertain Businessmen with traditional music. And Tatami floor mats and a family shrine are still common in most homes side by side with the latest gadgets.

See More: Tokyo’s Geisha District

See Also: 10 Weird Facts About Life in Japanese Culture

Ancient Japanese Artisans


The Japanese people did an outstanding job of preserving their Art. It is part of everyday life and you see it everywhere. Generations of extremely disciplined and talented people, stood against an ever-changing world to keep their national identity. Japanese art continues to do well today thanks to contemporary artists who combine the age-old traditions with modern techniques and come up with unique art. That was the case with samurai swords which almost disappeared after World War II when the production of the antique swords was banned.

See More: Japanese Samurai Weapons And Armor

Ancient Japanese Art History

Did you know that until recently Japanese writing was still made with an Art brush rather than a pen? It’s called Calligraphy, and it is based on brush strokes that are flowing and unstructured.

Every kid was familiar with the different techniques of using the brush. As a result, Japanese painting and calligraphy were very common.

The Japanese Tea Sets and the tea ceremony became part of everyday life in Japan. Artisan potters spend years honing their skills to create Tea sets under the guidance of the Master Artisan.
See More: Best Japanese Tea Sets

The unique qualities of this art form include A-symmetry in form and decoration and empty spaces as a harmonizing motive. The brush strokes resemble the art of painting and calligraphy.

Fun Facts About Ancient Japanese Art Painting

The art was influenced by periods of time when Japanese shoguns reinforced a policy of isolation and banned all international trade. These periods in the history of Japan contributed to the development of unique art forms. Isolation allowed Japan’s aesthetic art forms to develop on their own until contact with other cultures took place, such as the Chinese, Buddhist, and even the Western. One of the major influences on Ancient Japanese Culture was Zen Buddhism.

The influence of Zen on Art can be seen in the Rock gardens (see the photo below), the Japanese-style garden, flower arrangement (Ikebana), architecture, poetry, ceramics, calligraphy, and other Japanese crafts.


According to Zen emptiness is a key element. That’s why the landscape in Japanese paintings is brought to life with just a few strokes of the brush.

Japanese poetry – Haiku, also influenced by Zen, is characterized by simplicity.

Zen also preaches for making minimal changes to nature and emphasizes natural materials when it comes to architecture and design. You will never see a flower garden for instance. No flower beds. The elements used are rocks, water, sand, and trees. The gardeners take care of the garden by helping the landscape stay as it is. You can see trees that have a crutch that was put there to support the lower branches to prevent them from falling and changing the harmony of the scenery.

See More: Japanese Gardens

Ikebana flower arrangement is also arranged as if it was made by nature.

The Secret Influence Of Japanese Art Culture On The West

The work of famous impressionist painter Claude Monet has been known to be heavily influenced by Ancient Japanese Art.
Certain periods in his artwork combine Japanese art motives.


He even built a beautiful Japanese garden with a garden bridge in his house in Giverny, France.
Monet was not alone in this interest with the exotic. In the work of his colleagues living in Paris at the same time, Manet and Renoir, we can also see Japanese Artwork’s influence.

Continue Reading:

Amazing tea sets from Japan

Return from Ancient Japanese Art to Tokyo Attractions

Return from Ancient Art in Japan to Culture of Japan


Tokyo Trip Checklist

  • To make sure you have all the important things covered see my first-time-in-Tokyo guide
  • Get your 1,2 or 3-day Tokyo Unlimited Subway Pass to easily get around Tokyo
  • If you want to travel on bullet trains you can save big with a Japan Rail Pass. Here’s why is worth it.
  • You’ll need a prepaid sim or Portable WIFI to stay connected in Tokyo.
  • Check out my detailed Tokyo packing list to make sure you’re prepared.
  • The best site to book hotels in Tokyo is almost always And remember to book early, especially during busy times.
  • For travel insurance (which you need) Word Nomads offer great coverage in Japan and are highly recommended.