Artistic Japan

Talking about Japanese art is quite interesting and it fascinates most of us in all its forms. As in all countries Japan art has a very marked development in the history of the country as a result of factors such as the society in which it was found, the various time periods, technology and especially religion since in all Asian or sub-Asian countries art itself is strongly linked to the religion that prevailed at that very moment.

In Japan art is widely varied. This is due to the fact that at the beginning of history people have come to these lands from different areas of the Asian continent, be they from Korea, China, Indonesia or Mongolia among others. The first known settlers are the famous Ainu from the northern part of Asia. It is believed that at that time the country was still attached to China.

Because Japan is an island, it has received visits from almost everywhere throughout history. Each of them contributing to their artistic movement, this resulting in an expression of a consistent and quite eclectic art.

Take for example, the influence it could have received from the settlers from China in its temples and throughout history, preserving the same shape but discarding and reducing decorative elements, resulting in the elegant temples in Japan. the Chinese are spectacular but the Japanese, in many people’s opinion, obtained the same glamour, without much fuss and even in a more “stately” way.

Above all there are two characteristics that we can find in Japanese art and they are naturalness and simplicity, always being the internal reflection of nature, resulting in works that are not very elaborate in their production but very simple and suggested that make the viewer interpret and feel what you do not see, that is why the drawings are very linear and have many empty areas but overall it is harmonious …same goes for architecture.

For the Japanese, life itself is art and they always look for a sensory aesthetic sense in all aspects, be it when serving tea, calligraphy, or the way the food is presented.

Japanese art in pictures

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Let’s review some of the main arts of this country

Ikebana

Ikebana is world famous, it is not simply putting four flowers in a container, it is a way to connect part of nature with the human being in a simple and elegant way. As in many arts this also entails a discipline and certain rules in its floral construction with its different elements.

Origami

This very popular art in Japan is also well known and transmitted between generations from parents to children in history. In Japanese language Ori means to fold and Kami is paper, and if we put it together then you already know what you get . This art is based on a sheet of paper and making multiple folds to create a figure that represents a bird, fish, dolls, toys and so on. There’s literally no limit to the creativity.

NOTE: Origamis are also featured in blockbusters movies such as “Blade Runner” or there are even entire animation movies made with origamis … see “Kubo and the two Strings”.

Ukiyo-e

This type of Japanese art refers to images of the daily life of ancient Japan in Kyoto and its beginnings are approximately in the sixteenth century, Ukiyo-e means “image”. It was not until the eighteenth century when it really became popular thanks to the advances that occurred at that time in the issue of printing on wood and the images that were represented were Kabuki artists and especially beautiful women, also in illustrations in books, spread throughout Japan to then became very popular.

Japanese Lacquer

The lacquer is obtained from a Japanese tree that is mainly found in the north of the country, the sap it gives off has been used since ancient times and thanks to its origin it is a very ecological material. This type of tree grows to about 20 meters in height and is of the Toxicodendron species. The way of extracting it is through cuts in the bark.

Japanese Porcelain

Around the year 1600 is when porcelain appears in Japan, this is supposed according to the discovery that was made of a piece of porcelain in the Arita area. The Japanese technique matured considerably due to the Korean influence that it had in the middle of the 17th century and designs in yellow, green, blue and red colors began to be used.

The Imari ceramics that come from Arita were highly decorated and were made in large quantities since, above all, they were exported through the Dutch East India Company. There was a type of ceramic that was covered with a very beautiful blue glaze with a soft touch and above all they were used in Kakiemon ceramics in high quality pieces.

Tea ceremony

If, for example, in Germany they have a beer culture, Japan without a doubt, despite the fact that they like beer almost the same as the Germans, they turn mainly culturally when it comes to tea. They do not conceive of life without it and culturally this infusion is closely connected to them in a spiritual way.

Sumo

Sumo is known worldwide as the national sport of this country and the game system is the same that has always been used from many years ago. From the first ancient writings there is evidence of this sport in history, they are found in Kojiki, a book dated in the year 712 and believed to be the oldest that exists in Japan.

There you have it. If you are traveling to Japan and have enough time to go around and explore, these are some details that you might want to investigate more.

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