History of Asia
Japanese Art has been influenced by new and old ideas. The earliest complex art came out of the 7th an 8th centuries. This art was strongly influenced by Buddhism. The Japanese turned away from the Chinese’s influence of art to develop new ideas. My main favorites are the modern Japanese ceramics, Japanese calligraphy, and Japanese paintings.
When Japan was forced to the West, it led to the end of the Edo period and the beginning of the Meiji era. In this era one of the best known artisans of Japanese ceramics was the Buddhist nun Otagaki Rengetsu. Not only was she a successful potter but she was a poet, calligrapher, and painter. She dedicated her life to helping others repay her debt of gratitude to the Buddha. All of her art pieces included poetry and calligraphy which was engraved onto the pieces of ceramic. One of my favorite poems was called “Heart “ it goes like this,
Like white clouds
From beginning to end-
A thing of mystery
Is this heart.
To this day, ceramics remain a vital and exciting form of Japanese art. In most countries when potters were considered useless, Japan contained many successful potters. Japan still continues to maintain a high degree of ceramic art, which is both traditional and modern.
Japanese calligraphy began to filter into Japan during the seventh century. Calligraphy is the combination of the skill and imagination of the person who has studied intensely the combinations available using only lines. The most famous Japanese calligrapher was probably the Buddhist monk Kukai. One story records how the Emperor Tokusokutei asked him to rewrite a section of a badly damaged five paneled screen. Kukai is said to have picked up a brush in each hand, gripped one between the toes of each foot, placed another between his teeth, and immediately wrote the five columns of verse simultaneously.
As nearly all forms of art, early painting had...