Ethnic Paintings

Home >> Painting Trivia >> Japanese landscape Paintings

Japanese landscape Paintings

In the beginning, Japanese Paintings were mostly inspired by Chinese paintings. Later on various other schools of thought emerged with their own styles and techniques. Japanese paintings mostly embrace landscapes as their objects of painting. Unlike Western paintings, the sky, mountains, lakes and water are depicted to be proportionately much larger than human beings in Japanese paintings. Landscape is referred to as 'Sansui' in Japan. San means 'mountain' and Sui means 'water' and therefore a majority of Japanese landscape paintings depict mountains and flowing water. Occasionally, sun or moon is also included to represent the 'natural truths' underlying each scenery.

Characteristics of Japanese landscape paintings-

  • The desire to become one with nature.
  • Japanese landscape paintings don't depict isolated themes; rather they advocate a universal idea.
  • Japanese landscape paintings are imbued with philosophical and moral and symbolic connotations.
  • Japanese landscape paintings portray nature as part of the total cosmic realm.

Japanese painters employ a variety of media. Traditionally Japanese painters use the following mainstream media-

Japanese painters employ a variety of media. Traditionally Japanese painters use the following mainstream media-

  • Enakimono/Makimono/Emaki- Enakimono were formed by putting single sheets together to form a single roll. Enakimono happens to be amongst the oldest forms of paintings.

  • Kakemono-Vertical scrolls are called Kakemono. During the Edo period vertical scrolls became the popular thing. Small Japanese houses preferred using them to adorn the walls.

  • Byobu- Byobu was actually the folding screens which became a major medium for luxuriant and intricate Japanese paintings. They were mostly used in temples and palaces due to their sizes.

  • Fasuma-Sliding doors were actually called Fasuma which happened to be another media for Japanese painting.

  • Uchiwa- Uchiwa was actually a Japanese fan which served as a popular medium for painting.

The various Japanese media had their own preferred subject matter of painting. Some of the admired themes in Japanese paintings were as follows-

  • Shiki-e - Landscapes during the four seasons

  • Meisho-e - Views of famous places.

  • Monogatari-e - Scenes from the life at the imperial court in Kyoto.

  • Nanban-byobu - Images of Westerners on screens from the time of the landing of Portuguese and Dutch ships in the Southern parts of Japan.

  • Rakuchu-rakugai-zu - Views from Kyoto

  • Kabuki-e - Images from the kabuki theater.

  • Bijinga - Images of beautiful women, usually women from the pleasure quarters.

Technology induced development has brought in its fold a variety of challenges to confront with. The preservation and protection of nature has therefore become imperative in this growing age of environmental degradation. The Japanese landscape paintings which have always worshipped nature's symbolic and harmonious beauty serve as a source of guide and inspiration in this regard. Therefore, we need to relive the ideals of Mokichi Okada, a great Chinese philosopher, leader as well as an outstanding artist according to whom the creation of an artistic environment and a sacred world of beauty constituted the highest goal of any true artistic endeavor.

Browse By Topic
Painting Themes
Illustrated Manuscripts
Contemporary Artist
Most Expensive Paintings
Painting Media
Famous Paintings
Painting Store
Clip Art
Schools of Art
Art Gallery
Art Museum
Popular Painting Styles
Painting Tools
Painting of the Month
Painting Tips
Featured Products
Featured Articles
Aboriginal Paintings
Black and White Painting
Dilip Chitre
Floor Paintings
Painting Magazines
Theorem Paintings
Ajanta Murals
Ceramic Paintings
Painting Classes
Painting Gallery
Miniature Painting
Madhubani Painting
Warli Painting
Patachitra Painting
Phad Painting
Tribal Painting
Glass Painting
Thangka Painting
Batik Painting
About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Sitemap