Painting is a popular form of art in Japan. There are a variety of styles and influences. The popularity of painting can be linked to the use of brushes in traditional Japanese writing that familiarizes Japanese artists with the use of brushes.
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Japanese painting has its origins in Chinese art. Chinese art dominated Japanese art in the Seventh and Eighth Centuries, before Japanese artists began to turn away from Chinese influence in the Ninth Century.
According to the Virtual Museum of Japanese Art, there are five popular types of traditional Japanese painting that have remained popular throughout history. The five types are: scroll painting (Emaki), screen and wall painting (Shoeiga), Buddhist Temple painting (Butsuga), ink painting (Suibokuga) and literati painting (Bunjinga).
The painting of walls in Buddhist temples is common throughout the world, and it has been a common art form in japan for many centuries. Paintings in Japanese Buddhist temples tell the stories of the Buddha's teachings and previous lives. According to the Virtual Museum of Japanese Art, the painted wooden panels of the Tamamushi Shrine at the Horyuji Condo are a good example of Buddhist painting.
Japanese painting tends to move away from realism in its depiction of its subjects. The artist often looks for the inner essence of the subject, rather than a realistic copy. The University of British Columbia explains how famous paintings--such as The Tale Of Genji from the Twelfth Century--demonstrate the use of imaginative techniques in the depiction of everyday situations.
Following the early influence of Chinese painting on Japanese art the opening of trade routes with Europe and the USA in the Nineteenth Century, Japanese art began to influence and be influenced by western artists. According to Cornell University, Nineteenth Century Japanese painters--such as Ando Hiroshige--influenced European artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and Edouard Manet.