20th-Century Japanese Art

The introduction of Western cultural values in the late 19th and early 20th century led to a dichotomy in Japanese art, as well as in nearly every other aspect of culture, between traditional values and attempts to duplicate and assimilate a variety of clashing new ideas. This split remained evident in the late 20th century, although much synthesis had by then already occurred, and created an international cultural atmosphere and stimulated contemporary Japanese arts toward ever more innovative forms. (Read more…)

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Featured 20th-Century Artists


Takeji Fujishima (1867 – 1943) was a Japanese painter, noted for his work in developing Romanticism and impressionism within the yōga (western-style) art movement in late 19th- and early 20th-century Japanese painting. In his later years, he was influenced by the Art Nouveau movement. (Read more…)


Shuzo Ikeda (1922-2004) was a Japanese woodblock print artist with a very distinctive style. His art mainly depicted children or young women with large eyes holding a pet or flowers, and it captured the spirit of the prosperous post-war years in Japan. (Read more…)


Yasuo Kuniyoshi (1893 – 1953) was an American painter, photographer and printmaker who was known for his still-life paintings of common objects, female circus performers and nudes. He was born in Okayama, Japan in 1893, but moved to America in 1906, choosing not to attend military school in Japan. (Read more…)


Seiki Kuroda (1866 – 1924) was the pseudonym of a Japanese painter and teacher, noted for bringing Western theories about art to a wide Japanese audience. He was among the leaders of the yōga (western-style) movement in late 19th- and early 20th-century Japanese painting. His real name was Kuroda Kiyoteru. (Read more…)


Tadashi Nakayama (born 1927) is a Japanese woodblock print artist, working in a style that combines influences from traditional Japanese ukiyo-e prints and Western painting. From 1962-65 he lived in Italy and then England. He is known for his depictions of nature and horses. (Read more…)


Saburosuke Okada (1869-1939) studied Western-style painting and steel plate printmaking techniques. Japanese art lovers know him for oil paintings of nudes in a realistic, slightly impressionist manner. Western print collectors appreciate his famous woodblock print titled Heroine Osan. (Read more…)


Kiyoshi Saito (1907-1997) started out as a sign painter and went on to become one of Japan’s most famous sosaku hanga artists of the 20th century and is regarded as one of the great masters of Japanese printmaking after World War II. (Read more…)


Atsuko Tanaka (1932 – 2005) was a pioneering Japanese avant-garde artist. Her works, which include abstract paintingssculpturesperformances and installations, generally feature objects from everyday life: textiles, door bells, light bulbs and the like. (Read more…)

9 thoughts on “20th-Century Japanese Art

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  4. I have a serigraph “Flight” dated 1935 and signed by an artist named Hiroshi Hirata Japan. The gallery is Marson Itd. I haven’t been able to find information on this artist. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Jp Shumaker


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