Japan has many traditions, and that might have inspired these artists to excel in their chosen crafts. Along with their love for nature and colourful culture, these Japanese painters were able to make a name across the globe. So here are top Japanese artists who are famous worldwide.
Tomioka Tessai (1837 to 1924)
He started his painting career using bujinga or literati painting. He then moved to the Nihonga style which abides by Japanese painting techniques and conventions while the rest of the painters in his time adopted the western style. Tessai is famous for using bright colours, grand scale composition, and bold brushstrokes.
Takashi Murakami (1962 to present)
Murakami was concerned about how the Westerners influenced the art produced by Japanese painters, so he made sure that he can sustain the “super flat” dimension in his artworks. He is now known as the most famous Japanese painter and sculptor of the 21st century.
Ogata Korin (1658 to 1716)
Korin developed an original style which made him famous. He is known for his flat decorative design and stress on abstract colour. His masterpiece is the “Red and White Plum Blossoms”.
Hasegawa Tohaku (1539 to 1610)
He studied at the famous Kano school and later on built his own which is called the Hasegawa school of Japanese paintings. With the influence of Sesshu Toyo, he was also able to develop a painting style of his own. The Japanese now consider most of his works as treasures. His masterpiece is known as “Pine Trees”.
Kitagawa Utamaro (1753 to 1806)
Utamaro is one of the world-prominent artists of ukiy-o or woodblock painting and prints. He was known to create portraits of elegant and beautiful woman in their most physical form. He influenced many European artists. He is most famous for “Ten Studies in Female Physiognomy” and “Collection of Reigning Beauties”.
Itchiku Kubota (1917 to 2003)
Kubota started as a textile artist and is well known for his decorating techniques known as tsujgahana or flowers at the crossroads. His grand scheme was a set of kimonos called “Symphony of Light” which embodies the grandeur of the universe. His artworks are currently at the Itchiku Kubota Art Museum in Yamanashi, Japan and on a website dedicated to him, The Kubota Collection.
Katsushika Hokusai (1760 to 1849)
He is the greatest master of ukiy-o and is believed to be the most famous Asian artist in the world. His grand masterpiece, “The Great Wave of Kanagawa”, is the face of Japanese art everywhere. His most important contribution to art is “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji” which shows the holy mountain in different seasons, weather and from various angles.
Sesshu Toyo (1420 to 1506)
He is known to be the greatest exponent of sumi-e or ink wash painting. A Chinese Dynasty song inspired him, but he made sure that he was able to transform it and let it carry a Japanese character. He uses greater contrast to show light and shadow and thicker and flatter lines for the spacing effect. He was named as the Greatest painter of Japan since his work influenced several Japanese artists.