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History of Japanese Art Essay

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Throughout many centuries, art has portrayed an exceedingly dominant role in Japanese culture. These forms of artwork varied from everything from pottery to clay figurines. Overall, the majority of Japanese art was and still is considered to be of high importance in Japanese history. However, the most intriguing and unique form of art was the Isho-ningyo and Iki-ningyo dolls, otherwise known as the "fashion doll" and the “living doll”. Both the Isho-ningyo and the Iki-ningyo were merely two of the plentiful assortment of dolls created by the famous Japanese artisan, Goyo Hirata, as items of “luxurious indulgence.” The Kintaro doll of Isho-ningyo type or Iko-ningyo type illustrates the significant advancements in Japanese doll art throughout history with the newfound technologies and composition attributed in each period.
Japanese art has been practiced since 4,000 BC, otherwise known as the Jomon period. The Jomon is particularly known for creating the first forms of Japanese pottery. Although the Jomon period was thought to produce relatively simple artwork, the people of the Jomon were also the first to show the evolution of Japanese dolls. Essentially, this gradual step towards this treasure form of art was the Dogu, humanoid figures. Jomon period art gradually advanced throughout time with from the first creation of simple pottery, to storage vessels, and lastly to Dogu. Mainly, the technologies used during this time period consisted of clay, while the composition also consisted of simplistic designs such as coiling. This Japanese time period demonstrates the true beginning of the tr...


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...ecause of the overall historical background and basic artistic characteristics. Although, the Isho-ningyo and the Iki-ningyo are not a part of the modern day era, they still show significant advancements that will eventually point the way towards modern day Japanese art. These particular dolls show aspects of modern day art characteristics because of their complexity in structure and overall appearance. Each Japanese period contributes the steps towards the qualities that make up modern Japanese art, but the particular artwork of the Isho-ningyo and the Iki¬ningyo are the greatest contributors.



Works Cited

"Japanese Art." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, (2011): 1-2.

BALFOUR, R, and S BALFOUR. "Japanese Dolls." Arts of Asia, 6.4 (1976): 67-74.

Rimer, J. Thomas. "High Culture in the Showa Period." Daedalus, 119.3 (1990): 265- 278.


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