China & Japan

The Visual Encyclopedia of Art
Edited by The Scala Group
ISBN 9781566499712 (paperback)
Published in August 2012
MSRP $24.95
The extreme eastern part of the Asian continent represents a relatively homogenous region in art history, rich in unique aspects. Due to its antiquity and the exceptional nature of its art, the immense country of China influenced the area decisively, marking the regions subject to its cultural effects and often its political dominance. In the same way, Japan and Korea assimilated these influences, modifying them partially with their own traditions.
Each country has a personal and undeniable contribution to the world of art: China and its multifaceted production holds a place of exceptional importance in museum collections and art galleries worldwide; Japan has had a clear influence—starting halfway through the 19th century—on the figurative arts, graphic arts, and aesthetics of the West; Korea offers its ancient ceramic and calligraphy tradition.
Buddhist religious and cultural traditions, introduced originally in China at the beginning of the Christian age, then spreading to the surrounding areas, extended their influence to the arts and to craftwork, merging with indigenous religious practices: Taoism and the cult of ancestors in China, Shintoism in Japan, and shamanism in Korea.