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Interesting Suggestions For Writing An Essay About Japanese Art

Japanese art is the term used for a wide range of media and art styles, which include sculpture, calligraphy, ink painting, ancient pottery, woodblock prints, etc. Like in many other cultures Japanese art has a long history which dates back to early habitations (somewhere in 10,000 BC) in what is now known as the island country of Japan. Obviously there are lots of great topics worth consideration for an essay, but we thought it would help to stir some interesting ideas with these suggestions:

  1. Provide a detailed history of the period of art defined as the postwar period, where artists derived inspiration from international inspirations. What traditional or local elements endured during this period?
  2. Provide a critical analysis of the presentation of women in Japanese Kabuki – the art of Onnagata. How has the art changed across the centuries and what does it suggest about the role of women in society?
  3. Discuss the aesthetics of the Japanese garden, looking at how capturing miniature and idealized landscapes fit into a culture that has long held esteem towards meditation and inner thought or soul searching as a normal part of life.
  4. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has been instrumental in promoting arts patronage in Japan. However, there are funding limitations that have forced many private international patrons to take a greater role and as such have played a role in moving away from the traditional.
  5. How has Japanese art managed to maintain what is apparently little distinction between what is considered decorative art and fine art, as opposed to the distinction that has occurred in Western countries since the Renaissance period?
  6. As an area that is marked by high earthquake activity, the Japanese have feared building the Western skyscraper and have instead incorporated elements from the west in other ways within its traditional (and practical) architecture. Discuss these elements.
  7. How is it that traditional forms of Japanese art such as dance, music and theater have survived in today’s world of increased homogeny? How have these traditional forms play a part in what is considered a re-identification of Japanese cultural values?
  8. Japanese animation or Manga is an art form that has evolved and become a prominent in international circles. What influences outside of Japan helped influence the development of this kind of art both in print and in film?

These are just a few suggestions you can try out in your essay assignment. You are free to use any of these or to construct your own ideas from.

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