Essay on History of Japanese Art

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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 …show more content…
The Heian Period was essentially considered the next step in the evolution of Japanese doll art. This occurred during the time of 794 to 1,185 BC, or more specifically described as the early eleventh century. The first appearance of Japanese doll art began around what was considered the “peak” of the Heian period, in which several types of dolls had already been defined strictly because of the novel The Tale of Genji. Specific dolls that were made were the Okiagari-koboshi, which were the “roly-poly” described toys made from papier-mâché. The Okiagari-koboshi became truly valued in the Heian period because they were thought of as good-luck charms, symbols of perseverance, and symbols of resilience. Another form of Japanese dolls created was Saga dolls. Saga dolls were made entirely out of wood and were painted by temple sculptors, which were the first known professional doll makers adapted during the Heian period. Comparatively, the Heian Period displays a variety of advancements in Japanese doll art than the Jomon period. Already, in this second step of doll evolution, there were significant changes as far as the technologies used and composition. In the Heian, the technologies consisted of papier-mâché and wood, while the composition consisted of greater varieties of colors and designs.
The third step in the Japanese doll evolution occurred from 1,603 to 1,867 BC during the Edo period. At this point in Japanese history, Japan was closed to most…

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