The History of Art

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The uniqueness of Japanese art, especially in terms of Chinese art, depends on the historical era. As Lee (1962) points out, "There are periods in Japanese art where the artist is either copying, or is heavily influenced by, Chinese art. At such times it can be said that Japanese art is a strong reflection of Chinese art," (p. 3). At other times, though, small differences between the arts of China and Japan are "magnified to such an extent that they become fully developed and original styles," (Lee, 1962, p. 3). With regards to modern art, Japan is far more the influencer of Chinese art than vice-versa, as Fogel (2012) points out.
Therefore, it is impossible to make a blanket statement about the relative uniqueness of Japanese art. Certainly there are periods in which Japanese art is so heavily influenced by Chinese art that it could even be lumped together in a similar category. Museum curators dealing with large amounts of inventory from classical Chinese and Japanese art frequently do classify East Asian art together as if the differences between Chinese and Japanese art are too negligible to be of any serious importance. For example, the Saint Louis Art Museum (2008) compiles all its art of China and Japan, also including the arts of Korea. This is because the curated collection is a reflection of a specific historical epoch: that of the spread of Buddhism throughout East Asia. "Buddhist monks traveling between China, Korea, and Japan carried religious and artistic

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