Near the end of the 19th century, Japan was in the throws of massive cultural change — trade with the Western world, the spread of the telegraph, and major military growth sparked the Meiji period. Japanese art was also in flux, with a new style known as Yōga introducing Western techniques. But tradition runs deep in Japan, and a counter-style developed, called Nihonga — defined by a return to centuries-old artistic mediums, techniques and compositions. Nihonga is not really a movement, it’s closer to a philosophy, and as such it persists to this day.

Reed Enger, "Nihonga," in Obelisk Art History, Published May 11, 2017; last modified May 11, 2017,

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