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ARTH110 Essay Japanese Art. Visual & Performing Arts Essay (Essay Sample)


A formal essay, with proper sentence and paragraph structure, bibliography, citation, and research. The essay may contain as many illustrations as are required.
Assignment Objectives
To allow the student an in-depth examination of the art and/or architecture of a single ancient culture not covered at length by the lesson material.
From the list below, select one culture as your topic. As soon as you have selected one, let me know your choice. There are only two students permitted for any one topic, so first come, first served. Use the Wiki to sign up.
List of Ancient Non-Western Cultures:
Islamic Art
Art of South and Southeast Asia (Not including India)
Art of the Indian Subcontinent
Art of Sri Lanka
Aboriginal Art of Australia
Chinese Art
Japanese Art
Art of the Americas (North, South or Central)
African Art
You may pick another culture than the ones suggested here, but all topics must be approved before beginning your project.
The area you choose to cover is largely at your discretion, but please contact the professor if you are overwhelmed by the amount of material, or are finding it hard to gather enough material, or just generally feel you need assistance in starting, organizing, or with any other issue. Feel free to narrow down your topic as you see fit.
For larger projects it is almost always best to start with a tight focus and expand outwards, rather than try the opposite approach. (For instance, the topic of ‘Ancient Chinese Art’ would seem daunting and might cause one to become overwhelmed, uncertain, and to freeze up. But, if you narrowed it down to ‘Ancient Chinese print making’, you could get started quickly. If you feel your topic doesn’t have enough material (which is almost never the case), then you could add the topic of ‘comparing prints from different Chinese provinces’, etc. In that way, you can expand outwards slowly and as needed.
The assignment should be approximately 2000 words, and may contain as many images as are required to visually illustrate and accentuate your argument.
Because this course deals with ancient art, you may study any art in your selected country or area from its very earliest beginnings up until approximately 1400 CE (make sure you notice this says CE and not BCE). Depending on the culture (Japan, for instance) you may need to push the date forward a little, but please inform me before you do.
Your information should be in proper sentence and paragraph structure, and use APA or MLA style citation. ALL sources must be put into a bibliography and cited in the essay where applicable. Save file as: ARTH110_Essay__lastname_firstname.pdf
Special instructions: As a prudent precaution, always email me the document after uploading to webcampus. This lessens the possibility of a tech mishap.

Activity/Competencies Demonstrated
% of Final Grade
Research (40%)

a. research and use of outside sources

b. specific artwork chosen as examples and explored through cross comparison, details of work given (eg date, medium etc.)

c. well-chosen quotations presented

d. correct use of APA formats (in text citations and list of reference, title page)

Thinking and Analysis (35%)

a. Presents a carefully thought out and narrow thesis statement

b. critical analysis of artworks

c. synthesis of culture and context

Communication (25%)

a. clarity of writing

b. organization of ideas

c. correct spelling and grammar


Assignment Value (%): 30%


Japanese Art
Yorkville University
ARTH110 Essay
Japanese art shows close relations between artistic creation and a deep philosophical intuition of reality. Zen Buddhism, which was spread by Bodhidharma (Daruma in Japan), influenced various facets of Japanese culture and artistic expressions in painting, poetry, architecture, garden art and even tea ceremonies. In Zen Buddhism, emptiness is the primary source of meaning, fullness, beauty and vital expansion, where emptiness gives rise to different things (Kleiner, 2013). In Japan, art requires more effort and attention more than in China, even as China had a profound impact on Japan’s culture. Similar to other arts in Asian cultures, the aesthetics are closely linked with the sacred elements. Buddhism and to a lesser extent Shintoism influenced Japanese art for centuries as there was representation of Buddhist themes and Chinese art styles.
Many of the earliest Japanese paintings were in ceramics and murals painted with simple geometric designs. However, there were major changes in the artist style and expressions when paintings were made on scrolls and silk and characterized by being accompanied by texts from Chinese literature. Japanese art has various styles and genres, and Japanese paintings were initially an imitation of the Chinese and Koreans techniques but gradually this changed over time where Japanese indigenous characters were used to make more aesthetic artworks. The black ink wash painting style (sumi-e) was introduced in Japan by Chinese Zen Buddhist monks in the 14th century (Mason 2005). Even as there were changes in artistic styles Buddhist beliefs and artistic expressions were represented in different eras.

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