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Japanese Sculpture


Japanese sculpture draws on different influences, initially from the culture of the silk road, from Chinese culture and from the Meiji era on, of Western art. The main themes are of religious inspiration, whether Buddhist or Shinto, while the most common materials are metals and wood, often finished in lacquer, gold, or painted in bright colors. The most primitive representations are clay figures called Dogu with a crude and mysterious appearance, that could have had a ritual or religious function. In the Asuka period (552 - 710 AD), the arrival of Buddhism has an influence on the sculpture that initially shows colder features to become progressively more humanized. The following periods include the Nara Era (710 - 794 AD) where realism is more important, the Heian Period (794 - 1185 AD) which stands out for the widespread use of wood as a sculptural material and the Kamakura Era (1185 - 1392 AD) which is considered to be the era of the renaissance of sculpture in Japan. The following periods are of a certain artistic regression and we must wait for the Edo Period (1603 - 1868) for the need to rebuild the temples burned down during the civil wars to give rise to new productions, although somewhat crude.

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