The Landscape Guide

Periods in the history of Japanese art

Heian: Konin and Jogan 784-897 Japanese art was strongly influenced by China, though the influence is likely to have come via Korea. Nara was the capital of Japan after 710. It had magnificent wooden temples and bronze sculpture. The capital was moved to Kyoto in 795.
Heian: Fujiwara 897-1185 Japanese art began to separate itself from that of China. The Tale of Genji (by Musasaki Shikibu, 987-1031) depicts the place of garden art in a refined culture.  Zen Buddhism influenced painting and other arts.
Kamakura 1185-1332 The great period of religious sculpture ended with the Kamakura period. The capital was at Kamakura, 200 miles north of Kyoto. Knights (samurai) took control of the country from the nobles.
Ashikaga (or Muromachi) 1333-1573 The capital returned to Kyoto. Ink painting flourished.
Momoyama 1573-1615 An age of luxury in which art grew apart from religion.
Tokugawa (or Edo)
(or Tugugawa)
1615-1868 The capital moved to Tokyo (which was formerly known as Edo). Japan was isolated from the outside world and took on a uniquely national character. The colour print became a notable  art form. Lacquer, textiles and porcelain manufacture flourished.