Nihonga (Japanese日本 画, German, Japanese painting) was introduced in 1890 by the American Orientalist Ernest Fenollosa and the Japanese art historian Okakura Kakuzo with the aim to preserve the traditional Japanese painting in the time of change in a modernized form. Across from her stood the Japanese western style painting, Yōga.

As characteristics of the Nihonga apply:

  • Renunciation of life depth, maximum use of parallel perspective,
  • Waiver of shade,
  • Use of (often even been touched ) Mineral colors, not oil paints.

Of course, there have been transgressions.

Yokoyama Taikan

Shimomura Kanzan

Takeuchi Seihō

Murakami Kagaku

In order to build on the traditional Japanese painting, was provided at the Nihon Bijutsu Gakko was founded in 1879 as a teacher Kanō Hōgai ( 1828-1888 ), at the time of the most important representatives of the Kano school. Due to his early death and then took his pupil Hashimoto Gaho (1835-1908) the Chair. Among his students the first hour include Taikan Yokoyama (1868-1958), Shimomura Kanzan (1873-1930) and Hishida Shunsō ( 1874-1911 ). Next are Kiyokata Kaburagi (1878-1972), Kobayashi Kokai (1883-1957), Yasuda Yukihiko (1884-1978), Maeda Seison (1885-1977) and Hayami Gyoshū (1884-1935) mentioned. All of these were with the Bunkakunshō, the highest state award, awarded in the field of culture.

In Kyoto, a separate, freer direction of Nihonga with Seihō Takeuchi (1864-1942), the painter Uemura Shoen (1875-1949) developed - both awarded the Bunkakunshō - and Tsuchida Bakusen (1887-1936), Murakami Kagaku (1888 - 1936).

The Nihonga painters have been observed also abroad. In the U.S., they were successful by teaching the art patron Isabel Gardener in Boston. 1930 there was a major exhibition in Rome, sponsored by Baron Otani. In 1931 in Berlin concluded a successful exhibition. Some of the images on display there, among others, Hayamis " Night Snow ", are now in the Museum of Asian Art in Berlin- Dahlem. Most recently, in the exhibition " Japan and Europe, 1542-1929 " in 1993 at the Martin- Gropius-Bau (Berlin), representatives of the Nihonga painting from the 1920s could be seen.

Hayami Gyoshū

The Selbsteindordnung as Nihonga or Yōga painter still happens today, but not with the earlier exclusivity. The Nihonga painting has also expanded their subject area, though the beauty of nature still takes center stage. The moderate image content should contribute to that Nihonga, eg of by his studies in Germany Higashiyama Kaii known (1908-1999), by Sugiyama Yasushi (1909-1993) or the younger Matazo Kayama (1927-2004), achieve top prices on the market that surpass that of Yōga many times.