Commonly confused with calligraphy is the art form known as 'sumi-e' (墨絵), literally meaning 'ink painting', which is the art of painting a scene or object.
Painting has been an art in Japan for a very long time: the brush is a traditional writing and painting tool, and the extension of that to its use as an artist's tool was probably natural.
Schools of painting such as the Kano school of the 16th century became known for their bold brush strokes and contrast between light and dark, especially after Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu began to use this style.
Famous Japanese painters include Kanō Sanraku, Maruyama Ōkyo, and Tani Bunchō.
In Shintoism, followers believe that kami, a Shinto deity or spirit, are present throughout nature, including rocks, trees, and mountains. One of the goals of Shintoism is to maintain a connection between humans, nature, and kami.
The religion developed in Japan prior to the sixth century CE, after which point followers built shrines to worship kami.
The Japanese word kimono means "something one wears" and they are the traditional garments of Japan.
Originally, the word kimono was used for all types of clothing, but eventually, it came to refer specifically to the full-length garment also known as the naga-gi, meaning "long-wear", that is still worn today on special occasions by women, men, and children.
Japanese painters are often categorized by what they painted, as most of them constrained themselves solely to subjects such as animals, landscapes, or figures.
Chinese papermaking was introduced to Japan around the 7th century. Native Japanese painting techniques are still in use today, as well as techniques adopted from continental Asia and from the West.