As nearly all forms of art, early painting had been under the influence of the
Chinese culture. By and by, new and specifically Japanese styles were developed
and painting schools were established. Each school practiced their own style. But
the Chinese influence remained strong until the beginning of the Edo period (1603-
1867). There is a general term to describe painting in Japanese style - yamato-e.
After the opening of Japan to the West under the Meiji period (1868-1912), the
early years were marked by an exaggerated embracing of Western art. The newly
founded universities established departments for Western art, called Western
academic artists into the country as teachers and sent out students to study art in
Europe - mainly in France and Italy.
Hand in hand with a rising nationalism, the pendulum soon went back into the
other direction. The public opinion began to recognize the richness of the old
tradition and even condemned Western art.