Professional / Visual Arts & Film Studies Essay


Film, Photography and Visual Arts in Contemporary Japan

Today, the world is beginning to adopt different measures to explore and showcase different art forms and techniques. We’ve considerably improved in all we do and also begun to incorporate new systems into our art forms, thereby gradually building them to become what we can subset into objects of all-round critical appreciations and evaluations.

In recent years, the world has begun to assent the different art forms of many countries in Asia, and Japan’s not left out. Film, photography and visual arts are three of the most important art forms that have received most of the attention universally. And, like many diverse local art forms, the Japanese film, photography, and visual arts have evolved over the years to become unique regeneration and better representation of arts and designs.

In this article, we’ll be individually exploring each of these art forms one after the other; the film, photography and visual arts of the contemporary Japanese community; how they developed in time; and particularly, how they form the perfect representation for the Japanese society and lifestyle.

The Japanese film industry started about 100 years ago, probably after the arrival of the first cameraman, a foreigner that came in 1877. The cinema of Japan is one of the oldest in the world. Films have continued to be produced and reproduced since the introduction of the kinetoscope, an ancient motion picture device, by Thomas Edison in November 1896.

Among all the contemporary film industries in the world, it is also viewed as one of the largest in the world, with a massive box office gross of ¥222.511 billion, about 2.09 billion dollars in 2018.

The Japanese film industry is also said, by many historians, to have started a long time before the said time it was generally known to have started because theater and art is not a separate form from the rich cultures of the Japanese people. It is believed that the industry must have started from the days of the prehistoric magic lantern when the narratives by the benshi storytellers were displayed with music accompanying them in the background.

However, after the introduction of sound into their culture in the early times of 1930, the benshi tradition declined and, gradually, the cinema began to change.

Today, the movies being produced and exhibited in Japan have gradually increased in number over the years. The industry has now gained international acclaim that its movies are now presently being shown in different regions around the world.

One of the most successful film production of this industry is the anime or animation. After its introduction in the 1960s, it has continued to increase and is now presently showcased as one of the unique art forms of Japanese heritage. As a result of the success in animation, many of the national interests of Japan has also increased. The anime media has developed to become a ubiquitous franchise. There’s been the continuous dispersion of media contents with the anime, and this spans different media like mobile phones, games, virtual reality tech and so on.

Photography or Shashin (that is, to reproduce truths) in Japan began in the 19th century. It culminated with the emergence of modernism and has evolved to become a prominent art form in the present Japanese society.

You can't separate photography from the Japanese lifestyle. Even though the camera was imported by a Dutch ship to Nagasaki, world photography has been led by many Japanese photographers like Kansuke Yamamoto, Hiroshi Hamaya and the likes. It has also grown over the years to become a native art form that every Japanese now recognizes as a quite central fragment 0f their traditions and culture.

At the moment, Japan is even regarded as the photography capital of the world. Why? Because of most of the producers of the different camera devices that are produced in the country. Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Sony and so on, are some of the best cameras in the world, and they all originate from Japan.

Photography has moved from the reflection of truths to what it is presently, the representation of the Japanese peoples’ life and style. Many of its contemporary photographers have rejected the notion of editing in photography claiming that photography must present truths as it is with no additions or embellishments.

There’s been the exploration of different photography arts and styles by young photographers, with inspiration from world photographers who occupy the front row in the industry.

Japanese photography is considered as a whole system, via which photographers express themselves, present reality in various forms, decrypt and empirically evaluate it. Photography in Japan has been a perpetual investigation into realities and truths and an interminable reservation of events and incidents as they occur.

Japanese art covers a wide range of forms, pottery, painting, sculpturing, ceramics, origami, manga, which includes modern Japanese comics and costumes and so in. These forms are characterized by unique polarities. They have also been successfully blended with other art forms like photography and film to present a modern culture of artistic representation and presentation.

Since the modern periodFilm, Photography and Visual Arts in Contemporary Japan, there has been an age-old universal interest in the contemporary visual art culture of the Japanese. This is as a result of its unique expression and representation of modernity. The nationalistic feature has also contributed to the contemporary popularity it has.

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