Famous Artists from Japan Artists

Famous Artists from Japan

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List of the most popular artists from Japan, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries artists have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of entertainment. Whether they're known for painting, sculpting, etching or drawing, the famous Japanese artists on this list have kept that tradition alive by creating renowned pieces of art that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable Japanese artists, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

Examples include Nobuyoshi Araki and Kou Yaginuma.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous artists are from Japan?" and "Who are the most well-known Japanese artists?"

For further information on these historic Japanese artists, click on their names. If you're a fine art lover use this list of celebrated Japanese artists to discover some new paintings that you will enjoy.



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    Yoko Ono
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-2.5

    Yoko Ono, is a Japanese multimedia artist, singer, and peace activist. She is the widow and second wife of John Lennon and is also known for her work in avant-garde art, music, and filmmaking. Ono grew up in Tokyo, and studied at Gakushuin University while her family moved to the US to escape the war.more

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    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Hiroshi Sasagawa

    Hiroshi Sasagawa is a creator of several anime and manga series. His name is romanized in some sources as Hiroshi Sasakawa.more

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    • Birthplace: Aizuwakamatsu, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Osamu Tezuka
    Photo: Freebase

    Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese cartoonist, animator, film producer, and activist. Born in Osaka Prefecture, he is best known as the creator of the comics series Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion and Black Jack. His prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such ...more

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    • Birthplace: Toyonaka, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Namio Harukawa
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Namio Harukawa is a Japanese artist known for his realistic femdom erotica drawings. He created around one thousand unique drawings. Harukawa's artwork features voluptuous women with large breasts, wide hips, round buttocks and thick legs overpowering and humiliating smaller men. The women in Harukawa's ...more

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    • Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Leiji Matsumoto is a well-known creator of several anime and manga series. His wife Miyako Maki is also known as a manga artist.more

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    • Birthplace: Kurume, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Yu Watase is a female Japanese shōjo manga artist.more

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    • Birthplace: Osaka, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Kazuo Koike
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Kazuo Koike is a prolific Japanese manga writer, novelist and entrepreneur.more

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    • Birthplace: Akita Prefecture, Daisen, East Asia, Honshu, Asia, + more
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Katsuhiro Otomo
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Katsuhiro Otomo is a Japanese manga artist, screenwriter and film director. He is best known as the creator of the manga Akira and its animated film adaptation. He was decorated a Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005, promoted to Officier of the order in 2014, became the fourth ...more

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    • Birthplace: Tome, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
    • Art Forms: Manga
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    Takashi Murakami
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY

    Takashi Murakami is an internationally prolific contemporary Japanese artist. He works in fine arts media—such as painting and sculpture—as well as what is conventionally considered commercial media —fashion, merchandise, and animation— and is known for blurring the line between high and low arts. He ...more

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    • Birthplace: Itabashi, Tokyo, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Makoto Raiku is a screenwriter.more

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    • Birthplace: Gifu, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Yoshitomo Nara
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Yoshitomo Nara is a Japanese artist. He lives and works in Tokyo, though his artwork has been exhibited worldwide. Nara has had nearly 40 solo exhibitions since 1984.more

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    • Birthplace: Hirosaki, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting
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    Ryu Fujisaki

    Ryu Fujisaki is a Japanese manga artist born in Mutsu, Aomori Prefecture. He won the 39th and the 40th Tezuka Award. He made his professional manga debut with WORLDS in 1990. All of his works are published by Shueisha under their Shōnen Jump labels. He has also illustrated four light novels and released ...more

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    • Birthplace: Mutsu, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Yoshitaka Amano is a Japanese artist, character designer, illustrator and a theatre and film scenic designer and costume designer. He first came into prominence in the late 1960s working on the anime adaptation of Speed Racer. Amano later became the creator of iconic and influential characters such as ...more

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    • Birthplace: Chūbu region, East Asia, Honshu, Shizuoka, Shizuoka Prefecture, + more
    • Nationality: Japan
    • Art Forms: Sculpture, Painting, Printmaking
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    Shotaro Ishinomori
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Shotaro Ishinomori was a Japanese manga artist who became an influential figure in manga, anime, and tokusatsu, creating several immensely popular long-running series such as Cyborg 009 and Himitsu Sentai Gorenger, what would go on to become part of the Super Sentai series, and the Kamen Rider Series.more

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    • Birthplace: Tome, East Asia, Honshu, Asia, Japan, + more
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Masashi Kishimoto
    Photo: Freebase

    Masashi Kishimoto is a Japanese manga artist, well known for creating the manga series Naruto which was in serialization from 1999 to 2014. As of September 2014, the series had over 200 million copies in print worldwide. Besides the Naruto manga, Kishimoto also participated in the making of the anime ...more

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    • Birthplace: Nagi, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Shūji Terayama
    Photo: Freebase/Fair use

    Shūji Terayama was an avant-garde Japanese poet, dramatist, writer, film director, and photographer. According to many critics and supporters, he was one of the most productive and provocative creative artists to come out of Japan. He was born December 10, 1935, the only son of Hachiro and Hatsu ...more

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    • Birthplace: Aomori Prefecture, East Asia, Honshu, Hirosaki, Asia, + more
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Akira Toriyama is a Japanese manga and game artist. He first achieved mainstream recognition for his highly successful manga Dr. Slump, before going on to create Dragon Ball—his best-known work—and acting as a character designer for several popular video games such as the Dragon Quest series and Chrono ...more

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    • Birthplace: Nagoya, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Naoko Takeuchi is a Japanese manga artist. She is best known for her manga series Codename: Sailor V and Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon. She earned the 2nd Nakayoshi Comic Prize for Newcomers in 1985 for Yume ja Nai no Ne and the 1986 New Artist award for Love Call. Her next manga Sailor Moon, went on to ...more

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    • Birthplace: Kofu, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Masami Kurumada
    Photo: Freebase

    Masami Kurumada is a Japanese manga artist and writer, known for specializing in fighting manga featuring bishōnen and magical boy. He is famous as the creator/author of popular manga, such as Ring ni Kakero, Fūma no Kojirō, Saint Seiya and B't X. His male protagonists are a reflection of the classical ...more

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    • Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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    Rumiko Takahashi is a Japanese manga artist. Takahashi is one of Japan's most affluent manga artists. Her works are popular worldwide, where they have been translated into a variety of languages. Takahashi is also the best selling female comics artist in history; as of February 2010, over 170 million ...more

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    • Birthplace: Niigata, Japan
    • Nationality: Japan
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