Japanese People Famous Artists from Japan

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This list of popular Japanese artists includes biographical information and photos. 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 expression. 

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 their place of birth.

Among the most well known Japanese artists are "Superflat" movement founder Takashi Murakami and psychedelic-style infinity room creator Yayoi Kusama. Perhaps the best  known Japanese woman artist is Yoko Ono, a multimedia artist, activist, and widow of former Beatle John Lennon. Other Japanese artist examples include Nobuyoshi Araki and Kou Yaginuma.

For further information on these historic artists from Japan, click on their names. If you're a fine art lover, use this list of celebrated Japanese artists to discover new work that you will enjoy. Make sure to also check out famous artists from South Korea and famous artists from Singapore.

1
Yoko Ono is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoko Ono Play it by Trust, My Mommy is Beautiful 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. ...more

2
Hiroshi Sasagawa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hiroshi Sasagawa Hiroshi Sasagawa is a creator of several anime and manga series. His name is romanized in some sources as Hiroshi Sasakawa.

3
Yayoi Kusama is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yayoi Kusama No. F, Ascension of Polka Dots, No. IZ Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art, and environmental ...more

4
Osamu Tezuka is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Osamu Tezuka 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 ...more

5
Takashi Murakami is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Takashi Murakami 727 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 ...more

6
Leiji Matsumoto is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Leiji Matsumoto Leiji Matsumoto is a well-known creator of several anime and manga series. His wife Miyako Maki is also known as a manga artist.

7
Namio Harukawa is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Namio Harukawa 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 ...more

8
Kazuo Koike is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Kazuo Koike Kazuo Koike is a prolific Japanese manga writer, novelist and entrepreneur.

9
Yu Watase is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yu Watase Yu Watase is a female Japanese shōjo manga artist.

10
Katsuhiro Otomo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Katsuhiro Otomo 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 ...more

11
Makoto Raiku is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Makoto Raiku Makoto Raiku is a screenwriter.

12
Nobuyoshi Araki is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Nobuyoshi Araki Untitled [Reticulated image of Buildings], [Nude Woman holding Bottle] from the series Pseudo-Reportage, Untitled [Young Woman in Elevator] Nobuyoshi Araki is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist. He is also known by the nickname Arākī.

13
Tatsuo Yoshida is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Tatsuo Yoshida Tatsuo Yoshida was a Japanese cartoonist, writer and anime pioneer who founded the anime studio Tatsunoko Productions. Born in 1932, Yoshida grew up in the hardship of war-torn Japan. A ...more

14
Gosho Aoyama is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Gosho Aoyama Gosho Aoyama, born Yoshimasa Aoyama on June 21, 1963 in Hokuei, Tottori Prefecture, Japan is a Japanese manga artist. He is the creator of the manga series Detective Conan.

15
Hiro Mashima is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hiro Mashima Hiro Mashima is a Japanese manga artist. He gained success with his first serial Rave, published in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from 1999 to 2005. His currently ongoing Fairy Tail, ...more

16
Kazuki Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Kazuki Takahashi Kazuki Takahashi is a Japanese manga artist and game creator, best known for creating Yu-Gi-Oh!.

17
Yoshitomo Nara is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoshitomo Nara Light My Fire 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.

18
Yoshitaka Amano is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoshitaka Amano 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 ...more

19
Shotaro Ishinomori is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Shotaro Ishinomori 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 ...more

20
Masashi Kishimoto is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Masashi Kishimoto 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 ...more

21
Shūji Terayama is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Shūji Terayama 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 ...more

22
Akira Toriyama is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Akira Toriyama 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 ...more

23
Masami Kurumada is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Masami Kurumada 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 ...more

24
Rumiko Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Rumiko Takahashi 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 ...more

25
Hiroshi Takahashi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hiroshi Takahashi Hiroshi Takahashi is a Japanese manga artist.

26
Masakazu Katsura is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Masakazu Katsura Masakazu Katsura is a Japanese manga artist, known for several works of manga, including Wing-man, Shadow Lady, DNA², Video Girl Ai, I"s and Zetman. He has also worked as character ...more

27
Yoshinobu Nishizaki is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoshinobu Nishizaki Yoshinobu Nishizaki was a Japanese film producer best known as one of the two co-creators of the anime series Space Battleship Yamato. He was sometimes credited as Yoshinori Nishizaki. He was ...more

28
Hiroshi Sugimoto is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hiroshi Sugimoto Sea of Japan, Oki V, Canton Palace Hiroshi Sugimoto, born on February 23, 1948, is a Japanese photographer currently dividing his time between Tokyo, Japan and New York City, United States. His catalogue is made up of a number of ...more

29
Hiroshige is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hiroshige View of Mount Fuji from Satta Point in the Suruga Bay, The Evening Rain at Karasaki, Plum Estate Utagawa Hiroshige, also Andō Hiroshige was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, considered the last great master of that tradition. Hiroshige is best known for his landscapes, such as the series The ...more

30
Koji Morimoto is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Koji Morimoto Koji Morimoto, born December 26, 1959 is one of Japan’s premier anime directors.

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Go Nagai is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Go Nagai Kiyoshi Nagai, better known by the penname Go Nagai, is a Japanese manga artist and a prolific author of science fiction, fantasy, horror and erotica. He made his professional debut in 1967 with ...more

32
Maria Yamamoto is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Maria Yamamoto Maria Yamamoto is a Japanese voice actress and singer.

33
Eiichiro Oda is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Eiichiro Oda Eiichiro Oda is a Japanese manga artist, best known for his manga series One Piece. With over 345 million copies in circulation worldwide, One Piece is the best-selling manga series of all time. ...more

34
Oh! great is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Oh! great Ito Ōgure, known professionally as Oh! great, is a Japanese manga artist most recognized for the manga series Tenjho Tenge and Air Gear. In 2006, he received the Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen ...more

35
Yoshitoshi is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoshitoshi Inaba Mountain Moon, Fukami Jikyu, Hazy-night Moon Tsukioka Yoshitoshi was a Japanese artist. He is widely recognized as the last great master of the ukiyo-e genre of woodblock printing and painting. He is also regarded as one of the form's ...more

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Hideo Yamamoto is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hideo Yamamoto Hideo Yamamoto is a Japanese manga artist best known for the manga series Ichi the Killer and the series, Homunculus. Recurring themes in his manga are crime, sexual deviations, and the human

37
Hiromu Arakawa is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Hiromu Arakawa Hiromu Arakawa is a Japanese manga artist from Hokkaidō. She is best known for the manga Fullmetal Alchemist, which became a hit both domestically and internationally, and was later adapted into ...more

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Yoshikazu Yasuhiko is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko Yoshikazu Yasuhiko is a Japanese animator and manga artist in the anime industry. Born in Engaru, Hokkaidō, Yasuhiko dropped out of Hirosaki University and was hired by Osamu Tezuka's Mushi ...more

39
Masamune Shirow is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Masamune Shirow Masamune Shirow is the pen name of Japanese manga artist Masanori Ota. The pen name is derived from the legendary sword-smith Masamune. Shirow is best known for the manga Ghost in the Shell, ...more

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Chiho Aoshima is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Chiho Aoshima City Glow, Mountain Whisper, Mujina Chiho Aoshima is a Japanese pop artist and member of Takashi Murakami's Kaikai Kiki Collective. Aoshima graduated from Department of Economics, Hosei University, Tokyo. She had a residency at ...more

41
Monkey Punch is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Monkey Punch Monkey Punch is the pen name of Japanese manga artist Kazuhiko Katō, best known for his series Lupin III. In April 2005 he became the professor of Manga Animation at Otemae University, in their ...more

42
Kiyohiko Azuma is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Kiyohiko Azuma Kiyohiko Azuma is a Japanese manga author and artist. In his manga he writes under the hiragana form of his name, which has led some non-Japanese-speakers to confuse him for a woman. He used to ...more

43
Ikki Kajiwara is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Ikki Kajiwara Ikki Kajiwara was a Japanese author, manga writer, and film producer, also known under the pseudonym Asao Takamori. His real name is Asaki Takamori. The pseudonym was used since he was writing ...more

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Aya Takano is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Aya Takano Aya Takano is a Japanese Superflat artist, manga artist, and science fiction essayist.

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Yoshihiro Tatsumi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yoshihiro Tatsumi Yoshihiro Tatsumi was a Japanese manga artist who is widely credited with starting the gekiga style of alternative comics in Japan, having allegedly coined the term in 1957. His work has been ...more

46
On Kawara is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
On Kawara March 16, 1993, from the Today Series On Kawara was a Japanese conceptual artist who lived in New York City from 1965. He took part in many solo and group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale in 1976.

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Yokoyama Taikan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Yokoyama Taikan Yokoyama Taikan was the pseudonym of a major figure in pre-World War II Japanese painting. He is notable for helping create the Japanese painting technique of Nihonga. His real name was Sakai ...more

48
Shungiku Uchida is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Shungiku Uchida Shigeko Uchida, known by the pen name Shungicu Uchida, is a Japanese manga artist, novelist, essayist, actress, and singer.

49
Mitsuteru Yokoyama is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Mitsuteru Yokoyama Mitsuteru Yokoyama was a Japanese manga artist born in Suma-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo. His personal name was originally spelled Mitsuteru, with the same pronunciation. His works include Tetsujin ...more

50
Itō Jakuchū is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Itō Jakuchū Mandarin Ducks in Snow, The Buddha Śākyamuni, Bodhisattva Mañjuśrī Itō Jakuchū was a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period when Japan had closed its doors to the outside world. Many of his paintings concern traditionally Japanese subjects, particularly ...more