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.

Yoko Ono is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Photo:  Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

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. They reunited in 1953, and after some time at Sarah Lawrence College, she became involved in New York City's downtown artists scene, including the Fluxus group. She first met Lennon in 1966 at her own art exhibition in London, and they became a couple in 1968. Ono and Lennon famously used their honeymoon as a stage for public protests against the Vietnam War with their Bed-Ins for Peace in ...more

Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan

Nationality: Japan

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Hiroshi Sasagawa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Photo: via Tumblr
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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

Birthplace: Aizuwakamatsu, Japan

Nationality: Japan

Yayoi Kusama is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
Photo: Freebase/Public domain

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 installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde. Born in Matsumoto, Nagano into an ...more

Birthplace: Chūbu region, East Asia, Nagano Prefecture, Honshu, Asia, + more

Nationality: Japan

Art Forms: Sculpture, Installation art, Painting, Drawing

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Osamu Tezuka is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
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 titles as "the father of manga", "the god of manga", and "kamisama of manga". Additionally, he is often credited as the "godfather of anime" and is considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during Tezuka's formative years. ...more

Birthplace: Japan, Toyonaka

Nationality: Japan

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