Culture 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
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
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 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
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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 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 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 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 is a female Japanese shōjo manga artist.

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

12
Nobuyoshi Araki is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Artists from Japan
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 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, 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 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
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 is a Japanese manga artist.