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Famous Artists from Japan

Updated August 30, 2019 100.4k views627 items

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 Ono1

    Yoko Ono

    Play it by Trust, My Mommy is Beautiful

    BirthplaceEast Asia, Tokyo, Asia, Japan


    Yoko Ono (born February 18, 1933) is a Japanese-American multimedia artist, singer, songwriter... more on Wikipedia

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  • Hiroshi Sasagawa2

    Hiroshi Sasagawa

    Hiroshi Sasagawa (笹川 ひろし, Sasagawa Hiroshi, born July 9, 1936) is a creator of several anime... more on Wikipedia
  • Yayoi Kusama3

    Yayoi Kusama

    No. F, Ascension of Polka Dots

    BirthplaceMatsumoto, Japan


    Art FormsSculpture, Installation art, Painting, Drawing

    Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生, Kusama Yayoi, born 22 March 1929) is a Japanese contemporary artist who... more on Wikipedia
  • Osamu Tezuka4

    Osamu Tezuka

    Osamu Tezuka (Japanese: 手塚 治虫, born 手塚 治, Hepburn: Tezuka Osamu, (1928-11-03)3 November 1928... more on Wikipedia
  • Takashi Murakami5

    BirthplaceItabashi, Tokyo, Japan


    Art FormsSculpture, Painting

    Takashi Murakami (村上 隆, Murakami Takashi, born February 1, 1962) is a Japanese contemporary... more on Wikipedia
  • Leiji Matsumoto6
    Leiji Matsumoto (松本零士, Matsumoto Reiji, born Akira Matsumoto 松本晟, January 25, 1938 in Kurume,... more on Wikipedia
  • Namio Harukawa7
    Namio Harukawa is a Japanese artist known for his realistic femdom erotica drawings. He... more on Wikipedia
  • Kazuo Koike8
    Kazuo Koike (小池 一夫, Koike Kazuo, May 8, 1936 – April 17, 2019) was a prolific Japanese manga... more on Wikipedia
  • Yu Watase9
    Yuu Watase (渡瀬 悠宇, Watase Yuu, born March 5, 1970, in Kishiwada, Osaka) is a Japanese shōjo... more on Wikipedia
  • Katsuhiro Otomo10
    Katsuhiro Otomo (大友 克洋, Ōtomo Katsuhiro, born April 14, 1954) is a Japanese manga artist,... more on Wikipedia
  • Makoto Raiku11
    Makoto Raiku (雷句誠, Raiku Makoto, born 23 August 1974 in Gifu, Japan) is a manga artist whose... more on Wikipedia
  • Nobuyoshi Araki12

    Nobuyoshi Araki

    Untitled [Reticulated image of Buildings], [Nude Woman holding Bottle] from the series Pseudo-Reportage

    BirthplaceJapan, Tokyo


    Nobuyoshi Araki (荒木 経惟, Araki Nobuyoshi, May 25, 1940) is a Japanese photographer and... more on Wikipedia
  • Tatsuo Yoshida13
    Tatsuo Yoshida (吉田 竜夫, Yoshida Tatsuo, March 6, 1932 – September 5, 1977) was a Japanese... more on Wikipedia
  • Gosho Aoyama14
    Gosho Aoyama (青山 剛昌, Aoyama Gōshō, born June 21, 1963) is a Japanese manga artist best known... more on Wikipedia
  • Hiro Mashima15
    Hiro Mashima (真島 ヒロ, Mashima Hiro, born May 3, 1977) is a Japanese manga artist. He gained... more on Wikipedia
  • Kazuki Takahashi16

    Kazuki Takahashi

    Kazuki Takahashi (高橋 和希, Takahashi Kazuki, also known as Kazuo Takahashi (高橋 一雅, Takahashi... more on Wikipedia
  • Yoshitomo Nara17

    Yoshitomo Nara

    Light My Fire

    BirthplaceHirosaki, Japan


    Art FormsSculpture, Painting

    Yoshitomo Nara (奈良 美智, Nara Yoshitomo, born 5 December 1959 in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture,... more on Wikipedia
  • Yoshitaka Amano18
    Yoshitaka Amano (天野 喜孝 (formerly 天野 嘉孝), born March 26, 1952) is a Japanese artist, character... more on Wikipedia
  • Shotaro Ishinomori19
    Shotaro Ishinomori (石ノ森 章太郎, Ishinomori Shōtarō, 25 January 1938 – 28 January 1998) was a... more on Wikipedia
  • Masashi Kishimoto20
    Masashi Kishimoto (岸本 斉史, Kishimoto Masashi, born November 8, 1974) is a Japanese manga... more on Wikipedia

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  • Shūji Terayama21
    Shūji Terayama (寺山 修司, Terayama Shūji, December 10, 1935 – May 4, 1983) was an avant-garde... more on Wikipedia
  • Akira Toriyama22
    Akira Toriyama (鳥山 明, Toriyama Akira, born April 5, 1955) is a Japanese manga artist, game... more on Wikipedia
  • Masami Kurumada23
    Masami Kurumada (車田 正美, Kurumada Masami, born December 6, 1953) is a Japanese manga artist and... more on Wikipedia
  • Rumiko Takahashi24
    Rumiko Takahashi (高橋 留美子, Takahashi Rumiko, born October 10, 1957) is a Japanese manga artist.... more on Wikipedia
  • Hiroshi Takahashi25
    Hiroshi Takahashi (高橋 ヒロシ, Takahashi Hiroshi, born 12 December 1965) is a Japanese manga... more on Wikipedia