Art of the Postwar period

After the end of World War II in 1945, many artists began working in art forms derived from the international scene, moving away from local artistic developments into the mainstream of world art. But traditional Japanese conceptions endured, particularly in the use of modular space in architecture, certain spacing intervals in music and dance, a propensity for certain color combinations and characteristic literary forms.

Art from 1603 to 1945 (Edo period and Prewar period) were supported by merchants. Counter to Edo period and Prewar period, art of Postwar period was changed to the art which is supported by people as consumers. The wide variety of art forms available to the Japanese reflect the vigorous state of the arts, widely supported by the Japanese people and promoted by the government. In the 1950s and 1960s, Japan's artistic avant garde included the internationally influential Gutai group, which originated or anticipated various postwar genres such as performance art, installation art, conceptual art, and wearable art.

American art and architecture greatly influenced Japan. Though fear of earthquakes severely restricted the building of a skyscraper, technological advances let Japanese build larger and higher buildings with more artistic outlooks.

As Japan has always made little distinction between 'fine art' and 'decorative art', as the West has done since the Renaissance, it is important to note Japan's significant and unique contributions to the fields of art in entertainment, commercial uses, and graphic design. Cartoons imported from America led to anime that at first were derived exclusively from manga stories. Today, anime abounds, and many artists and studios have risen to great fame as artists; Hayao Miyazaki and the artists and animators of Studio Ghibli are generally regarded to be among the best the anime world has to offer. Japan also flourishes in the fields of graphic design, commercial art (e.g. billboards, magazine advertisements), and in video game graphics and concept art.