The Japanese culture has evolved greatly over the millennia, from the country's prehistoric Jômon period (ca 11.000 BCE to ca 300 BCE), to its contemporary hybrid culture, which combines influences from Asia, Europe and North America. The inhabitants of Japan experienced long periods of relative isolation from the outside world.
Japanese is the official and primary language of Japan. Japanese is relatively small but has a lexically distinct pitch-accent system.
Japanese is written with a combination of three scripts: "hirigana", derived from the Chinese cursive script, "katakana", derived as a shorthand from the Chinese characters, and "kanji", imported from China.
Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture, ink painting and calligraphy on silk and paper, ukiyo-e paintings ("pictures of the floating world"), woodblock prints, kirigami (variation of origami), origami (paper folding), and more recently manga (modern Japanese cartooning and comics).
It has a long history, ranging from the beginnings of human habitation in Japan, sometime in the 10th millennium BC, to the present.
Historically, Japan has been subject to sudden invasions of new ideas followed by long periods of minimal contact with the outside world. Over time, the Japanese developed the ability to absorb, imitate and finally assimilate those elements of foreign culture that complemented their aesthetic preferences.
PAINTING is their preferred artistic expression. Until modern times, the Japanese wrote with a brush rather than a pen, and their familiarity with brush techniques has made them particularly sensitive to the values and aesthetics of painting.
Japanese CERAMICS are among the finest in the world and include the earliest known artifacts of their culture.
In ARCHITECTURE, Japanese preferences for natural materials and an interaction of interior and exterior space are clearly expressed.
CALLIGRAPHY: the flowing, brush drawn Japanese rendering of text itself is seen as a traditional art form as well as a means of conveying written information. The written work can consist of phrases, poems, stories or even single characters. The style and format of the writing can mimic the subject matter, even to the point of texture and stroke speed. In some cases it can take over a hundred attempts to produce the desired effect of a single character, but the process of creating the work is considered as much an art as the end product itself. This calligraphy form is known as "shodô" or more commonly known as "shûji"
Sources: Wikipedia / site 123RF-set-of-japanese-symbols-vector.jpg