Like any island culture, Japan is special in everything. It is known that sculpture appeared here before the paintings and traditions of this art form are very ancient and ancient.
Most residents of the land of the rising sun adhere to Shinto religious beliefs. However, there are also many Buddhists here. Daibutsu - giant Buddha statues - the pride and great value of Japanese culture. The oldest of the statues (7th century AD) - Daibutsu Asuka - is made unusually realistic. The facial features of the enlightened one are full of peace and great knowledge. The work makes a strong impression, despite the fact that it has undergone restoration several times. It is surprising that this image of the Buddha is completely non-canonical, his features look unusual.
Another, no less ancient statue (8th century AD), is located in the Todai-ji temple, in the city of Nara. This sculpture is almost 15 meters high and is made in the strict aesthetics of canonical sculpture. It is known that this sculpture was designed to protect people from natural disasters and epidemics that hit Japan in the middle of the 8th century. For casting the statue was used all the bronze produced in the country. And in the construction of the temple and the production of sculpture were employed more than two million people.
Daibutsu Ushiku is the largest Buddha statue in Japan. The total height of the sculpture along with the pedestal and lotus-shaped base is 120 meters. The sculpture was installed in 1995 in the city of Ushiku, 50 kilometers from the Japanese capital. The creation of this masterpiece took about six thousand bronze plates. And the length of the eye is 2.5 meters.
Speaking of Japanese sculpture, one cannot but mention miniature works - netsuke and okimono.
Small figures designed to serve as a special keychain supporting a small box for small things that were carried with you (there are no pockets in a real kimono) are real works of art. Of all the types of netsuke, only a few can be considered sculptures - these are katabori (portraying people, animals), anabori (multi-figure compositions cut out as if between shell flaps), maine (theater masks). In fact, today it is difficult to find a real, ancient netsuke, most often in gift shops only plastic stampings are found. Although in many museums you can buy excellent copies of old netsuke for 35-40 dollars (the cost of a real collector's copy can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars).
Unlike netsuke, okimono is a carved figure for table decoration and interior decoration. Plots can be very different: the image of Shinto gods, animals, vegetables and fruits. Each sculpture is made very subtle, elegant. It is known that Gorky collected okimonos.
Modern sculpture of Japan is unusually diverse and interesting.
Hiroo Amano is one of Japan's most famous contemporary sculptors. His works are exquisite examples of surreal art.
Takashi Murakami is an example of success and popularity. His work in the style of neo-pop art has gained recognition in Europe. And the sculpture My Lonesome Cowboy was auctioned for one and a half ten million dollars.
Masayuki Nagare is a samurai artist. His sculptural composition Cloud Fortress, established in New York, was destroyed in a terrorist attack in 2001.
Kone Takamura is the author of the monument to the greatest samurai in Japan - Saigo Takamori, which was installed in one of Tokyo's parks. Powerful, strong figure, modest clothes. Only the sword on the sculpture belt speaks of the hero’s military career. Near the samurai dog, a symbol of fidelity and devotion. It is interesting that the sculptor did not portray a cold-blooded war, the hero’s face is good-natured, even cheerful.