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Japanese painters are often categorized by what they painted, as most of them constrained themselves solely to subjects such as animals, landscapes, or figures.
In some cases, it can take over one 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 'shodō' (書道) which literally means 'the way of writing or calligraphy' or more commonly known as 'shūji' (習字) 'learning how to write characters'.
The ultimate goal was to escape the cycle of death and rebirth by attaining true insight.
The Japanese "national character" has been written about under the term Nihonjinron, literally meaning "theories/discussions about the Japanese people" and referring to texts on matters that are normally the concerns of sociology, psychology, history, linguistics, and philosophy, but emphasizing the authors' assumptions or perceptions of Japanese exceptionalism; these are predominantly written in Japan by Japanese people, Early works of Japanese literature were heavily influenced by cultural contact with China and Chinese literature, often written in Classical Chinese.
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 the religion a person's status was unimportant, as every person would get sick, age, die, and eventually be reincarnated into a new life, a cycle called saṃsāra.
The suffering people experienced during life was one way for people to gain a better future.
Ukiyo-e, literally "pictures of the floating world", is a genre of woodblock prints that exemplifies the characteristics of pre-Meiji Japanese art.
Because these prints could be mass-produced, they were available to a wide cross-section of the Japanese populace—those not wealthy enough to afford original paintings—during their heyday, from the 17th to 20th century. It has gained widespread international fame for its focus on harmony, color use, rhythm, and elegantly simple design.