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Although its aesthetic origin originally came from China, nihonga (Japanese-style painting) developed into a style of its own through its focus on motifs deep-rooted in Japanese culture. Bijin-ga (paintings of beautiful women) and sansui-ga (landscape painting) in particular present subjects familiar to Japanese.

After the Meiji Restoration of 1868, artworks imported from Europe also began to influence painting in Japan, most notably through their introduction of portrait and still-life painting.

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