This image typifies the Japanese School of Art, a genre exuding ethereal grace and delicate, luminous colors. Japan’s earliest art was strongly influenced by Buddhism, and for many centuries, both religious and secular art flourished. Until modern times, the Japanese wrote with a brush instead of a pen, making them particularly sensitive to the aesthetics of painting. Japan also transformed ukiyo-e, or woodblock printing, into a major art form. Today, Japanese artists are major players on the international contemporary art scene.