This museum collects contemporary Nihonga works from Japanese painters born after the start of the Showa era (1926). Nihonga is a term and concept that was created in response to Western painting (or "seiyoga"), which first made its way to Japan during the Meiji era (beginning 1868). Prior to that, the concept of Nihonga did not exist, and the styles of Japanese painting were divided into schools (the Kano school, the Maruyama-Shijo school, Yamato-e, and others). Since the arrival of Western painting in Japan during the Meiji era, those schools have been blended and fused together along with elements of Western painting, creating what we now know as Nihonga. Today, the term "Nihonga" can refer to both traditional Japanese painting, and new styles of work that incorporate Western painting methods while carrying on the traditional techniques of Japanese painting. Although Nihonga does not refer to any single defined style of painting, the concept generally includes paintings on substrates such as wood, hemp, silk, and paper, with coloring materials such as mineral pigments and other natural colorants that are bound with glue.