what is nihonga
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 styles of Japanese painting were divided into schools (the Kano school, the Maruyama-Shijo school, Yamato-e, and others). After the arrival of Western painting to Japan during the Meiji era, the techniques of the various schools were been blended and fused together along with elements of Western painting - creating what we now know today 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 art forms. Although Nihonga does not refer to any single defined style, 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 organic gelatin known as nikawa-eki.