The Heian and Kamakura
ALTHOUGH few examples have been preserved, there is no doubt that the art of the landscape continued to develop rapidly during the early Heian, or Jōgan, period in the ninth century. Numerous literary references attest to this, and names of famous artists, such as Kudara no Kawanari and Kose no Kanaoka, are frequently mentioned. The former is said to have painted landscapes on the walls of the Seiryō-den of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, and the latter seems to have been primarily a landscape painter. Their work has not survived, but presumably it reflected the style of the late T'ang dynasty, a period during which important advances were made in the art of the landscape.
A turbulent civil war in China interrupted the relations between the Japanese and the T'ang court, and the influence of Chinese art gradually declined. A more native Japanese style emerged, and we are told that pure landscapes with wholly Japanese scenes were painted. In 838 the last official Japanese embassy was sent to the T'ang court, and during the next centuries there were only sporadic and individual contacts, chiefly by monks and merchants. The result of this cultural isolation was the growth in the arts