The art of monochrome ink painting
The large-scale introduction of Chinese ink paintings and techniques began in the mid-Kamakura period (1185-1333), triggering the production of paintings based on brushstroke delivery and tonal gradations of ink in Japan. These paintings were referred to as kanga (lit. Chinese paintings) as opposed to the conventional yamato-e (lit. Japanese paintings), which placed greater emphasis on the craft of color application. Kanga occupied an increasingly important place in Japanese culture with the rise and spread of Zen Buddhism. Not all kanga or ink paintings were monochromatic, but works recreating space and light solely with gradations of black and white nevertheless represent the quintessence of the art of ink painting.