Art arises either in parallel with or in response to the implicit or explicit philosophies of a culture. Aesthetics and artistic processes have traditionally varied across cultures as a result. For example, the so-called "Western" Classical music tradition which has been influential and widespread throughout much of Europe is distinctly different from the artistic traditions that existed in Japan. Indeed, Japan presents an interesting example for comparison not only because its religo-philosophy is distinct from the Christianity, but because its location resulted in long periods of isolation from other cultures. It is only comparatively recently that the culture of Japan and that of Europe (as disparate as it may be) made meaningful contact.
This essay explores how Japanese art and European art were historically distinct, as well as examining the more recent examples of how this cross-cultural contact has influenced some notable composers.