Over on 2channel, Japan largest and Influential website, people have been all in tither about this bit of Japanese artistic pride below. I have to say, I was very impressed and intrigued by the comparison too.
On several different levels this is a magical Muppet moment of,
One of these things is not like the others*. →
My first thought was–Wow, the Japanese were so avant-garde in the 1700s…the 18th Century.
Using Google Image search, I was able to find out the Japanese artist was Kawanabe Kyosaii (Wiki) and the name of the artwork is “Meikyo Yamatodamashii” (), 1874. (Click to view a larger sized view of the artwork.)
Huh? Wait a minute…1874 is not the 18th Century†, it’s the 19th Century. What gives?
With little more digging on Google Image, I discovered that the above comparison of Western vs Japanese art of the so-called 18th Century, is an impassioned Japanese rebuttal to this popular Japan-is-so-weird humor post below that has been floating around as a Net meme since 2010…
What Japanese “netizens” were so incensed about was the unfair comparison of the famous caricature by Kabukido Enkyo of a kabuki actor (circa 1796), which was intensionally drawn as goofy as a cartoon of Uncle Sam.
Perhaps they were too angry to remember that the 18th Century runs from January 1, 1701 to December 31, 1800, and this unfortunately draws away from showing how advanced Kawanabe Kyosaii‘s work was for 1874.
Learn more about the sources of 18th Century Western art shown above and about the great Kawanabe Kyosaii my Comments section.