Ukiyo-e is an example of one of the benefits of modernization. As large numbers of people moved to urban centers, they created a culture and a market for commercialized literature and art which depicted their daily lives and appealed to their interests.
Ukiyo-e developed as a form of inexpensive art which could be enjoyed by the general public— with ukiyo-e, art was no longer only for the enjoyment of the wealthy and the ruling classes. The advent of modern technology has made commercial art a part of everyone’s daily life through mass media, advertising and the mass-production of prints and photos to adorn homes and offices. Commercial art also creates a demand for artistic skills, and consequently encourages the education of artists.
The throw-away nature of ukiyo-e encouraged a less formal approach to art. Many ukiyo-e have a light-hearted, playful element which is not found in formal painting. Subject matter also became less formal, and artists began observing and recording the ordinary events which took place around them.
Western artists were inspired by the techniques and the sentiments expressed in ukiyo-e
. Japanese artists adapted elements of Western art, such as the use of perspective, to enrich the visual impact of their works.