MAU Art & Design Glossary




Contrasted with a shitazu (a sketch), a honga is a completed work created with Japanese paints on material such as washi.

There are various stages in the creation process of a single Japanese painting : the sketch, first draft, second draft, and finished version (honga). The sketch, first draft, and second draft—incomplete in themselves—are preparatory steps toward the final version. The honga is the finalized image that the painter creates. When dealing with the final version alone, people normally use the title of the work for the honga without putting the word “honga” in the name. Honga is a synonym for the French word tableau, which refers to the final version of, for example, an oil painting.


  • Creating a Japanese painting