Since VOLTAIRE declared CONFUCIUS superior to catholicism : the influence of the Orient grew until the nineteenth century's JAPANISMO became the greatest NON-European influence over Aesthetics and Painters (ARTISTS).
Influencing the French Barbizon Painters and then Courbet. In England the influences became obvious in the works of the American Ex-Patriot James Whistler. But it wasn't until the French IMPRESSIONISTS that the JAPANESE influence began to become enormous. The Lone Wolf Dutch 'genius' VINCENT VAN GOGH took the JAPANESE 'genius' closest to Heart & Soul! VAN GOGH's Buddhist 'wunderlust' parallels the figure from the popular 1970's television show : "KUNG-FU". The main character, Kwai Chang Caine, has left China in the 19th century and travels through America from place to place :: as did VAN GOGH traveling through Europe in the 19th century :: on a spiritual and aesthetic quest which came to transcend the moral stagnation and boiled in oil posturing of a materialist-capitalist preadolescent America blindly searching for an IDENTITY. Which it will eventually find in it's production-line consumerism of conspicuous consumerism that becomes it's backdrop to MODERNISM. The conveyor-belt assembly-line became the absurdist insanity of a culture seeking luxury and leisure as the new Status for it's desires for an increasingly narcotic disconnection from the very consumptive mechanistic hell it was driving itself into. Like the proverbial giants of the Dinosaur Age falling into line and single file to wander mindlessly into the tarpits of oblivion. Thank Gawd our scientists discovered it wasn't some mass suicidal compulsion like grounding whales; but a multi-hydrogen bomb effect created by an astroid which created part of the Gulf of Mexico, that probably killed off the Dinosaurs.
Then no thanks to our over-credited Gawd symbolism; the Modern scientist did follow in some mindless solemn procession ( J. Robert Oppenheimer) to recreate such a hydrogen bomb effect to bring the human race :: and only by association :: the rest of all life on the Planet Earth to the brink of nuclear extinction. HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI are the only events that literally "trump" the gas chambers of the NAZI German extermination camps.
But luckily for the young Americans and the 20th Centuries penchant for ORWELLIAN "rationalizations" ( Americans avoid these truths by getting mad at how the JAPANESE belittle their atrocities to the mainland Chinese) ; Americans cannot possibly be placed in the same catagory as those nasty Nazis. They were crazy! Only after HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI, how do we explain the two to six million ( ?? ) exterminated in Viet Nam, Cambodia, and East Timor ? So much for the superior influence of aesthetics from the FAR EAST.