From Oriental art he took the typical curved line and the black-and-white contrasts. His motifs--birds, animals, plants--are also often from the Oriental tradition. On the other hand, his use of light and shadow is clearly from Western art.
One day he was on the tram in Kyoto as it went past the temple. As he briefly saw the pagoda, a very special light shone on it, and he made this mental image that he later set down on canvas.