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The Japanese term, can be translated as, appropriation, emulation, inspiration, attribution, etc. However, the word Utsushi encompasses the meanings found in all the terms mentioned. An Utsushi can be a work where an artist is inspired by a traditional motif and incorporates the design in a work of art or the artist is emulating a masterpiece of the past to surpass the original subtly.

In Japan today, the meaning found in the term Utsushi is slowly fading and being misinterpreted or wrongly associated with the term, which means to copy or reproduce. Utsushi is simply not copying or reproducing a masterpiece or motif from the past. Instead, Utsushi promotes a dialogue between the artist and the masters of the past, connecting past, present, and future.