Sumi-e is an ink painting. In the Japanese language, "Sumi" means ink and "e" means painting. Ink is painted on washi (rice paper) using brushes, and sometimes subtle watercolor is added. Ink painting was brought from China to Japan six hundred years ago by Zen Buddhist monks, and Japanese ink painting traditions and innovations then developed. In North America, Sumi-e is practiced by artists from many cultural backgrounds, and Sumi-e continues to grow as a creative art form.