This article explores the cultural association of modality in relation to Japanese art. It identifies the modality configurations between a set of Superflat images by Takashi Murakami and a set of Edo era images by three seventeenth and eighteenth century painters. The analytical framework employed in this study is Kress and van Leeuwen’s concept of the modality of images, which was developed in their book Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design (2006 ). A focus on modality allows for a bottom-up investigation of the key aesthetic elements that act as a visual foundation for the images. The research reveals aesthetic similarities between the two sets of images and shows potential for creating historical andcultural associations with an artist’s determined manipulation of certain modality features within images.