‘Beauties of the Late Edo and Meiji Periods’


by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Ukiyo-e “pictures of the Floating World” have traditionally included paintings and woodblock prints of landscapes, folk tales, kabuki actors and beautiful women. This exhibition focuses on women during the period following the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1868.

Under the Meiji government, the Westernization of Japanese society began to take place, which included new influences on aesthetics and fashion. While some ukiyo-e illustrators were quick to reflect the changes in their work, others rather preferred to stick to portrayals of more traditionally dressed women, perhaps as an expression of a nostalgic yearning for a style that was heading out of fashion; Feb. 1-24.

Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art; (03) 3403-0880; 1-10-10 Jingu-mae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; Harajuku Station, JR Yamanote Line. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. ¥700. Closed on Feb. 4, 12, 18. www.ukiyoe-ota-muse.jp.