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The Meiji Era is considered to mark one of the low points of ukiyo-e, Japan’s distinctive art of woodblock prints. This, however, is not apparent from the current exhibition at the Ota Memorial Museum.

Titled “Ukiyo-e at the Turn of the 20th Century,” the exhibition has quite a wide focus, ranging from the late Edo Period to the early Showa Era. This was a time when Japan lost confidence in itself and turned its back on many of its traditions in a desperate effort to catch up with the Western nations. As it regained confidence, the country turned once again to cherish its traditions.

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