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Bishōjo (beautiful young girls) are familiar characters of contemporary Japanese pop culture, featured widely in manga and anime, such as “Sailor Moon” and the more recent “Pretty Cure” series. But Japan’s fascination with illustrating cute girls has a longer history than you may imagine.

From traditional Edo Period (1603-1868) ukiyo-e prints to Showa Era (1926-1989) Kirin beer ads and Osamu Tezuka’s Takarazuka-theater-influenced “Ribbon Knight” manga, the Iwami Art Museum has brought together more than 300 works of bishōjo by nearly 100 artists. A special animated adaptation of writer Osamu Dazai’s 1939 novel “Joseito” (“Schoolgirl”), directed by Shigeyoshi Tsukahara, is also being screened exclusively for this exhibition; Dec. 13- Feb. 16.

Iwami Art Museum; 5-15 Ariake-cho, Masuda, Shimane. Masuda Stn. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. ¥1,000. Closed Tue. 0856-31-1860; www.bishojo.info

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