• SHARE

March 1-26

Girl’s fashion in Tokyo’s Harajuku district has become a notable symbol of contemporary Japanese kawaii (cute) culture. However, it may come as a surprise to find out that the roots of kawaii trends are far older.

On show at Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art are a number of prints and paintings that focus on the many women’s styles of the Edo Period (1603 to 1868) — a time when fashion was expressive and could help identify a woman’s status or profession.

jo prostitutes, for example, wore particularly elaborate garments, machi musume (city girls) veered toward the casual and himegimi (princesses) focused on elegance. So powerful a tool of expression was clothing that the government even banned several of the more daring trends of kimono, accessories and makeup.

Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art; 1-10-10 Jingumae Shibuya-ku, Tokyo. Harajuku Stn. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. ¥700. Closed Mon. 03-5777-8600; www.ukiyoe-ota-muse.jp

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)