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Ask an art lover to name Japanese women artists active before the 20th century, and chances are they’ll draw a blank, despite the fact that many highly accomplished women were painting in far-earlier times.

Fortunately, there is now rising interest in understanding the lives and work of these women, as evidenced by a pair of linked exhibitions running in Tokyo through June 21: “Uemura Shoen and Splendid Japanese Women Artists,” at the Yamatane Museum of Art, and “Splendid Japanese Women Artists in the Edo Period,” at the Kosetsu Memorial Museum on the campus of Jissen Women’s University in Shibuya. Together, they showcase the work of more than 40 Japanese women painters born in the 17th to 19th centuries.

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