Beautiful Women and Kimono

2023, September 1st-October 22nd

1st Term September 1st-24th
2nd Term September 30th-October 22nd

Will be closed on August 4, 11, 19, 25-29、October 2, 10, 16.

Opening Hours : 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (Last Admission: 5:00 p.m.)
Admission : Adult ¥800 / University and High school students ¥600 / Junior High School Students and below(under 15 years old) FREE


Ukiyo-e are paintings that capture the trends of the time, and an important genre within ukiyo-e are “bijin-ga”, which portray beautiful women in the latest fashions. The appearance of the kimono depicted in ukiyo-e represents the aesthetic sense back then, and also determines the impression created by the work. The Edo period, when ukiyo-e flourished, was an era when social stability and industrial development in various regions grew and fashion culture blossomed.

While various clothing, accessories, techniques, and designs were developed, ukiyo-e artists depicted these attractive items in their paintings, and as a result, excellent bijin-ga which captured the trends of the time were produced.

In this exhibition, we will introduce about 130 works from the early Edo period to the early Showa period. The changing fashions and styles of kimono over time and auspicious patterns and designs that had been beloved since ancient times as well as the history of bijin-ga will be presented. You will be able to feel the richness of Japanese culture from the portraits of women wearing patterns which each have their own history and story.

Utagawa Toyoharu “Procession of a Courtesan and Her Attendants under Cherry Blossoms” 【2nd term】

Yōshū Chikanobu “True Beauties: No.14 Schoolgirl” 【1st term】

A Lot of Excellent Works of Bijin-ga (pictures of beautiful women) 

This exhibition introduces ukiyo-e paintings and prints that depict beautiful women spanning approximately 250 years, and features a large number of outstanding works by leading artists of the time, such as Suzuki Harunobu, Kitagawa Utamaro and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. Many beautiful and precious masterpieces are a must-see. Please do not miss them.

Suzuki Harunobu “Tea House Girl Ofude of the Hayashi-ya House” 【1st term】
Kitagawa Utamaro “Physiognomic Types of Women: Woman Reading a Letter” 【2nd term】

Wearing Patterns and Stories

Kimonos have many kinds of different patterns. Even if the motif appears simple, the patterns sometimes represent an auspicious meaning, sometimes are based on classic tales such as “The Tales of Genji” or “The Tales of Ise”, and sometimes associated with popular kabuki actors. This exhibition also delves into the meanings of the patterns, and introduces how the women depicted in ukiyo-e enjoyed not only the beauty of the patterns, but also the stories behind them.

Hishikawa Moronobu “Courtesan and Her Attendant Strolling” 【1st term】
Keisai Eisen “Eight Fans and Geisha: Scattered Shower at Tomigaoka” 【2nd term】

Men in Fashion

Men in the Edo period were as passionate about dressing as they are today. Ukiyo-e often depicted men’s preferences for fashion items such as unique coordinates of a dark-colored kimono and a red sash called “Harakiri (belly-breaking) belt,” and imported leather tobacco pouches with gold patterns. In this exhibition, you can enjoy highly individual men’s fashions such as beautifully dressed boys, sophisticated men, and chivalrous men in wild yukatas.

Torii Kiyonaga “Fashionable Beauties of the Pleasure Quarters: Nakazu” 【1st term】
Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Views of the Moon: Moon through Conflagration” 【2nd term】

Enjoy Dressing – Sophisticated, Gorgeous and Cute!

People in the Edo period wore distinct clothing depending on their status, age, and occupation. Ukiyo-e also depicts the different charms of each kind of fashion style: high-ranking courtesans wearing elaborate kimonos with gorgeous hair ornaments, towns girls coordinated in their kimono with floral patterns and bright colors, and geisha using stylish accessories such as hairpins and half collars. It may be fun to learn the techniques of how to dress from their styles

Tsukioka Yoshitoshi “One Hundred Views of the Moon: Moon through Conflagration” 【2nd term】
Utagawa Kunisada “One Day of Contemporary Women: Hours of “the Sheep” (around 2 p.m.)”
Hashiguchi Goyō “Woman Holding a Lipstick Brush” 【2nd term】
Adult 800 yen
University and High school students 600 yen
Junior High School Students and below (under 15 years old) Free


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