Degree Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Art

Advisor(s)

Bonnie Cheng

Committee Member(s)

Christina Neilson
Ann Sherif

Keywords

Japan, Modernism, Woodblock prints, Taisho, Feminism

Abstract

My essay addresses the portrayal of women in early 20th-century Japanese prints. I examine the "bijin-ga," or "pictures of beautiful women," of Shin-hanga (New Prints) and Sosaku-hanga (Creative Prints) artists, focusing on the "after the bath" trope. These artists claimed to create woodblock prints that were both Japanese and modern, updating aesthetics and techniques. Their chosen subject matter, however, represents a psychological anchor against the widespread social changes of the Taisho Period (1912-1926) in Japan, during which time "new women" and "modern girls" were crafting public roles for women based on political activism and liberated sexuality.

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