The Japan Foundation
May 6th, 2015
The Japan Foundation
5700 Wilshire Blvd. #100
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tales Spun from Illustrations of Beautiful Women:
Quiet, Unchanging, All to Myself   
Lecturer: Robert Campbell, Ph.D.  

Wednesday, May 6, 7PM  

The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles   
 (5700 Wilshire Blvd. # 100, Los Angeles, CA 90036)
Admission: Free

RSVP RequiredClick here to RSVP 

  Street parking is available near JFLA.   Click Here for Parking info  


One important sub-genre of Japanese ukiyoe prints and paintings from the Edo period (1603-1868) is  bijinga, or images of beautiful women. Almost none are drawn as portraits, but instead represent women as idealized types, in the role of courtesan, teashop maid or townsman daughter. Some are inscribed with poems or short pieces of prose written or quoted to celebrate the image's beauty. 

Reading these inscriptions deepens our understanding of how the images themselves were seen at the time. Beyond that though, they point us to a plexus of tales in which the images of women seem to come alive, becoming protagonists by standing apart, as it were, from the print or silk/paper canvases upon which they were originally drawn. 

Professor Campbell will take us through the visual arts and literature of nineteenth century Japan, when the nation first opened its frontiers and struggled to adapt and succeed within the western-led global context of modernization. Professor Campbell hopes that the images he will introduce in this lecture allow us to rethink some of our own stereotypes of this rapidly changing era. 

FREE Digital Edition
See and read Diplomatic Connections Magazine
View Archived Digital Editions