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The Women of the Pleasure Quarter: Japanese Paintings and Prints of the Floating World
     

The Women of the Pleasure Quarter: Japanese Paintings and Prints of the Floating World

5.0 1
by Elizabeth De Sabato Swinton
 

Fascinating study of geisha, courtesans, kabuki performers as portrayed by masters of Japanese art from 1600 to 1868.

Overview

Fascinating study of geisha, courtesans, kabuki performers as portrayed by masters of Japanese art from 1600 to 1868.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This exotic catalogue of a touring exhibition opening at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts features more than 200 reproductions, mostly in color, of paintings and woodblock prints depicting courtesans and geisha of Japan's licensed prostitution districts during the Edo period (1600-1868). Swinton, the museum's curator of Asian art, in her introductory essay explores the ideal of the "floating world" associated with the women of the pleasure quarters-a metaphor of freedom and of living for the moment, exalted in novels, guidebooks and prints. Anthropologist Liza Dalby looks at the isolated lives of high-class prostitutes who found a route out of poverty. Kazue Edamatsu Campbell, a Japanese-language specialist at Boston University, decodes the artificial style of speech used by courtesans. Mark Oshima, an expert on Kabuki theater, explains how the pleasure quarter-a veritable pressure cooker of desire, greed, love and pride-provided grist for Kabuki plays, and he focuses on male actors (onnagata) who specialized in female roles, projecting a soft, cultured ideal of femininity. (Apr.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781555951160
Publisher:
Hudson Hills Press
Publication date:
02/28/1996
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
224

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The Women of the Pleasure Quarter 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This study of japanese women in the pleasure quarters of edo period japan is a compelling concoction of fascinating history and evocative commentary. Based on an exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, this beautiful collection of paintings, prints and photos is sure to enlighten the reader to the fantastically exotic practices of edo-japan and the ways in which women of the pleasure quarters and the visual and performing arts shifted social roles and norms. An impressive addition to any collection of art history texts.