Examining Utamaro's Bijin-ga Prints as Reflections of the Sociopolitical and Economic Conditions of Women in Edo
Dr. Barbara Coleman
Thesis Committee Member(s)
Dr. Howe, Dr. Narcisi
Dr. Fabrice Usman
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
Kitagawa Utamaro’s Edo period prints (approx. 1770-1800) frequently feature prostitutes from Edo's officially licensed entertainment and pleasure ward. These prints were by no means portraits—instead, they were closer to advertisements for the pleasure district. Utamaro erased individuality from these women, placing them into stereotypical roles or personalities to appeal to potential customers of the ward. Utamaro glamorizes the life of courtesans for profit; and in this blatant objectification of women, the stories of these women are lost and glossed over. Who were these women, and what did their daily life actually look like? How does Utamaro betray this in his idealized depictions?
Date of Award
© Jade Meurer
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Meurer, Jade, "Women in Ukiyo-e" (2020). All Regis University Theses. 950.