Special Autumn Exhibition “La mode d’Edo – All About Fashion of Ukiyo-e Beauties -“

Keisai, Eisen 'Oiran wearing a long overgarment splashed dragons and clouds' Chiba City Museum of Art's possession

Exhibit Period

Part One: September 18 (Fri) - October 18 (Sun)
Part Two: October 23 (Fri) - November 23 (Mon)

Exhibit Times

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(last admissions at 4:30 p.m.)

Organized by

The Nakagawa-machi Bato Hiroshige Museum of Art

Museum closed

September 24, 28, October 5, 13, 19-22, 26, November 2, 4, 9, 16

Admission Fee

Adults 700 (630) yen; High School, College Students: 400 (360) yen; Elementary, Junior High School Students: 100 (90) yen * Fees in parentheses are group rates for 20 or more visitors * Free admission for visitors aged over 70 years and preschoolers * Half price for visitors with a physical disability certificate, and half price for one accompanying caregiver


Beautiful women are on a par with actors as one of the central subjects of ukiyo-e, and have made frequent appearances in ukiyo-e from the beginning. At first, it was the prostitutes of the Yoshiwara pleasure district who were mainly depicted. From about the middle of the Edo Period, ukiyo-e artists began to cover teahouse poster girls, acknowledged beauties around town, and geisha girls.

With their hair done up, and wrapped in beautiful kimonos, these ukiyo-e beauties were idolized by everyday housewives and young girls. From ukiyo-e, women who were sensitive to current fashions were anxious to absorb the latest information on seasonal kimono pattern changes, ways to tie the obi kimono belt, hairstyles and hair sticks, and to incorporate this into their own fashions. Ukiyo-e fulfilled the role that glamor photos and fashion magazines do in the present day.

Through the eyes of ukiyo-e, this exhibition introduces us to the unique women’s fashions as they developed during the Edo period when the country was sealed off from the rest of the world.

Museum Talk

Presented by a curator of the museum on
Part 1: September 19 (Sat), 2009
Part 2: October 24 (Sat), 2009
Start at 1:30 p.m.
Payment of museum admission fee is required.


Commemorative Lecture

‘Fashion Icons in Edo’
Hiroko Nagai, the curator of the museum
September 27 (Sun)
Start at 1:30 p.m.

'Fashionable Trends among Ukiyo-e Beauties'
Masako Tanabe, the curator of Chiba City Museum of Art
November 1 (Sun)
Start at 1:30 p.m.