In the 17th century, the phrase ukiyo (“floating world”) came to be associated with pleasure districts that were created to delight newly idle men and relieve them of their money. The two most important offerings were theatrical performances and sexual encounters.
To promote the association of the pleasure quarter with unrestrained indulgence, beautiful and luxurious works of art were created. Among the most entrancing were objects now in the John C. Weber Collection, which are catalogued in this volume. Paintings and woodblock prints advertised celebrity courtesans, attracted potential patrons and guided them through the quarter.
An introduction by Laura Allen places the works in context, and she provides helpful entries for each of the objects. The book also features new scholarly essays by Julia Meech, Eric C. Rath and Melinda Takeuchi, while Helen Mitsu Nagata offers translations of texts on the long Moronobu scroll. The result is a remarkable catalogue that, like the floating world itself, both fascinates and entices.
Seduction was on view at the Asian Art Museum from Feb. 20 through May 10, 2015.
- Author: Laura Allen
- Size: 9" x 12"
- Pages: 280
- Available in Cloth Bound
- Publication: 2015