MEIJI JAPAN 1868 - 1912
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View of the Third National Industrial Exposition at Ueno Park in Tokyo in 1890, the grounds bustling with visitors. At right, the emperor passes under an arched entrance, accompanied by dignitaries in military uniform. In centre, a beauty takes the hat of the young prince (Yoshihito) as another woman beckons to him with a smile. The women wear the latest Western fashions, a bustled dress with overskirt and fitted bodice, and a bonnet adorned with flowers and ribbons. The beauty at left carries a parasol trimmed with fringe. Behind her, a large Torii gate leads to a shrine. Colourful flags and paper lanterns hang overhead, and the cherry trees in the background are covered with blossom. A fascinating subject, beautifully detailed and coloured.

Prints depicting scenes from the Third National Exposition (April – July 1890) focus even more  frequently on visits made by the imperial family to the exhibition halls. The artist Watanabe Nobukazu (1872 – 1944) provided publishers with some of the most outstanding prints of this exposition, in which he rendered the imposing buildings and halls, the elegant Victorian-style dresses and hats, the horse-drawn carriages, and the exhibited objects in great detail.  Extract from the Chapter, The Three National Industrial Expositions in Tokyo. “Japan at the Dawn of the Modern Age: Woodblock Prints from the Meiji Era”, 2001 MFA Publications, a division of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. page.52.

Collections: Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts.

References: Illustrated in the 2001 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts publication “Japan at the Dawn of the Modern Age”, Catalogue number 16, p.57.



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