Places, Images, Times & Transformations


An aesthetic and moral ideal, popular among urban commoners in the Edo period (1600-1868), that pointed toward an urbane, chic, bourgeouis type of beauty with undertones of sensuality. Morally it envisioned the tasteful life of a person who was wealthy but not attached to money, who enjoyed sensual pleasure but was never carried away by carnal desires, and who knew all the intricacies of earthly life but was capable of disengaging himself from them. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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