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Courtesans of the South Station

Scholars Melinda Takeuchi and Timon Screech discuss a woodblock print of courtesans in an unlicensed pleasure quarter during the Edo period (1615–1868) in Japan. Created by Asian Art Museum.

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  • leaf green style avatar for user Laura
    WHy the emphasis on the courtesan in Japanese art? Were there portraits of noblewomen or couples or other segments of the population?
    (3 votes)
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    • aqualine tree style avatar for user David Alexander
      The possibilities are endless. It could be that Japanese artists, with all of Japan to choose from, only chose to depict courtesans. It could be that valuable art of other subjects didn't survive, or it could be that because these items were wood block prints, so many were made that we have more of these subjects.
      It could, however, be a result of the selectors at the Asian Art Museum or Khan Academy preferring to share art about courtesans rather than about any of the other myriad subjects available to them.
      (2 votes)
  • starky ultimate style avatar for user Sojourn Soulman
    If telescopes were being imported around the Edo period as a expensive commodity, were compasses also something of expense?
    (1 vote)
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Video transcript