Japanese Beauties Kakejiku Series Home

Spring 2009

Artist Statement Copyright 2006 - 2009© by eriimamura.com

In “Japanese Beauties in Edo : from Kakejiku series”, I study changing Japanese aesthetics in different eras. In “Japanese Beauties in Edo” , I depict a traditional beautiful scenery with cultural flowers ( cherry and plum) earth, the ocean , and Mt Fuji. Traditionally, Japanese consider alive nature as the most beautiful things. As a background, on the top of the picture, I study one of the most beautiful Mt Fuji Ukiyoe (Japanese traditional wood print in Edo era), a view of Mt.Fuji from near Tokyo.

Also, I compare two Japanese beautiful women of Edo and Tokyo eras. Edo beautiful figure has a white skin, black hair, small eyes and lips, big head and sloping shoulders with modesty. On the other hand, Tokyo beautiful figure has tan skin, blown dyed hair, big eyes and lips, and small head and wide shoulders with confidence, just like a western beautiful female figure. With these figures, I express the significant change of Japanese aesthetics as modernization.
In comparison, in “Japanese Beauties in Tokyo : from Kakejiku series” I depict a contemporary scenery of Tokyo with high technological buildings and boats, a Ferris wheel, street lights and signs, and asphalt. As a background, I depict a contemporary view of Mt.Fuji from the same spot to the Mt. Fuji Ukiyoe in Edo. Today Japanese consider this modern city view as one of the most beautiful scenery. Today’s Japanese aesthetics has experienced a significant change influenced by rapid globalization and modernization.

This series is a critical voice to myself and my identity. The both female figures in Edo and Tokyo represent parts of myself, who is a Japanese girl living in the contemporary life style.
The turning-signs on the street in this picture represent our status quo in Japan. We are standing at the crossroads:
Which directions are we going? Are we still going to continue chasing modernization? Where is our cultural tradition going? Where am I going?