First exhibition of 18th-century ukiyo-e artist opens at museum near Tokyo

The world's first exhibition of a Japanese ukiyo-e artist active in the late 18th century is underway at a museum near Tokyo.

The show featuring works by Chobunsai Eishi, a samurai who became an artist in the late Edo Period, is being held at the Chiba City Museum of Art.

Chobunsai has been so popular among overseas art lovers that most of his works had fallen into the hands of people outside Japan during the Meiji Period from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

The Japanese museum put together about 160 pieces for the show. Those includes works on loan from the British Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in the United States.
One piece borrowed from the museum in Boston depicts a woman in Yoshiwara, a well-known red-light district area at that time, decked out in a splendid kimono of vivid colors.

Another one is a work on a folded screen, which was discovered while looking for pieces to show at the exhibition. He colorfully depicted kimonos as well as women known as great beauties in Japan and China, such as Ono no Komachi and Yang Guifei.

Deputy Director of the museum Tanabe Masako says she thinks many visitors are seeing Chobunsai's work for the first time and can still immediately appreciate the beauty of most of them.

The exhibition will run through March 3.