Unlike the more widely known, cheap and popular woodblock prints, nikuhitsu (brush-drawn) ukiyo-e were painted directly on paper or silk, and were only accessible to the wealthy upper classes during the Edo period. A remarkable trove of these rarities is owned by Chicago-based collector Roger Weston, who has now lent around 130 pieces to be displayed at this Ueno exhibition. Including a number of works that have never been shown publicly in Japan before, 'Seductive Smiles' features art by masters like Hishikawa Moronobu, Katsukawa Shunsho, Kitagawa Utamaro, Utagawa Toyokuni, Katsushika Hokusai and Kyosai Kawanabe, and covers several centuries from the early Edo to the Meiji era. Surely one of this autumn's artistic highlights in Tokyo, the exhibition is a must-see for any and all ukiyo-e fans.
Please note that some of the displays will be changed during the exhibition period (after December 20).