Artist: Chikanobu Yoshu (1838-1912)
Title: Nobility in the Evening Cool
Dimensions: (L) 24.3 x 36.7 (C) 24.4 x 37.3 (R) 24.5 x 36.9 cm
Emperor Meiji (1852-1912) enjoys a cool outdoor breeze on a summers evening. Portraits of Emperor Meiji became popular after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, an event that marked the start of Japan’s modernisation and end of its closed borders policy. The prints can be interpreted as a form of propaganda, supporting the new regime change from the feudal system of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The rapidity at which Japanese culture changed can be seen in the extent to which even the aristocracy, the arguable core and preservers of Japanese tradition, readily accepted Western clothing and architecture.