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|Three Beauties of the Present Day by Utamaro, 1793|
Bijin-ga (美人画?, "beautiful person picture") is a generic term for pictures of beautiful women in Japanese art, especially in woodblock printing of the ukiyo-e genre, which predate photography. Ukiyo-e is a genre of woodblock prints and paintings that was produced in Japan from the 17th century to the 19th century. These woodblock prints depicted beautiful women; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flowers and animals and erotica. These prints were very popular amongst the Japanese merchants and the middle class of the time. Nearly all ukiyo-e artists produced bijin-ga, it being one of the central themes of the genre. However, a few, including Utamaro, Suzuki Harunobu, Itō Shinsui, Toyohara Chikanobu, Uemura Shōen and Torii Kiyonaga, are widely regarded as the greatest innovators and masters of the form.
Bijin-ga by Keisai Eisen (1790–1848)
Woman Visiting the Shrine in the Night by Suzuki Harunobu (1725–1770)
Shin Bijin, Shin Bijin series, No. 12 by Yōshū Chikanobu (1838–1912)
100 Aspects of the Moon by Yoshitoshi (1839–1892)
Two Women Standing from series "Tosai Yuri Bijin Awase", by Torii Kiyonaga (1752–1815)
Woman with cherry flowers by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi
A Girl About to Despatch a Letter, by Torii Kiyomine (1786–1868)
The Courtesan Someyama of the Matsubaya house, from the series: Contest of Beauties in the Gay Quarters, by Eishosai Choki - active from about 1786 to 1808.
- Forbes, Andrew ; Henley, David (2012). Suzuki Harunobu: 100 Beauties. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B00AC2NB8Y
- Hamanaka, Shinji. Female Image: 20th Century Prints of Japanese Beauties. Hotei Publishing 2000. ISBN 90-74822-20-7
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