The Roots of “Kawaii” was in Edo era!

The latest fashion from 250 years ago! The exhibition "Kawaii ~Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e"

Hiroshi Fukami
Hiroshi Fukami

Writer / Editor

He works as a freelance writer and editor. His diverse body of work is covered in From the Cradle to the Grave (Yurikago kara Hakaba Made). He enjoys watching J League soccer, baseball, mixed martial arts, and professional wrestling. He also enjoys video games, especially first person shooters, open-world role playing games, and fighting games. His current favorite is Ingress.

Ukiyo-e (Note from translator: originally meaning “pictures of the floating world”, it is woodblock prints and paintings) is now treated as classic art, but back in the days when it was painted, it acted like ELLE or VOGUE. It was a important media to spread fashion!


Back then, the ladies competed wearing flamboyant fashion, and it became too much that the government had to in force a law to ban luxurious decoration a few times. The Ukiyo-e drew the fashion leaders of that era and was very popular.


Now, come and see the fashion of Edo people at “Kawaii ~Cute Girls in Ukiyo-e” exhibition at the Ota Memorial Museum of Art in Harajuku Tokyo (March 1st to 26th, 2015).


Enjoy the art, and see how Japanese women developed aesthetics, which became the roots of “Kawaii”




Translated by Yuki Mat.


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