The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and Chinese Beauty
While a slender body is a prerequisite for beauty today, plump women were considered ideal in Tang Dynasty China and Heian-period Japan. Starting around the Southern Song period in China, bound feet symbolized the attractiveness of women. But in Japan, shaved eyebrows and blackened teeth long were markers of loveliness.
For centuries, Japanese culture was profoundly shaped by China, but in complex ways that are only now becoming apparent. In this first full comparative history of the subject, Cho Kyo explores changing standards of feminine beauty in China and Japan over the past two millennia. Drawing on a rich array of literary and artistic sources gathered over a decade of research, he considers which Chinese representations were rejected or accepted and transformed in Japan. He then traces the introduction of Western aesthetics into Japan starting in the Meiji era, leading to slowly developing but radical changes in representations of beauty. Through fiction, poetry, art, advertisements, and photographs, the author vividly demonstrates how criteria of beauty differ greatly by era and culture and how aesthetic sense changed in the course of extended cultural transformations that were influenced by both China and the West.
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The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and ...
Limited preview - 2012
aesthetic sense Bakin beautiful women bijinga blossoms body shape century chapter character charm China Chinese literature consort cosmetic court ladies courtesans culture depicted double eyelids Edo period Emperor example expression eyebrows eyes face feminine beauty figure ﬂowers Futabatei Shimei Guifei hair Han dynasty Heian period images of beauty inﬂuence Japan Japanese kundoku Kyoden Lasting Regret lips literary Chinese lotus lovely makeup method Marsh Meiji metaphor Michizane Michizane’s Ming monogatari Murasaki Murasaki Shikibu narrative literature nose ofthe Outlaws paintings passage phrase Plum plump poem poet poetry portrayed powder Qing reading books refers reﬂects representations rhetoric rhyme-prose rouge safﬂower Santo Kyoden Shikibu slender Song of Lasting Source story style Taiheiki Tale of Genji Tang period thin translation ugly ukiyo-e vernacular fiction verse and prose waist Western white skin white teeth willow woman Yang Guifei yomihon Zhang Zhou Zhou Fang