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Shirabyōshi were female performers who dressed as male courtiers with tall hats and swords. They first appeared in the 1100s, performing sacred dances to slow and rhythmic music for nobles and samurai. They were required to be educated as well as talented poets, musicians, and singers; one can easily imagine, as entertainers, good looks were a plus.
Given to the John Herron Art Institute, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in 1945.
untitled; given title: Shirabyōshi Beneath Sudare (Sudare shita no shirabyōshi)
Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Japanese, 1797-1861)
untitled; given title: Ono no Komachi Bringing Rain (Amagoi Komachi)
Utagawa Kunisada (Japanese, 1786-1864)