Japan Art and Ki Baitei (1734-1810): Caricatures of Dancers

Japan Art and Ki Baitei (1734-1810): Caricatures of Dancers

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ki Baitei (1734-1810) belongs to the literati movement in Japan. Henceforth, he blossomed under Yosa Buson.

Naturally, artists of the literati movement immersed themselves in art, haiku poetry, literature, and areas of high culture.

Nara is the cradle of Japanese high culture. After Nara, Kyoto emerged. Therefore, the rich cultural traits of his native Kyoto inspired him greatly.

The stunning caricatures of dancers can mean many things to different people. Henceforth, it could symbolize people altering their “real” selves to survive the latest political edicts of Edo. Or, more mundane, it is mocking the male hierarchy of kabuki – and so on.

Baitei studied classical Japanese and Chinese literature – with the cultural traits of China being at the heart of the literati movement. In time, he also inspired ukiyo-e printers before parting from this life.

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