Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Asian Studies

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Amy Bliss Marshall

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Steven Heine

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Matthew Marr

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Japan, art, women, calligraphy, artist, Japanese, aesthetics, history, recognition, gallery

Date of Defense



Fukuda Chiyo-ni and Kiyohara Yukinobu were 17th-18th century (Edo period) Japanese women artists well known during their lifetime but are relatively unknown today. This thesis establishes their contributions and recognition during their lifespans. Further, it examines the precedence for professional women artists’ recognition within Japanese art history. Then, it proceeds to explain the complexities of Meiji-era changes to art history and aesthetics heavily influenced by European and American (Western) traditions. Using aesthetic and art historical analysis of artworks, this thesis establishes a pattern of art canon formation that favored specific styles of art/artists while excluding others in ways sometimes inauthentic to Japanese values. Japan has certainly had periods of female suppression and this research illustrates how European models and traditions of art further shaped the perception of Japanese women artists and the dearth of female representation in galleries and art historical accounts.





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