Edo in the Present

Fig. 22. Based on the photograph used in Plastic Lover’s YouTube upload of Mariya Takeuchi’s “Plastic Love,” the online digital artist Rabbit Princess portrays a two-dimensional version of Takeuchi. Plastic Love. [October 5, 2018]. Pixiv, accessed March 2, 2021. https://www.pixiv.net/en/artworks/71029401.

By conducting a brief historiophoty of women in Japanese art, it is revealed how the Edo’s flawless female beauties have persisted into the present. Furthermore, one discovers that these beauties never existed in any real state; rather, they were always an idealized expression of the Japanese woman.

Erotic Grotesque: The Authenticity Complex of Japan’s Modern Girls

Fig. 7. In a markedly different style, this shin-hanga painting is another display of the moga’s Western appearance as described by the scholars Barbaraō and Miriam Silverberg. Café and Flapper [1927]. From the Honolulu Museum of Art.

During a decade of rapid change, modernity created within Japan an identity crisis in which the broader Japanese culture suffered from an “authenticity complex;” the moga embodies the clash between East and West in Japan’s late Taishō and early Shōwa periods, and this clash within her reveals how her eroticism was at once both uniquely Japanese and universally Western. Thus, an exploration of the moga in the East must first begin in the West.