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2008-07-11 Fri 16:10
By MATTHEW LARKING
Special to The Japan Times
In 18th- and 19th-century Japan, the presence of female artists in painting circles slowly increased until in the 20th century, social reforms allowed them access to secondary education and vocational schools as well as art training, patronage and chances to compete in national exhibitions.
Shoen Uemura's "Preparing to Dance" (1914) is now showing at Shiga's Museum of Modern Art, alongside works by Yuki Ogura and Fuku Akino IMAGES COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, SHIGA
The swelling numbers led a critic in 1916 to note that for the 2,000 or so male painters in Osaka, there were 600 female ones. But this was an exaggeration, because, despite their presence, few women achieved the success of their male counterparts.