Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints

A talk by Dr. Asato Ikeda (Fordham University Art History)
Wednesday, March 28  |  5pm
SFU Harbour Centre Room 7000 (7/F, Lohn Policy Room)


How do we—and can we at all— talk about sex, gender, and sexuality of early modern Japan without imposing contemporary North American values and preconceptions? This question was central to the process of organizing the exhibition A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto in 2016. The exhibition focuses on visual representations of male youths, called wakashu in Japanese, who were the object of sexual desire for both women and adult men in Edo-era Japan.

Presented in the form of an exhibition, the project necessitated engaging the past with the present and the general public with scholarship. In this presentation, Dr. Ikeda explains the process of this engagement and discusses the dialogues the team at the ROM had with Toronto’s LGBTQ+ community.

This talk is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please register here for this free talk.

 is Assistant Professor of Art History at Fordham University and Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is the co-editor of Art and War in Japan and its Empire (Leiden: Brill, 2012), the curator of A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints (Royal Ontario Museum, 2016; Japan Society, 2017), and the author of The Politics of Painting: Fascism and Japanese Art during the Second World War (forthcoming in May 2018 from the University of Hawaii Press).

This event is co-sponsored by:
Institute For Transpacific Cultural Research, Simon Fraser University
Department of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies, Simon Fraser University

Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asia Art