India ink, colours and gold on silk, 97 x 41.3 cm
Shirabyōshi (白拍子) were female dancers, prominent in the Japanese Imperial Court, who performed traditional Japanese dances (the dances themselves also called shirabyōshi) dressed as men. The profession of shirabyōshi developed in the 12th century. They performed for nobles and high-ranking samurai, and at celebrations.
Katsushika Hokusai (October or November 1760–May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time, he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji, c. 1831, which includes the iconic and internationally recognised print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s.
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