Yamauba Blackening her Teeth, with Kintarō

Kitagawa Utamaro Japanese

Not on view

Utamaro designed numerous prints featuring Yamauba, a legendary woman who lived in the mountains and raised the rambunctious boy Kintarō, who went on to become a storied warrior. Here, Kintarō clings to Yamauba’s back and sticks out his tongue at his reflection in the mirror she uses to blacken her teeth. This beauty regimen, associated since ancient times with aristocratic women, was widely practiced among Edo-period social classes.

Yamauba Blackening her Teeth, with Kintarō, Kitagawa Utamaro (Japanese, ca. 1754–1806), Woodblock print (nishiki-e); ink and color on paper, Japan

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