Ayashii: Decadent and Grotesque Images of Beauty in Modern Japanese Art

The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

poster for Ayashii: Decadent and Grotesque Images of Beauty in Modern Japanese Art
[Image: Kainosho Tadaoto, Yokogushi (A Comb in the Side Hair), c. 1916, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto]

Ends in 7 days

*We announced a temporary closure from April. 25 to May. 11, 2021. In compliance with the request from the government, the Museum will remain closed until further notice.

Japan in the Meiji period (1868–1912) received Western knowledge and technology in every field. Inspired by the Western counterpart, Japanese art also adapted itself to the new era. Many works produced under the circumstances contain expressions other than “simple beauty,” such as decadence, sensuousness, grotesqueness, and eroticism. Stirring controversy in the art world, this tendency reached the populace through art and illustrations for literature as reflections of people’s desire and anxiety in a turbulent age. This exhibition illustrates the trend with paintings, prints, and illustrations from magazines and books produced in the period from the mid-19th century until around 1930.



from March 23, 2021 to May 16, 2021
Exhibition Hours 9:30-17:00. Until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays.


Adults ¥1800; University Students ¥1200; High School Students ¥700; Junior High School Students and Under, Persons with Disability Certificates + 1 Companion free.

Venue Hours

From 10:00 To 17:00
fridays closing at 20:00
Closed on Mondays
Note:Closed on the new year holidays and during changing exhibitions. On a Public Holiday Monday, the museum is open but closed on the following Tuesday.


Address: 3-1 Kitanomaru Koen, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8322
Phone: 03-5777-8600

3 minute walk from exit 1b at Takebashi Station on the Tozai line, 11 minute walk from exit 4 at Kudanshita Station on the Hanzomon and Tozai lines.

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