Collections: Asian Art: Kaoyo; Peeping through the Hedge

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The artist states, "This painting is from a group of on-site works of the same location, executed at the same time of day, sunset, over the ...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: From Scene of Three Murders

    The artist states, "This painting is from a group of on-site works of the same location, executed at the same time of day, sunset, over the ...


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    Kaoyo; Peeping through the Hedge

    • Artist: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1839-1892
    • Medium: Woodblock color print
    • Dates: 1886
    • Period: Meiji Period
    • Dimensions: 13 15/16 x 9 1/2 in. (35.4 x 24.1 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Asian Art
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 2007.31.5
    • Credit Line: Bequest of Dr. Eleanor Z. Wallace
    • Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
    • Caption: Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). Kaoyo; Peeping through the Hedge, 1886. Woodblock color print, 13 15/16 x 9 1/2 in. (35.4 x 24.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of Dr. Eleanor Z. Wallace, 2007.31.5
    • Image: overall, 2007.31.5_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2008
    • Record Completeness: Adequate (53%)
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    Recent Comments
    04:21 06/14/2011
    I tell you
    it is best to peep through the hedge,
    to see parts of a woman, oneself unseen:
    the possibilities
    and the expectations
    ah, the very joys and pleasures
    of the illicit act
    all these exceed
    all joys
    that even sex and
    the comforts with a courtesan
    in bed can offer…
    Yes - why all the exertion and effort?
    and all the lying in bed
    and wondering why you are in bed
    with this woman or that
    and to lose all semen after pleasure
    and to be exhausted?
    and so having exposed oneself
    to all the dangers and diseases
    that may come with
    intimate physical encounters in bed -
    and Oh,
    to doze off in bed and to find in the morning
    all one’s pockets empty
    and the woman has scooted
    and you have no proof
    and for shame
    you do not want to raise a scene –
    is that all really necessary? I ask of you.
    I tell you,
    a fool and his money are soon parted.
    Better it is and wiser
    and safer indeed
    to peep and gaze agape
    and mouth wide open as a fly might enter
    as the woman exposes herself
    or adjusts her dress in the open
    and one cunningly concealed sees all this and
    is in constant excitement…
    Ah, the joys of peeping!
    The virtues of stolen illicit exposures!
    And if one is caught – well, what of it?
    Spirits peep all the time;
    Gods peep; insects and ants peep…
    And so
    I have challenged somber Magistrates boldly:
    “I am a man of desires
    so I glanced;
    She is a woman of blood and fullness
    so she exposed.
    So what of that?”

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