August 25th, 2016

yoshitoshi: yorimasa

Steaming Thursday

Today was the kind of marathon I'm no longer up for, a mere six hours with a two hour break in between that saw me ordering a Manhattan when what I wanted was a Cosmopolitan. Whatever. Alcohol is alcohol.

But the return of a p/t body meant I had the first three days of this week off, and I profited by it to go see the wakashu exhibit at the ROM. What it says on the tin: "Four hundred years ago in Japan, male youths, called wakashu, were the objects of sexual desire for women and men. Creating a third gender, wakashu looked different from both women and adult men and played distinct social and sexual roles." So now I know how to tell the men from the women in woodblock prints. Fun enough, but they had a two minute clip from Gohatto on rerun and the voices kept interfering with my reading of the exhibit labels.

I'm also appalled to learn that our museum's collection of woodblock prints was given to the museum in 1926, but were largely left underexplored. "There were boxes that nobody had opened for years," (the curator) said. "It was very challenging because not much was on the museum database, so we had to record all of the information."