As a related online lecture of the international online symposium "Transcultural Exchanges: Mapping Movement of Art, Ideas, and People in Asia" (held on February 12th and 13th), Eriko Tomizawa-Kay (University of East Anglia) will discuss representations of Okinawan women in wartime and Okinawan female artists' careers in postwar, to cast a new understanding of Okinawan painting in political, social, and historical contexts.

・Organized by IMAP/IDOC, Kyushu University and Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies Cultural Variation Cluster


Language: English (no Japanese interpreter)
Speaker: Eriko Tomizawa-Kay (University of East Anglia)
Title:Transition from Painted to Painter: The Female Body of Okinawa and its Women Artists
talk: 40 min; Q&A discussion followed

In pre-war Okinawa, while male painters were striving to be recognized and acknowledged by central art circles, with the exception of female students under the tutelage of Okinawan male teachers, opportunities for Okinawan women as artists were extremely limited. The emergence of Okinawan female artists had to wait until the post-war period. This paper discusses the significance of depictions of Okinawan women wearing Ryukyuan apparel - a favorite subject of both Japanese painters and Okinawan male painters during the war emergency period (1930s and 1940s) - in order to elucidate the social complexities of Okinawan women at that time when Okinawa was under the dominion of the Japanese Empire.
This presentation examines three issues: first, how the representations of the Okinawan female body were appropriated to express the relationship between subjugated Okinawa and mainland Japan, and justify discrimination against the Okinawan people. Secondly, during the post-war period, how Okinawan female artists establish their careers and identity under the periphery of the nation-states of Japan and the patriarchy in Okinawa. Finally, I discuss contemporary Nihonga, which is also labeled as contemporary Ryukyu painting, painted by female artists in Okinawa. This presentation will also reconsider contemporary Okinawan painting by female painters in relation to both Japanese and East Asian art histories in order to cast a new view of Okinawan painting as the living Traditional Painting, and also Modern Okinawan Painting as a descendant of Ryukyu.


February 18, 2022 (Friday) 18:00 - 20:00

Registration from URL


Deadlines Registration

February 18, 2022 until 17:00


100 people (first-come-first-served)


Contact person:Gloria Yu Yang(Faculty of Humanities)


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