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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in United States
Cats to Crickets: Pets in Japan's Floating World

Cats to Crickets: Pets in Japan's Floating World
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS  •  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston  •  Ongoing

Urban commoners in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Japan, known as the Floating World, enjoyed a hedonistic lifestyle that included the pleasure of the companionship of pet animals. Many woodblock prints of fashionable beauties show them accompanied by elegant, pampered pets that symbolize luxury and sensuality. Formerly a prerogative of the nobility, pets were now available to newly affluent commoners as well.

Cats and small dogs were especially favored as indoor pets, but monkeys, mice, fish, birds, and even singing insects were also cherished.  Meanwhile, on the streets and in the countryside, dogs were beloved pets of both children and adults. Traveling entertainers presented acts by trained monkeys in costumes, and artists sometimes drew humorous fantasy scenes of animals engaged in human activities. 

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Website

Contact: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Avenue of the Arts
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5597
Tel: ( 1) 617 267 93 00

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