Illustration of calisthenics for elementary education

Artist: Inoue Yasuji (1864-1889)
Historical period(s)
Meiji era, late 19th century
Woodblock print; ink and color on paper
H x W: 35.7 x 23.3 cm (14 1/16 x 9 3/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift--the Elizabeth D. Woodbury collection of prints from Meiji Japan
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Woodblock print

calisthenics, Elizabeth D. Woodbury collection, Japan, Meiji era (1868 - 1912), student, WWII-era provenance

From the 1960s to 1999
Elizabeth D. Woodbury, Japan and Alexandria, VA, purchased in Japan in the 1960s [1]

From 1999
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by Elizabeth D. Woodbury in 1999


[1] According to Provenance Remark 1 in the object record.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Elizabeth D. Woodbury


This charming design celebrates the modernization of Japan's educational system by portraying Japanese elementary school students as they perform calisthenics to improve their health.  Girls and boys whose dress ranges from traditional split trousers to Western styles perform calisthenics and weight training.  An older woman dressed entirely in kimono appears to be a parody of a teacher demonstrating the exercises while wearing the restrictive traditional garment.

Published References
  • John Vollmer. Re-envisioning Japan: Meiji Fine Art Textiles. Milan, Italy. p. 70.
Collection Area(s)
Japanese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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