Utagawa Toyokuni I
Procession of Girls with Fuji Foreheads
Edo period (1615–1868)
Late 18th to early 19th century
Color woodblock print on paper
Museum Purchase, 1938.4–8
Mount Fuji was frequently shown in the mass-produced woodblock prints known
as ukiyo-e or “pictures of the floating world.” These prints depicted subjects such as popular fashions or significant landmarks in the Japanese landscape. This set of five prints combines these two themes by cleverly pairing a woman sporting a trendy hairstyle known as the “Fuji forehead” (fuji bitai) with Mount Fuji. The hairstyle emphasized the pale flatness of the forehead and was produced by pinning the hair so that it showed off the widow’s peak, creating a shape reminiscent of the famous mountain. While Mount Fuji was visible from the city of Edo (present-day Tokyo), the women’s proximity to it suggests the artist deliberately flattened the space to create a more direct parallel between their hair and the mountain.