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Thursday, November 10, 2016

The ROM’s ground-breaking A Third Gender closes on November 27 (2016)

                                                                            NEWS RELEASE
TORONTO, November 8, 2016 — The critically acclaimed A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints closes at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on Sunday, November 27, 2016. Exploring issues of gender and sexuality in Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868), the exhibition has been enjoyed by more than 150,000 visitors since its opening. A Third Gender is on display in the ROM’s Third Floor Centre Block and is included with General Admission.

Four hundred years ago in Japan, a complex social structure existed in which gender involved more than a person’s biological sex. Age, position in the sexual hierarchy, and appearance were also considered. Fundamental to this structure were male youths termed wakashu. Neither “adult man” nor “woman”—each a separate gender—they were objects of desire for both, playing distinct social and sexual roles. They constituted a third gender and are visually represented in approximately 60 beautiful Edo period woodblock prints (ukiyo-e) in the exhibition. A Third Gender is the first North American display on wakashu.

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