... “Floating World” in Japanese Art History The “floating world” of Japan refers to the world of entertainment, kabuki theatre, geisha and courtesans, a world separated from everyday care and work, where pleasure and beauty reign supreme.
Historical Context and Development
During the late 16th century a new class began to emerge in Japan, which was comprised of artisans, merchants and, in some cases, low ranking samurai. This new class gradually gained wealth and with that influence in society, and had money to spend to enjoy the arts and entertainment. The new art style of ukiyo had its origins in the large Japanese cities, in particular Edo (the modern Tokyo), Kyoto and Osaka.
Within 100 years the me...