In the 1700s, the Shogun’s capital of Edo (modern Tokyo) was home to a million residents and a sophisticated urban culture obsessed with the “floating world” of pleasure, wit, beauty and sex. Two exhibits at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco explore the floating world through the art it inspired. Hit that SUBSCRIBE button! www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=kqedart Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kqedarts Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/KQEDarts By the early 1700s, the Shogun’s capital of Edo (modern Tokyo) was home to a million residents and a sophisticated urban culture. Elite courtesans, Kabuki actors and Sumo wrestlers were the day's pop stars, setting fashion trends and standards of beauty. A walled and moated red-light district, the Yoshiwara, just outside the city was both a popular resort and a cultural symbol -- summarized by the phrase “the floating world,” with its connotations of pleasure, wit, beauty and sex. The city also supported a thriving art scene, which catered to the needs of the elites who congregated at court, as well as a booming publishing industry whose wood-block prints and books fed the populace’s fantasies. These prints, paintings and other art objects associated with Edo-period (1615-1868) “floating-world” culture are the subject of two new exhibits at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, “Seduction” and “The Printer’s World,” both of which run through May 10, 2015. A centerpiece of the “Seduction” exhibit is an elaborate, 58-foot painted scroll, “A Visit to the Yoshiwara,” believed to have been commissioned by a member of the military elite. The scroll depicts in great detail the denizens, restaurants, tea shops and brothels of the pleasure quarters, where men could choose from among as many 4,000 prostitutes who worked there by 1800. Some women were trained in high-culture accomplishments, from calligraphy to music, and rose to elite status. But there were prostitutes for every pocketbook. Many women were sold into the sex trade as children by indebted families. San Francisco artist and sexuality writer Midori, who grew up in Tokyo, finds echoes in this pleasure-seeking world to San Francisco's own Barbary-Coast past. As master of ceremonies for the exhibitions’ opening night party, Midori recruited dozens of local entertainers and artists, including burlesque and belly dancers, members of the Theater of Yugen troupe, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, who, for an evening, created their own floating world. Watch the video to explore the seductive world of old Edo and for highlights from the opening night party.