Detail: In many societies, gender has been defined according to a binary framework based on biological sex. In Edo-period Japan (1603-1868), however, several additional factors were taken into account, including age and appearance. Fundamental to this structure were attractive male youths termed wakashu: neither men nor women, wakashu constituted a distinct “third gender,” occupying their own place within the social hierarchy. Organized by the Royal Ontario Museum, A Third Gender is the first exhibition in North America to focus on the portrayal of wakashu in Japanese art, shedding light on the complex rules that governed gender constructs during the Edo period. Featuring over 65 woodblock prints, as well as paintings, luxury objects, and personal ornaments, this groundbreaking exhibition offers a critical artistic and historical context for considering gender performance and sexual expression—topics that are particularly resonant within contemporary society.