When Ivan Zajec completed the Prešeren Monument and was conceptualising the statue of Jurij Vega, he started experimenting with small sculptures. During the last year of his stay in Vienna (1905), Zajec also became fascinated with exotic motifs. His small sculptures were commissioned by the Krupp foundry, with which Zajec first collaborated in the casting of the Prešeren Monument, and were probably intended for casting and sale.
In line with the contemporary interest in exotic motifs, Zajec designed a small sculpture entitled A Woman of Japan. This statue, along with its pendant A Man of Japan, was exhibited at the Third Art Exhibition in the Jakopič Pavilion in 1910. The full-figure statue depicts a Japanese woman wearing geta, traditional Japanese clogs, and a long kimono with a wide sash called an obi. The long, wide sleeves of the kimono reach her knees. The young woman holds a folding Japanese fan in her right hand, hiding her face behind it, with her head slightly tilted to the right. While the figure is marked by a dignified posture, shyness and insecurity can be discerned from the woman’s face.