Richard Lane crowned this the masterpiece of the Azuma nihiki (Brocades of the East) series. Hokusai shows us two lovers preparing for intercourse on the bare ground shortly after a rain shower. One can almost feel the urgency of the encounter evoking a sense of empathy.
The coarse sensuality of the design is alleviated and performed most suggestive by the female’s turning her face humbly away, while at the same time grasping distinctly at her lover’s phallus.
Striking is the girl’s black-lacquered clog that adds a strong touch of contrast to the genitalia. The placement of the open umbrella is also a stroke of genius, isolating the lovers from the outside world.
Richard Lane: “…My own reaction to this stunning print is, at the least – and with a modicum of envy – to wish these passionate lovers the best of luck, in all their future endeavors.”
Click HERE to check out one of the most eccentric plates from the series with an unusual “puppeteer”…!!!
Reference: ‘The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga (Part 7): Azuma genji (Brocades of the East)‘ by Richard Lane