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The Erotic Pictures From Kuniyoshi's Masterful Shunshoku Irifune Chô

Although I dived deep into my shunga library (which lacks very few books on the subject) and also thoroughly researched the internet about the ehon (book) below, I unfortunately could not find much background information about it.

Pseudonym

What I was able to find out is that the series is called ‘Shunshoku irifune chô (The Ship of Good Fortune Comes in with the Colors of Spring/aka. Spring Scenery for the Launching of New Ships)‘, that it is signed Ichimyôkai Hodoyoshi ga, a pseudonym used by the artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), and written by the author Ryûtei Tanehiko (Japanese, 1783–1842), and that it was issued c.1837.

Hayashi

There is a reference to a book called Enpon kenkyû Kuniyoshi (1964) written by the eminent shunga expert Yoshikazu Hayashi that is not in my possession yet (if anyone of you can tell me more about this publication please don’t hesitate contacting me!).

Important Work

I also know ‘Shunshoku irifune chô‘ is considered to be an important work (some of the designs have inspired other artists!) and that it’s part of the collection of several museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts Boston but besides that I couldn’t find anything at this moment.

Anyway, you can find all the erotic pictures from the three volumes below…

Volume I

erotic pictures by Kuniyoshi from the Shunshoku irifune chô series

Opening pages of the first volume‘ (c.1837) from the series ‘Shunshoku irifune chô (The Ship of Good Fortune Comes in with the Colors of Spring)‘ by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

erotic pictures: Geisha standing on the quay watching a departing pleasure boat

Geisha standing on the quay watching a departing pleasure boat. A scene that shows Kuniyoshi’s wonderful eye for detail such as in the pose of the geta (Japanese clogs)

erotic pictures: Three geisha on the streets and a laborer carrying a giant pole by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

Three geisha on the streets and a laborer carrying a giant pole

Erotic pictures: Geisha on a boat underneath a bridge observing the activities on the shore

Geisha on a boat underneath a bridge observing the activities on the shore

erotic pictures: Four page fold-out scene below that takes place on the veranda of a restaurant with many interactions between various people

Four page fold-out scene below that takes place on the veranda of a restaurant with many interactions between various people

Utagawa Kuniyoshi Shunga

erotic pictures: Sensual encounter between a geisha and client with the first stimulating her private parts to facilitate him. The screen in the background depicts sparrows in flight.

Sensual encounter between a geisha and client with the first stimulating her private parts to facilitate him. The screen in the background depicts sparrows in flight.

erotic prints: The depicted protagonists are almost completely "buried" underneath the many richly decorated blankets.

The depicted protagonists are almost completely “buried” underneath the many richly decorated blankets. The woman is an oiran, a geisha with a lot of prestige (as can be seen from her extensive hairstyle).’

erotic prints: Couple making love underneath a kotatsu heater with the male stroking the clitoris of his lover.

Couple making love underneath a kotatsu heater with the male stroking the clitoris of his lover.

erotic prints: A man lying underneath a giant blanket uses his entire hand to arouse his lover's private parts

A man lying underneath a giant blanket uses his entire hand to arouse his lover’s private parts.’

erotic pictures: Probably one of the better known (often copied) designs from the series with the male lover wetting his fingers while the female awaits eagerly

Probably one of the better known (often copied) designs from the series with the male lover wetting his fingers while the female awaits eagerly.’

erotic pictures: Image depicting the hand of a male caressing the female vagina from behind.

Image on the right depicts the hand of a male caressing the female vagina from behind. Striking are the added shadow effects that Kuniyoshi copied from the Western copper etchings.

Volume II

erotic pictures: Geisha strolling along a plum blossom tree

Geisha strolling along a plum blossom tree

erotic pictures: An intimate couple in the exploration phase before sexual intercourse. On the doors of the cupboard behind them is an image of two deer looking at a flying bat in the sky

An intimate couple in the exploration phase before sexual intercourse. On the doors of the cupboard behind them is an image of two deer looking at a flying bat in the sky (*).’

erotic pictures: Couple preparing for penetration. Striking the playful horses on the screens in the background painted in the sumi-e style and Kuniyoshi's beloved sleeping white cat with black pots

Couple preparing for penetration. Striking the playful horses on the screens in the background painted in the sumi-e style and Kuniyoshi’s beloved sleeping white cat with black pots.’

erotic pictures: A ronin (masterless samurai) penetrates his lover from the rear. She almost seems to want to bury her face in the floor. Is it embarrassment? Or is she so excited?

A ronin (masterless samurai) penetrates his lover from the rear. She almost seems to want to bury her face in the floor. Is it embarrassment? Or is she so excited? ‘

erotic pictures: In a rehearsal space for archers two lovers have a secret rendezvous

In a rehearsal space for archers two lovers have a secret rendezvous.’

erotic pictures: Extraordinary close-up design of a vulva

Extraordinary close-up design of a vulva.

Volume III

erotic pictures: A geisha walking through the harbor carrying a black suitcase

A geisha walking through the harbor carrying a black suitcase.’

erotic pictures: An impulsive encounter on the veranda with the garden in the background

An impulsive encounter on the veranda with the garden in the background.’

erotic pictures: A playful couple seducing each other during dinner.

A playful couple seducing each other during dinner.

erotic pictures: In a room overlooking a lake, a sensuous encounter takes place between a geisha and a client. She is  riding his penis sideways

In a room overlooking a lake, a sensuous encounter takes place between a geisha and a client. She is  riding his penis sideways.

erotic pictures: A woman has to divide her attention between her restless lover and the attention-seeking cat

A woman has to divide her attention between her restless lover and the attention-seeking catThe expression of the latter is so striking.’

erotic pictures: an intimate couple are studying each other's reactions during sex. On the right a purple kimono is hanging over a screen depicting a winter landscape

An intimate couple are studying each other’s reactions during sex. On the right a purple kimono is hanging over a screen depicting a winter landscape.

erotic pictures: Close up portrayal of a male hand stimulating a vulva using its index finger and thumb

Close up portrayal of a male hand stimulating a vulva using its index finger and thumb.’

Click HERE for a striking fold-out erotic picture by Kuniyoshi that portrays a secret encounter taking place in a crowded restaurant…!!

*In Japanese culture both the deer and the bat are a symbol of longevity and of good luck. Therefore they are sometimes portrayed together on prints and paintings.

What is your favorite design from this series? Leave your reaction in the comment box below…!!

About the author
P.Brouwer

By

P.Brouwer

on 9 December 2019

I like them all because the paintings are beautiful. and full emotion.

Marijn

By

Marijn

on 9 December 2019

Thanks Peter. I agree, they are all of a high level and appealing in their own way. It's mainly in the details; the wailing cat, the position of the geisha's geta on the quay....exceptional!

BillZ

By

BillZ

on 9 December 2019

Marijn, when I went to refer you to the Kuniyoshi Project, the definitive catalog for his work, I find that you are quoted and have recently added these very images to the corpus! http://www.kuniyoshiproject.com/Main%20-%20Shunga.htm That resource is an incredibly valuable website for the study of his work, as you obviously know already! I always enjoy reading your emails.

Marijn

By

Marijn

on 9 December 2019

Thanks a lot Bill. You are absolutely right, KuniyoshiProject.com is the go-to-place on the artist! I am really pleased you enjoy our content!

Lucas

By

Lucas

on 9 December 2019

Great set, I particularly like the anatomical scenes!

Marijn

By

Marijn

on 9 December 2019

Thanks Lucas. These close-ups are almost like landscapes!

Darya

By

Darya

on 23 December 2019

Thank you for your posts! I especially like this one because of the colours and cloth. And shadows!

Marijn

By

Marijn

on 17 January 2020

You're more than welcome Darya!

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