This composition by Gessai Gabimaru (1789-1834) represents Western men coupling with Japanese women, and is similar to other such scenes produced by Chokyosai Eiri, Keisai Eisen, and Kitagawa Utamaro.
Here, a woman from Kyoto and a Dutchman from Dejima are absorbed in their lovemaking (Fig.1). He has offered her an aphrodisiac like the Dutchman in Eisen’s A Picture Book of the Many Beautiful Ways to Mess Up.
The woman here cries out,’This Dutch aphrodisiac works as a charm! I’ll come like a fool! If I have your child, I’ll have to show off this son of a foreigner in Kyoto.’ Between a string of onomatopoeic utterances, Gabimaru attempts to imitate, albeit nonsensically, the Dutch words spoken by man during orgasm: “Kinniyou kinniyou, hekereke hekereke, gucha, gucha, gucha!”
The following scene* (Fig.2) examines the supposedly European custom of having a bowl to hand to catch vaginal secretions for medicinal use. The artist Keisai Eisen referred to this in his Pillow Library (Makuro bunko), announcing a ‘Method For Producing the European Life-Prolonging Ointment’.
Onto the Glans
The cost of ingredients was about five small coins. He wrote: ‘…smear it onto the glans about one hour before intercourse; certainly apply it when becoming flaccid; works miracles.’
There is also a senryu (poem) of 1791:
Plants a vase
By the woman’s behind.
Click HERE and check out how Gessai Gabimaru inspired the Betty Woodman….!!
Sources: ‘Erotic Japonisme: The Influence of Japanese Sexual Imagery on Western Art‘ by Ricard Bru
‘Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan 1700-1820‘ by Timon Screech
If you come across other enticing examples of shunga portraying Westerners please let us know in the comment box below or through our contact form…!!
* photo provided by the devoted producer Darya