Manpuku Wagojin: Hokusai's Erotica At Its Finest
28 september 2022 
11 min. read

Manpuku Wagojin: Hokusai's Erotica At Its Finest

In the early nineteenth century shunga books came to be produced increasingly with full-color printing. The most important work to mark this shift was Manpuku wagojin (Gods of Intercourse) of 1821  by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849).

Both text and pictures are thought to be by Hokusai himself and the book was innovative in the way in which it constituted one complete story, which continued in pictures and text throughout all three volumes.

Unlike other erotic books, which concentrate on tales of the pleasure quarters Manpuku wagojin is an example of the enpon (erotic tales in color) form and describes stories concerning ordinary men and women. In this case the story involves Osane, daughter of the rich merchant Sazayama Arisuku, and Otsubi, daughter of the ruined merchant Kawanuya Hinbei.

The tale is an ironic variation of moralistic stories: Otsubi learns to take advantage of her sexual attraction in order to gain an important position in society, while Osane, who grew up without a proper awareness of her own femininity ends up as a depraved prostitute. The explicitly anti-Confucian message is that the achievement of a certain social status depends entirely on one's skill in exploiting sexual resources.

The book begins with pictures of them aged thirteen and ends with them aged thirty. By the last picture their wealth and poverty have been reversed and the book ends with an appearance by the deity of conjugality (see Premium) to explain why this has happened.

The printing in the books is of the finest quality and the illustrations, too, are uniformly excellent. This work features a number of multiple scenes: double pairs of couples, onlookers, and the like. The technique has appeared earlier in classical shunga scrolls, and Hokusai adapts it to fill each frame to the limit in complex compositions

Including the influential ‘sex toys‘ scene (Fig.3), a couple using a helmet sex toy (Fig.5), group rape involving palanquin bearers (Fig.8), a very rare anal scene (see Premium), the classic post-rape scene with a depraved Osane (see Premium), the dog scene (see Premium), many scenes involving female voyeurism (alternately Osane and Otsubi) and much more…

shunga book cover Hokusai

Fig.1.

text page Manpuku wagojin

Fig.2. First text page

manpuku wagojin sex toys

Fig.3.

The series opens with a tableau depicting an exhibition of the multitude of sex toys that appear in the course of the story. For an extensive, detailed description of all the sex toys in the image see Premium.

Manpuku wagojin Osana and Otsubi

Fig.4.

manpuku-wagojin intercourse with sex toy

Fig.5.

manpuku wagojin couple watching fucking mice

Fig.6.

gods of intercourse girl observing intimate couple

Fig.7.

manpuku wagojin rape by plnquin bearers

Fig.8.

manpuku wagojin intimate couples

Fig.9.

manpuku wagojin gods of intercourse Hokusai

Fig.10.

Hokusai's manpuku wagojin

Fig.11.

manpuku wagojinthe tale of osana and otsubi

Fig.12.

Interested in checking out all the sensual secrets and more fascinating insights on Hokusai's Manpuku wagojin?  Become a Premium member now and get instant access to this and much more sensual excitement .

Click HERE for a rare complete erotic book series by Kuniyoshi revealing the pleasure quarter secrets

Sources: Shunga, Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art by Timothy Clark a.o., Shunga, the Erotic Art of Japan by M. Fagioli, Love's Labour's Found: The Erotic Art of Hokusai by Richard Lane

Let us know your thoughts on Hokusai's erotica in the comment box below...!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
Darya
By

Darya

on 28 Sep 2022

Thank you for posting Hokusai! These images look weirdly European. I mean, with his plump bodies, Hokusai is Japanese Rubens or Titian.

Marijn Kruijff
By

Marijn Kruijff

on 28 Sep 2022

Thanks Darya, the curved shapes of the female body were probably the universal beauty ideal at the time.

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