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20 October 2017 

Japanese Shunga Surimono Depicting the Collection of Vaginal Fluid

In this probably unique and distinguishing Japanese shunga surimono (commissioned print) Shigenobu portrays his sensual participants, a European couple, as godlike figures (the female is stunningly beautiful) set in a celestial setting.

Vaginal Fluids

Underneath the genitals of the woman vaginal fluids are collected on a plate. The inevitable incense burner(*) on a small table in the background.

Fig.1. Surimono featuring a ‘Western Couple‘ (c.1830) by Yanagawa Shigenobu (1787-1833)

This specific print is depicted in the book ‘Strangers in Paradise‘ by Dr.Richard Lane. On p.122 (see Fig.2.) it is juxtaposed against a lithograph by Picasso (dated 1963), which is inspired on Shigenobu.

japanese shunga

Fig.2. (p.122 ‘Strangers in Paradise‘ by Dr.Richard Lane)

japanese shunga

Fig.3. (p.71 in ‘Strangers in Paradise‘ by Dr.Richard Lane)

Click HERE for another Japanese shunga design by Shigenobu on a similar subject with an outrageous Chinese couple!

Click HERE for other shunga designs that inspired Picasso!

*Incense burners were frequently added when foreign couples were depicted. In Japanese/Nagasaki society it was whispered that these exotic foreigners were rather “smelly”.

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