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13 juli 2017 

Koikawa Shozan, the Prime Topographer of Sex Inspired By Hiroshige

Koikawa Shozan (1831-1907) was a prolific artist* and was active in both the Edo period as the Meiji period. Although his shunga work relies heavily on that of his contemporaries, he created a lot of imaginative designs. He published numerous books in which he used various pen names and also made the illustrations for the stories.

koikawa shozan - gay couple - tokaido road - shunga

Gay Couple at Fukuroi Station’ from the series ‘Tabimakura Gojusantsugi’ (c.1848-1854) by Koikawa Shozan

Topographer of Sex

Ukiyo-e expert and author of the recommended ‘Sex and the Floating World‘, Timon Screech, calls Shozan the prime topographer of sex. This because of his most splendid erotic work ‘Travel Pillow for the Fifty-three Stations (Tabimakura Gojusantsugi) ‘ of the 1850s.


This work consists of 54 coloured designs, one for each station of the Tokaido plus a flyleaf. Each image portrays an Edo resident having sex with another traveller, a ‘waitress’, country girl or even two males (see image above).


It’s interesting to compare Shozan’s designs with the famous ‘Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido‘-series by Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858). For instance the image above features Fukuroi station and you can find Hiroshige’s version here.

Sexual Desire

Shozan also produced a succinctly named Fifty-three Stations of the ‘Tokaido (Tokaido gojusan-tsugi)‘, uniting the shogun’s chief highway and the sexual desire.

Click HERE for more sensual art by this bold artist…!!

*Shozan was a shunga specialist and he produced around 130 shunga works (mainly books).

About the author
Marijn is the founder of 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.


on 2 March 2020

Beautiful piece! Very idyllic background looking like seawater.



on 2 March 2020

Yes, a sea of grass!

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