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30 November 2017 

Lesbian Madam Pleasures an Ashamed Young Courtesan

Recently we obtained this striking egoyomi (calendar print) attributed to Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) published in the 1820s. The design shows the unusual but amusing activities on the top floor of a brothel with an older experienced lesbian madam fingering a younger colleague. The latter is a little embarrassed and holds the sleeve of her kimono in front of her mouth to hide her sexual arousal.

Lesbian Intentions

At first glance it looks like the old lady is looking for something (maybe a lost sex toy…ha..ha..) but the presence of a tortoise-shell harigata (dildo), laying on the black cupboard (next to the container with hairpins) and the tissues in the mouth of the madam confirm the sensual lesbian intentions. In Ofer Shagan’s Japanese Erotic Art it is suggested that the older woman is a midwife who is cleaning a pregnant woman’s private parts.

Anyway, a highly entertaining scene that offers us an amusing insight into the dynamic world of the Yoshiwara in the early 19th Century.

Satisfaction Without Men

Designs featuring lesbian activity are very rare as the audience for shunga was predominantly male and publishers were afraid that males were not able to accept that women could find satisfaction without men.

Click HERE for another article on other shunga designs portraying lesbian liaisons…!!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. With more then 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.
Wayne
By

Wayne

on 2 September 2018

Can I buy copies here?

Marijn
Darya
By

Darya

on 1 March 2020

Thank you for this post! As I noticed, shunga prints with older males overpowering their younger partners (e.g. a man and a young geisha\kabuki actor) are more widespread than ones with older women taking the initiative, what makes the latter more memorable and this print may be an example. I've seen a piece with http://www.akantiek.com/shunga/p1832.Utagawa-Kuniyoshi.Suikoden-Heroes.jpg" rel="nofollow">a young boy and an older woman by Kuniyoshi on your akantiek.com website and the second piece I've come across, which is rather a satirical one due to a striking difference of ages, belongs to Hidenobu ('Ehon Haru no yume').

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 2 March 2020

Thanks again for your great contribution Darya! Again, if you have additional images I will be delighted to add them!

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