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Lion Dance Performer Having a Passionate Encounter During the Festival

Lion Dance Performer Having a Passionate Encounter During the Festival

A passionate, sexual encounter within a tightly-filled frame. A geisha and her secret lover meet during the festival – he sporting a half-opened fan and head-covering, finery for performance of the Lion Dance.

Passionate Kiss

The tension of the situaton is well expressed by the girl’s passionate kiss (reserved in Ancient Japan, for intimate contact only), and in the strategic placement of the man’s hand.  The newly introduced ukiyo-e enthusiast may need some time to discern the protagonists’ various accessories, but it is well worth the effort.

lion dance performer

Lion dance performer and geisha‘ (c.1812-14) from the series ‘Tsuhi no hinagata (Models of Loving Couples)‘ by Katsushika Hokusai


As is customary in shunga, the sexual organs are portrayed in hyperbolic size, an artistic device that is unequivocally a relic of ancient phallic worship, while effectively symbolizing the participants’ highly aroused state.


The ukiyo-e expert Richard Lane considers this the masterpiece of the ‘Tsuhi no hinagata‘ -series and describes it as follows:

Its  composition as impeccable, its lovers’ powerful emotions at their peak – a fact most forcefully apparent even to the casual viewer. The scene represents, in fact, that true acme of erotic pleasure: when overpowering passions and expectations fill the entire bodies of the protagonists, making their subsequent “climax” more an afterthought than a man event.

lion dance performer

Another impression housed in the Honolulu Museum of Art

Click HERE for another forceful plate from this important shunga series..!!

Source: ‘The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga: Hokusai and the Tsuhi no hinagata Shunga Album‘ (Vol.13) by Richard Lane

Comment Section

2 thoughts on “Lion Dance Performer Having a Passionate Encounter During the Festival

By Peter Brouwer on 1 February 2019

Thank you Marijn for the continues effort of explaining the human aberrations on their sexual journey in the past era.I think this will go on in the future despite the efforts of the religions to regulate the human thinking.

By Marijn on 1 February 2019

And thank you for your continuing feedback and support Peter! Yes, I think that the emerging secularisation and the accompanying liberal ideas will eventually ensure that people will think more freely about these sensual art forms.

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