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14 Sensual Encounters Behind Mosquito-Netting Available in Our Gallery

14 Sensual Encounters Behind Mosquito-Netting Available in Our Gallery

In the mise-en-scène of the shunga idiom the different seasons could be conveyed for instance by the snow in the background, seasonal clothing, popular festivals, specific flowers, an incense burner would indicate summer and a kotatsu (heated table) winter.

Mosquito-netting

Mosquito-netting emphasized the hottest days of summer. They were often ingeniously incorporated in the composition and were a printer’s “nightmare“ due to the complex printing-process.

mosquito netting

Angry man interrupting intimate couple‘ * (c.1820s) attributed to Keisai Eisen (Euro 285,-)

Superimposed

The rendering of the mosquito net is a stunning example of nishiki-e printing techniques, in which vertical and horizontal green lines were superimposed in two printing stages to represent the weave of the hempen net, over which a further screen of faint green was applied. The seafloor-like atmosphere of the interior of the mosquito-net is thus superbly conveyed. Carving the weave of the mosquito-net presented such a challenge that most shunga on this theme depict the lovers outside the raised net.

Below you can find some nice examples of this sub-category by Kunisada and some of his colleagues…

mosquito netting

Nude copulating couple and weeping baby‘ (c.1839) from the series ‘Shunjō nikubusuma’ by Utagawa Kunisada

A design completely dominated by the mosquito-net. During a sultry summer day a completely naked couple is making love against the will of their crying infant.

sensual mosquito net

Woman sitting on top of her lover‘ (c.1834) from the series ‘Shinsetsu iro no nakidame‘ attrib. to Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) (Sold)

Another image with an intimate couple completely surrounded by a mosquito net.

sensual mosquito netting

‘Longing gazes behind the mosquito-net’ (c.1820s) by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848) (Euro 450,-)

An intimate couple in the early phase of falling in love during a hot summer day. Look at their longing gazes. Because of the busy pattern of the mosquito-net covering the whole design, the added dialogue has been included in the above margin.

sensual mosquito-netting

Keep the mosquitoes out‘ (c.1827) from the series ‘Shunka shuto shiki no nagame (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter: Prospects for the Four Seasons)‘ by Utagawa Kunisada (Euro 885,-)

A married couple sitting under the shelter of mosquito-netting during a hot summer day. They just made love and the woman is holding a lighted incense stick to look for an invaded mosquito, while her spouse tries to keep cool by using his fan.

sensual mosquito netting

The unfaithful wife‘ (c.1842) from the series ‘Viewing Forms in the Four Seasons (Shiki no sugatami)‘ by Utagawa Kunisada

This excellent design of the cheating wife has been described by ukiyo-e expert as follows: “…Kunisada also used this in a page of his ‘Viewing Forms in the Four Seasons (Shiki no sugatami)‘, where the viewer sees a woman’s head (and mind) still in bed with her rightful partner, while her genitals — divided by the netting — are outside (illus. 49). Although she is aware of what she does, the status of her sexual act, sectioned off from her head, seems dreamlike, for mental and bodily zones do not match. Pictorially, she is doing nothing wrong.”

sensual mosquito netting

Interrupted threesome by heavy thunder‘ (c.1830) from the series ‘Ama no ukibashi (The Floating Bridge of Heaven)‘ by Yanagawa Shigenobu

Concealed by a fine-meshed mosquito net, a man takes advantage of the young women’s fear of heavy thunder.

mosquito netting

Tattooed drunkard behind mosquito-netting‘ (c.1840) attrib. to Utagawa Kunisada

An intricate scene depicting a man sleeping off his hangover lying behind a mosquito net while his deceiving wife is making love in the front part of the room. The image is filled with amusing details such as the drool coming from the drunkard’s mouth, his heavily tattooed upper arms and the fallen sake bowl.

mosquito netting

Overtaken by heavy thunder‘ (c.1830) by Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)

A dynamic and complicated erotic design by the ukiyo-e master Keisai Eisen. The complexity is in the rendering of the different garments, the mosquito-net and the flashes of lightning which has overtaken this couple !

mosquito netting

Two mosquito-nets‘ (c.1835) from the series ‘Hana no miyakoji‘ by either Utagawa Kunisada or Kuniyoshi

Two intimate couples divided by two seperate mosquito nets. Also striking is the unusual view point of the couple on the left in the back depicted in the north/south position.

mosquito netting

Insatiable couple during a hot summer day‘ (c.1830) by Utagawa Kunisada

A woman is reading a shunga book for renewed inspiration while the man is cleaning his genitals. The number of used paper tissues scattered around (one sticking out of her private parts) is an indication of their insatiable incessant appetite and tirelessness. Look for the mosquito sitting on the net on the outside.

mosquito netting

Old kissing couple‘ (c.1768) from the series ‘Furyu enshoku Maneemon (The Fashionable Lusty Maneemon)‘ by Suzuki Harunobu (Euro 2350,-)

An old man kisses his wife, who is holding a bowl and a tea whisk. Another (young) couple makes love in the adjoining room divided by a mosquito-net and Maneemon (Mannekin) sits at ease between the two couples.

The old man points his finger towards the other couple as if to say, ‘ What they can do, we can do too’. In contrast the enormous penises usually depicted in shunga, here the old man’s scrotum is greatly enlarged.

mosquito netting

Couple underneath mosquito-net invaded by a tattooed villain‘ (c.1837) from the series ‘The Eight Dog Heroes of the Satomi Clan‘ by Utagawa Kunisada   (Euro 865,-)

An intimate couple is violently disturbed by a tattooed intruder. The invader is holding the husband underneath the mosquito-net while grabbing the woman’s kimono who’s trying to flee. A famous image from Kunisada’s The Eight Dog Heroes of the Satomi Clan.

mosquito netting

Entangled in the net‘ (late.1790s) attributed to Chokyosai Eiri (act. c. 1795-1801) (Euro 985,-)

An elegant erotic design portraying a young couple having intercourse while entwined in a mosquito-net.The carving of weave of the mosquito-net was such a challenge that most shunga on this theme feature the protagonists outside the raised net.

Collector’s Tip

Some of our clients collect bathhouse, or gay, or lesbian, or animals, or close ups scenes..etc. but up to now none of our clients chose the mosquito-net theme as the reference point of their collection while it is such an intriguing one with many perspectives. I would recommend it wholeheartedly to each shunga fan and the above pieces would be a great starting point.

Click HERE for more shunga for sale…!!!

*An angry deceived man holding a lantern grabs the male lover who is making love to his wife. The woman is ‘hiding’ behind the mosquito-net.

Comment Section

2 thoughts on “14 Sensual Encounters Behind Mosquito-Netting Available in Our Gallery


By P.C.Brouwer on 31 August 2018

I certainly enjoy the situations. Think that in a time of illiteracy, the book designs had an instructional function. The end of the samurai culture did not mean the end of the macho culture. I am curious about the “me too” discussion in Japan. KR, Peter


By Marijn on 4 September 2018

You are right Peter, the shunga illustrations gave the reader at the time a nice picture of the sensual interaction of their fellow citizens in the brothel quarters of Edo and in domestic situations. The contemporary Japanese is very reticent about discussing intimacy. So I suspect, the “me too” discussion will start a little slower in Japan.

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