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10 October 2019 

Nishikawa Sukenobu: The Great Shunga Master of the Kamigata Area

Nishikawa Sukenobu (西川 祐信, 1671-1750) is by many critics considered the greatest ukiyo-e artist coming from the Kamigata region (Kyoto and Osaka). His exceptional mastery in portraying the female figure meant that he was in great demand for shunga illustrations.

Female Beauties

Sukenobu studied painting under Kano Eino of the Kano school in Kyoto; he may also have studied under Tosa Mitsusuke of the Tosa school. His earliest known works are book illustrations that date to 1699. Sukenobu specialized in images of female beauties from various classes in their everyday lives. He also created books of kimono patterns, musha-e (warrior portraits), illustrations for classical novels, erotica (shunga) and paintings.

Grandeur

Sukenobu’s both erotic and non-erotic works expose his stylistic qualities. Into his figures, particularly those of women, he infused a refinement of features, and a sense of grandeur in the expressions and gestures. He influenced all the great ukiyo-e masters of later generations from Harunobu to Utamaro, from Okumura Masanobu to Chobunsai Eishi down to the later phases of the work by Hokusai.

The discussed shunga illustrations below show, among other things, Sukenobu’s great sense of humor…

nishikawa sukenobu

Two intimate scenes with two separate couples‘ (c.1710)

 Nishikawa Sukenobu

A possessive geisha is stamping the glans of her lover to prevent him from cheating. If the ink remains when she next sees him, she will know he has been faithful to her.

 Nishikawa Sukenobu

Detail of genitals

 Nishikawa Sukenobu

Intimate encounter with couple almost completely covered by the blanket‘ (c.1715) by Nishikawa Sukenobu

Two reclusive females using inventive ways to satisfy themselves sexually‘ (c.1711) from the series ‘Enjo iro shigure‘ by Nishikawa Sukenobu

nishikawa sukenobu

Young female playing with herself (l) while looking at a nude intimate couple in the other room‘ (c.1717) from the series ‘Waraku ironando‘ by Nishikawa Sukenobu

Nishikawa Sukenobu

Young girl observing an intimate couple in the other room. She is so aroused that she uses the hilt of a samurai sword to stimulate her private parts

Nishikawa Sukenobu

Nude couple fooling around with a harigata (strap-on dildo)

Nishikawa Sukenobu

Young courtesan picking the stubble of a client‘ (c.1711) from the series ‘Furyo Iro Kaiawase

Nishikawa Sukenobu

A male client wets his fingers before penetrating a young courtesan. A female colleague observes them through the bars of a stairwell. Behind the couple stands the Japanese board game ban-sugoroku ‘ (c.1722) from the series ‘Nure sugata ai some kawa

Click HERE for sensual art by an important contemporary of Sukenobu…!!

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.
Darya
Darya
Darya
By

Darya

on 12 February 2020

Stamping the glans or writing on is a repetitive shunga topic as I've noticed. Hokusai depicted a scene of this kind in his 'Kinoe No Komatsu' series. On the 'Ronin Gallery' website I came across a bit similar design, attributed to Eisen (www.roningallery.сom/writing-a-love-poem). Another http://www.instagram.сom/p/BUlExZtls40/" rel="nofollow">onecan be seen on the 'Daily Shunga' instagram account.

Darya
By

Darya

on 12 February 2020

P.S. I replaced c's in 'com's with russian letter 'с' to insert links in my comment (otherwise the comment doesn't appear under the post). At this moment I faced a https://www.roningallery.сom/fireworks-in-western-edo" rel="nofollow">piecein 'Ronin Gallery', which is close stylistically to 'Writing a love poem', but it's attributed to Kunisada.

Darya
By

Darya

on 13 February 2020

So it would be great to learn what's the difference between these three pieces or they're just variations on the theme. Thank you for this post as usual!

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 13 February 2020

Thanks a lot for your question Darya. All the designs you are referring to are based on the same theme of the jealous female lover (often a geisha) who uses a brush to inscribe her lover's penis with the words 'This belongs to...' or something similar. The koban designs you mention are very close to and inspired by Hokusai's Kinoe no komatsu design. You can check out Hokusai's design by clicking http://www.akantiek.com/shunga/p2276.Katsushika-Hokusai.jpg" rel="nofollow">here...!

Darya
By

Darya

on 14 February 2020

Thanks for your answer!

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 14 February 2020

You're welcome Darya, if you have more questions please don't hesitate asking.

socks
By

socks

on 27 March 2020

wwww Very nice

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 30 March 2020

Thanks Socks!

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