Aroused Oni Demon and Lucky God Fukurokuju by Kawanabe Kyosai
20 april 2021 
4 min. read

Aroused Oni Demon and Lucky God Fukurokuju by Kawanabe Kyosai

From a set of six tanzaku prints with pictures printed on both sides. The front side designed by Kawanabe Kyōsai (1831-1889) and the reverse depicting the twelve animals of the East Asian zodiac (Fig.4) by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891). The set features elaborate printing techniques such as silver patterns on areas of gold and embossing in the animal’s fur.

Kyosai Lucky Gods

Fig.1.  ‘Fukurukoju and Otafuku observed by an oni‘ (c.1861) from a set of six New Year’s erotic prints

Expel Devils

This design (Fig.1) by Kyosai depicts the Lucky God Fukurokuju* making love anally (!) to Otafuku** who are observed by an aroused oni (demon). The pairing of the Lucky Gods with the demon is most probably a reference to Setusbun, the bean-scattering ceremony to expel devils and invite good fortune. The custom was thought to ensure a year free of evil.

Kawanabe Kyosai Oni Demon

Fig.2. Detail of the oni

lucky gods Kyosai

Fig.3. Detail close up of Fukurokuju and Otafuku

Shibata Zeshin zodiac

Fig.4. Reverse side with the Japanese Zodiac (Juunishi) signs; Tora (tiger) and Tori (rooster) by Shibata Zeshin (1807-91)

Click HERE for an amusing post on another striking Kyosai design with horny Tengu demons, the Strong Boy Kintaro, a fox spirit and uninhibited royals…!!

*Fukurokuju is one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology, and represents wisdom and longevity. He is usually portrayed as bald with long whiskers and an elongated forehead.

**Otafuku (aka Ofuku) is a well-known figure in Japanese mythology. She is often depicted with large cheeks and a joyful smile, her name translates to “much good fortune”.

Source: ‘Sex and Laughter with Kyosai: Shunga from the Israel Goldman Collection‘ by Ishigami Aki and Sadamura Koto

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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.
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