The undervalued Kobayashi Eitaku (1843-1890) became a novice at the age of thirteen of the painter Kano Eitoku (1815-1891). He climbed the ladder working as a court painter for the Hikone lords became their official painter and was granted the title of samurai. Notorious He created illustrations for the Yokohama Mainichi Shinbun after the Meiji Restoration (started in 1868) […]
Koikawa Shozan (1831-1907) was a prolific artist* and was active in both the Edo period as the Meiji period. Although his shunga work relies heavily on that of his contemporaries, he created a lot of imaginative designs. He published numerous books in which he used various pen names and also made the illustrations for the stories. Topographer […]
‘A couple making love while writing their wishes for Tanabata (the Star Festival) on slips of paper to hang from bamboo grass.’ From the series ‘Hana-goyomi (Flower Calendar)’, c.1864, Seventh month. Designed by Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-1889) Click HERE for the design of the eighth month!
‘A man and woman singing to a shamisen and dancing. The child seems to be up to some mischief.’ From the series ‘Hana-goyomi (Flower Calendar)’, c.1864, Fourth month. Designed by Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-1889) Click HERE for the design of the fifth month!
‘Shoki, the Demon Queller, happening upon a couple making love in a carp-shaped streamer associated with Tango-no-sekku, the Boy’s Festival. Images of the protective deity Shoki were customarily hung during the festival.’ From the series ‘Hana-goyomi (Flower Calendar)’, c.1864, Fifth month. Designed by Kawanabe Kyosai (1831-1889) Below the image you can find more info and […]
A truly amazing surimono design by the shunga genius Kyõsai. In the foreground a Lion Dancer (a huge festival mask still on his back!) is having sex with a woman while behind them two male manzai performers (stand-up comedians) also engage in sex. Lion Dances and manzai were both performed at the New Year. Antique Japanese color woodblock Kawanabe […]
Kyosai’s series ‘Hana-goyomi (Flower Calendar) is a delightful set of twelve koban (small-format) prints serving, as the title suggests, as a monthly calendar. During the Edo period the year was divided into twelve lunar months, some having thirty days (dai or long months) and others having twenty-nine days (sho or short months). The length of a given month […]
Pictures of lesbians were also popular in shunga (although they are very rare!). The depicted women are usually shown using a special dildo (harigata), composed like a double-sided phallus. Although I have seen pictures in which a woman was wearing a mask (see the second print in the video below!) of a male kabuki actor, […]
The following dazzling erotic image refers to Tanabata (Evening of the seventh aka. Star Festival). This Japanese festival emerged from the Chinese Festival Qixi. The Deities Orihime and Hikoboshi It celebrates the reunion of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi who are symbolized by the stars Vega and Altair. It is believed that the Milky Way […]
In the previous article we explored the Kunisada series ‘A True-life Devoted Genji’ (c.1851) which included a erotic design featuring Ashikaga Yoshimitsu making love holding a candlestick see (Fig.2.). Today we look at the ode to this design Migita Toshihide (1862-1925). The Meiji artist Toshihide who was a pupil of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892) and got his […]