A energetic image, which transfers the impression of actually seeing the couple tumbling and rolling through the room.
The man is dressed as a sambasō dancer, perhaps to heighten the sexual tension, Sambasō dances were performed as a prelude to the main plays in Nō and Kabuki theaters, and the dancers were dressed as Okina, or ‘the old man’.
Mask of Okina
When dancing, they wear a mask of Okina, either white with black spots, or black (as in this case) with white spots.
As kissing with wooden lips is not as exciting as kissing real ones, the woman holds the mask aside. The dancer’s clothes are often decorated with symbols for longevity and this also applies to the sensual ‘dancer’ in this image.
He has a crane motif on his kimono, and the clothing hanging loosely over the ikō, or clothes stand is decorated with snow-covered pine trees.
Additionally, there is a suzu (bell-stick) on the ground and a kotsuzumi (small drum) hanging from the clothes stand. People on the street can be seen through the opening leading to the corridor.
Click HERE for another striking article on a sambasō dancer “puppet”.
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