Kyosai's Comical Wink to Shoki, the Demon Queller and the Tanabata Stars
Shoki, the Demon Queller
Figure 1 depicts a design for the 5th month (May): “A woman attacks Shoki (Zhong Kui) with a geisha pillow as he tries to sleep with her, exclaiming, ‘How impudent!’, she overpowers him by grabbing his beard. Shoki, known as the Demons Queller, is usually a strong protector, and his expression here is very comical. Pictures of Shoki were hung for the Boy’s Festival in the fifth month.
This second design (Fig.2) is for the 7th month (July): The Tanabata stars Kengyu (Altair) and the weaver woman Orihime (Vega) light up as they observe the moment of penetration.
Located on both sides of the Galaxy, Hikoboshi and Orihime were allowed to meet once a year on the eve of the seventh day of the seventh lunar month (July) during the Tanabata Festival. Therefore this image is related to July and the year of 1871. Kyosai’s depiction can be said to be almost ‘scientifically anatomical‘ in its precision.
Sources: ‘Sex and Laughter with Kyosai: Shunga from the Israel Goldman Collection‘ by Ishigami Aki and Sadamura Koto
‘Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period‘ by Chris Uhlenbeck a.0.
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