Shunga Video Featuring Rare Koban Designs by Utamaro
The video below features uncommon shunga prints in the koban (smaller)-sized format attributed to Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806). The designs are of sensual rendezvous of mainly married couples in domestic settings. Sometimes even their offspring is included.
A man is “gaining access” to his loved one. The latter brings the sleeve of the kimono to her mouth to emphasize her excitement. In Japan, the sleeve translates the submerging emotional eruptions since ancient times.
A married couple share a bowl of soup while the woman tenderly masturbates the man’s penis.
An infant has been instructed to look the other way while the couple (their parents?) execute their sensual intentions.
During a humid summer day a nude man is having intercourse with his lover who’s only wearing a purple kimono. The image shows that Utamaro did not shy away from depicting the naked figure. They are surrounded by smoker’s requisites and a flat fan.
A man is penetrating the mother or wet-nurse suckling a child from the rear. The body of the man and the newborn have been printed in flesh tones using a metallic pigment that has since oxidized, creating darkened areas and imbuing the figure with texture. A striking comical detail is the Daruma doll* in the background, staring at us, the viewer, with piercing eyes .
The following shunga video features the complete set of twelve:
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*A Daruma doll is a hollow, curved, traditional Japanese doll shaped after the founder of the Zen tradition of Buddhism, Bodhidharma.