Planetarium III  by Toshiyuki Enoki
4 min

The Joy Of Recognition In The Erotic Paintings Of Toshiyuki Enoki

4 min

The works of the Japanese artist Toshiyuki Enoki (b. 1961) don't contain explicit scenes of the shunga genre. Instead, they turn us back to the deep connection of soft eroticism with allegory, known from the Renaissance period. Not focusing on the physical pleasures in his paintings, Enoki brings us the aesthetic joy of recognizing the many styles he masterfully reproduces.

 Toshiyuki Enoki with his painting at the exhibition

Fig. 1. Toshiyuki Enoki with his painting at the exhibition (

 Toshiyuki Enoki reading with his cat

Fig. 2. Enoki reading with his cat (

 Chinese girl by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 3. Chinese Girl, 2017 (

 Qilin by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 4. Qilin, 2017 ( A legendary hooved chimerical creature that appears in Chinese mythology, and is said to appear with the imminent arrival or passing of a sage or illustrious ruler (

 Distant Hunter by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 5. Distant Thunder, 2009 (

Eclipse by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 6. Eclipse, 1999 (

Umayato, by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 7. Umayato, 1999 ( Umayato or prince Shōtoku was a semi-legendary politician and promoter of Buddhism in Japan in the 7th century. It’s unclear whether the infant embodies Shōtoku or the picture has another meaning.

Ibis, by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 8. Ibis, 2010 (

Cats and Studies

Toshiyuki Enoki was born in Tokyo. There's no info on his childhood, early years, and environment, even in his blogs and diaries, so we don't know how his talent developed and what woke his love for Japanese and European painting. Twenty-five years old, he attained a Bachelor's Degree along with a Design Award at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. Five years of additional studies later, he became a research fellow at the Department of Design. From 2001 to 2004, Enoki worked at the Department as a lecturer. The artist began exhibiting in 1987, one year after graduation. He still holds many expositions, yet all of the events take place mainly in Japan (and rarely in China), which seems a bit weird considering the influence of Western art and, hence, the interest of Westerners. Despite scarce info about the artist, there's a thing one can be sure about (apart from admitting the high level of his works): Enoki is a cat lover, which we always appreciate!

Capricorn  by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 9. Capricorn (

Inducing by Toshiyuki EnokiFig. 10. Inducing, 2017 (

 Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix

Fig. 10a. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Beata Beatrix1870 (

  Papillon Blanc by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 11. Papillon Blanc, 2020 (

 Gustav Klimt, Medicine

Fig. 11a. Gustav Klimt, Medicine, 1900-1907, photo, detail (

Planetarium III  by Toshiyuki Enoki

Fig. 12. Planetarium III, 1991 (

In the extended Premium edition of this article you can find a profound treatise on Enoki's appeal to the Japanese rinpa style, Rennaisance masters and Gustav Klimt, more on his personal web diaries, how he turns every painting into a cultural adventure, and many more examples of his work.

Click HERE for the pencil magic as displayed in the immanent erotica of Amahi Mori


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