Intimacies Between Urashima Taro and the Dragon Princess Otohime
Marijn Kruijff
1 min

Intimacies Between Urashima Taro and the Dragon Princess Otohime

1 min

The composition in this magnificently printed surimono print (Fig.1) has a striking depth perception which is suggested by placing the couple in the foreground on the right and the diagonal lines of the long stone bench. There is also a nice contrast between the rustic space in the building and the wild waves of the sea in the background.

Urashima Taro and Otohime erotic

Fig.1. ‘Urashima Taro caressing the private parts of Otohime‘ (c.1828) from an unidentified series of 12 small surimono prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861).

erotic Urashima Taro Otohime

Fig.1a. Close up

Story of Urashima Taro

The protagonists are the fisherman Urashima Taro and Otohime, the Dragon Princess and daughter of the god of the sea. These two are among the most famous characters of Japanese folklore and mythology. The story is about the fisherman Urashima Taro who gets rewarded for rescuing a turtle, and carried on its back to the Dragon Palace (Ryūgū-jō) beneath the sea.

Princess Otohime

Once there, he is honored by the princess Otohime as a reward. He spends a few days with the princess, but when he returns to shore, he finds that 300 years have passed. And when, finally, he opens the forbidden jewelled box, given to him by Otohime on his departure, he turns into an old man.

Kunisada and Yoshitoshi

This story was also a popular subject among many other ukiyo-e artists such as Kunisada (Fig.2) and Yoshitoshi (Fig.3)…

Otohime Kunisada ukiyo-e

Fig.2. ‘Kabuki dance Oyohime‘ (c.1852) by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)

Urashima Taro by Yoshitoshi

Fig.3. ‘Urashima Taro Returning from the Dragon King’s Palace‘ (1886) from the series ‘Sketches’ by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892)

Click HERE for a rare erotic design from this series depicting the tattooed Suikoden hero Tanmeijiro Genshogo…..!!

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