Utamaro’s Sensual Flowers in Violent Bloom
Marijn Kruijff
1 min

Utamaro's Sensual Flowers in Violent Bloom

1 min

The book series Ehon hana fubuki (Picture-book of Flowers in Violent Bloom) was a partnership between Utamaro and the writer Jippensha Ikku (1765-1831). The latter gained fame in the same year of this publication, with the publication of the bawdy Tokaido-chu hizakurige (Shank’s Mare Along the Tokai Highway).

According to Asano and Clark (1995: text vol.,284), Ikku created the introduction and the pornographic texts at the end of each volume, while Utamaro was responsible for the designs and the dialogue within them.

In a basement, a barely dressed prowler has selected a sleeping female victim to carry out his vile practice. He is being spied upon by a man who is sitting behind a folding screen.

A man makes advances to a mother or wet-nurse suckling a child. This is a wonderful composition in the typical Utamaro style, in which the compositional arrangement runs from the bottom left to the top right.

A couple has stripped themselves from their kimono and are making love stark naked. The male is penetrating his ecstatic female lover from the rear with his arms resting on her back. The female lustfully embraces her kimono.

The partial dialogue reads:

(man) “It is the duty of newlyweds, so let’s do this every night. For as long as our hips hold out.”

The onlooker looks through a mosquito-net to see a child fast asleep, while his mother or wet-nurse moves towards her partner.

Click HERE for more great erotic art by Utamaro!


Source: ‘Japanese Erotic Fantasies – Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period‘ by Chris Uhlenbeck