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Utagawa Hiroshige  (1797 - 1858)       p2176 ~ p2188.

‘Kuniyoshi no Shunga (Bessatsy Taiyou)’ by Yoshihiko Shirakura and Shugo Asano.

Kuniyoshi no Shunga (Bessatsy Taiyou)’ by Yoshihiko Shirakura and Shugo Asano.
< Book is published by Heybonsha, 2012.

 

 

 

 

Striking about the designs of the ‘Edo Brocades,The Eastern Library’-series is that they all feature intimate married couples. Courtesans or secret mistresses are missing in these scenes. The focus is primarily on the intimacy between husbands and spouses. Over the years there has been much debate about the attribution of this series, here you can find two examples:

“These shunga belong to the book Edo nishiki, Azuma Bunko (Brocades of Edo, Library of Azuma; a three-volume hanshi-bon from about 1850), a work traditionally attributed to Kuniyoshi and only recently attributed to the catalogue of Hiroshige, of which this represents without a doubt the masterpiece of the genre of the erotic prints, thus rarely practiced by the artist”. (Shunga, the Erotic Art of Japan by Marco Fagioli)

“Much discussion has been generated regarding the artist of this book, which was previously attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (see Hillier 1987: vol.2,907-8). The earlier attribution to Hiroshige was based on the inclusion of his artist’s name ‘Ichiryusai’ on the title page of volume one. However, Tsuji Nobuo argues (1995:2) that the name ‘Hodoyoshi’ listed in the preface of his book is in fact the pseudonym used by Kuniyoshi in his erotic books (see cat. no.81). Tsuji also believes that this was probably a work from around 1838, when Kuniyoshi was at the peak of his career”. (Japanese Erotic Fantasies by Chris Uhlenbeck)
> Click here for more articles on Japanese woodblock prints, shunga...etc.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Masterful Close Up Design – Embracing Lovers – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Masterful Close Up Design – Embracing Lovers – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition. Some minor pigment staining, minor marks and flaws. 
Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A man embraces and kisses (in Japan was, and is kissing in public a taboo) his lover, who is attempting to dress her hair.The woman’s beautifully patterned blue robe is identical to that worn by the man in P2177”.

Reference: p.203 (Ill.78d.) in Japanese Erotic Fantasies by Chris Uhlenbeck.

 

 

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Famous Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Labourer & Prostitute – c.1838.

Famous Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Labourer & Prostitute – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition. Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“An encounter betweena lower-class prostitute and most likely a manual labourer. Similar to P2176 (print above!), the design differs in focus and scale from other prints in the book. The view is close-up, and thus the conveyance of enjoyment is much more palpable to the viewer”.

References: p.202 (Ill.78b.) in Japanese Erotic Fantasies by Chris Uhlenbeck.
p.160/161 (Ill.174) in Shunga, the Erotic Art of Japan by Marco Fagioli.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Passionate Couple – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Passionate Couple – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A man holds his wife, who is sitting on his lap, tightly to her kimono”.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Wetting Fingers – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Wetting Fingers – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A rare scene featuring a design in close-up of a couple preparing themeselves for penetration with the man wetting his fingers. The origami figures behind the woman ...reminiscent... her previous activities”.

Reference: p.126/127 in ‘Kuniyoshi no Shunga (Bessatsy Taiyou)’ by Yoshihiko Shirakura and Shugo Asano.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Excited Couple – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Excited Couple – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A very rare cinematographic-like shot of a couple shown from the waist up beautifully set against a dark blue ground”.

References: p.158 (Ill.158) in Shunga, the Erotic Art of Japan by Marco Fagioli.
p.124/125 in ‘Kuniyoshi no Shunga (Bessatsy Taiyou)’ by Yoshihiko Shirakura and Shugo Asano.
This design was also used as a book cover (see the first image on this page!) on a Japanse book on Kuniyoshi.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Bamboo Blind – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Bamboo Blind – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition. Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A couple is in the act of love while the woman is closing the bamboo curtain to avoid unexpected onlookers”.

Reference: p.129 in ‘Kuniyoshi no Shunga (Bessatsy Taiyou)’ by Yoshihiko Shirakura and Shugo Asano.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Nipple Suckling – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Nipple Suckling – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A male lover is suckling (in Japan this has a humorous ‘childish’ connotation) one of his wife’s breasts. 
Both man and woman are completely naked which is rather rare in shunga depictions”.

Reference: p.128 in ‘Kuniyoshi no Shunga (Bessatsy Taiyou)’ by Yoshihiko Shirakura and Shugo Asano.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Sliding Door – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Sliding Door – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A man is closing the sliding door before getting intimate with his wife. The woman is excitingly biting her collar”.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Ear Picking – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Ear Picking – c.1838.
> Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A couple shares an intimate moment with the woman picking her husband’s ear with an ear picker”.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Passionate Kiss – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Passionate Kiss – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition. Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“A couple in the act of love kissing passionately. Kissing is in Japanese culture only reserved to the beloved ones”.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Orgasmic Pose – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Orgasmic Pose – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 11 3/4” x 9 1/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition.Minor marks and flaws only. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“An orgasmic moment with the woman squatting on top her lover while both are in a state of ecstacy. 
Striking is that both man and woman have a similar facial expression while facing opposite directions”.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Excited Woman – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Excited Woman – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 9 1/4” x 6 1/3”. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition. Some minor wrinkling and paper loss due to metallic pigments,
minor marks and flaws. Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“An indigent woman biting her collar while she looks longingly at the viewer”.

 

 

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Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Dry Rice – Preoccupied – c.1838.

Hiroshige – Kuniyoshi – Dry Rice – Preoccupied – c.1838.
  > Click on the Picture.

Description:

Original antique Japanese color woodblock attributed to Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) or Kuniyoshi (1797–1861). 
Date: c.1838. Size: 9 1/3” x 6 2/5” inches. Series: Edo nishiki-e azuma bunko (‘Edo Brocades, The Eastern Library’). 
Excellent impression, fine color and near fine condition. A very slight horizonal folding mark, minor wear and soiling. 
Excellent use of metallic pigments.

“An excited woman, lost in her thoughts, is holding a small bundle of dry rice in her hand. Spring is the season of fertility 
and in Japan dry rice (seed) symbolizes this. For this reason a lot of shunga scenes are enacted during the rice planting”.

 

 


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