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Katsukawa Shuncho

fl. 1781 - 1801

Waters of Edo: At a Teahouse
(Edo no mizu)

the man, probably a customer at a brothel or teahouse, awkwardly grips a woman’s shoulders as he enters her from behind, she coolly endures his clumsy advances, overturned tea cup and saucer to the left, in the background is a large tsuitate standing screen decorated with a stylized wave pattern, ca. 1795-97

oban yoko-e 10 1/8 by 15 1/4 in., 25.6 by 38.6 cm

He seems to be a returning customer: "“I was very eager to see you, whenever I see you I just want to do you, Oshita-san! What a name you came up with!”" (‘'shita’' or ‘'to do it',’ so her name is suggestive). She tries to hold him off: “"Yes but there might be someone coming here so please let me go, I'’m not saying I don’'t want to do it, please wait until dusk or evening, I will close the shop…”..." he is impatient: “"As I am babbling, I am already entirely inside of you”" although she protests: “"Hey wait, you’'re hurting me.”" With this exchange, it is unclear if she is the teahouse waitress or proprietor. Nor is it clear if this is her boyfriend or a ‘'regular’' paying lover (najimi). What is clear, however, is that she is not objecting to the act of sex, but the timing of it.

Highlights of Japanese Printmaking Part 4: Shunga, Scholten Japanese Art, 2014, cat. no. 36

Shirakura Yoshihiko, Eiri shunga ehon mokuroku, 2007, p. 91

price: $ 3,800


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site last updated
March 31, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
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ph: (212) 585-0474
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