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 womans 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
Scholten Japanese Art is open Monday - Friday, and some Saturdays by appointment only
Contact Katherine Martin at
(212) 585-0474 or email
to schedule a visit between 11am and 4pm for no more than two individuals at a time.
In order to adhere to New York State guidelines visitors are asked to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
site last updated
July 10, 2020
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
Join our mailing list...