Mirror of Pine Needle Positions: Opposing Mirrors
(Ehon matsuba kagami: awase kagami)
attributed to Katsushika Hokusu; a samurai wearing travel attire including hempen (straw raincoat) and a tenugui (cloth towel) protecting his head makes love to a courtesan on a tatami mat under a thatched awning, a snow-speckled umbrella leans in the corner to the left; embellished with metallic printing on the brocade of her unraveling obi and with karazuri ('blind printing') of the wave pattern on her white collar, ca. 1822
oban yoko-e 9 7/8 by 14 5/8 in., 25 by 37.2 cm
This may be a courtesan with her mabu (secret lover); in the dialogue the man declares: "I captured you and brought you here, near the Azumabashi." The Azuma Bridge on the Sumida River connected the Asakusa and Honjo neighborhoods during the Edo Period. Although this print has been attributed to Hokusai or Shigenobu, more recently, Hayashi and Shirakura attribute this print to Hokusu, another follower of Hokusai.
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking Part 4: Shunga, Scholten Japanese Art, 2014, cat. no. 42
Fukuda Kazuhiko, Ukiyo-e no higi ga, 1978, p. 105 (attributed to Hokusai)
Chris Uhlenbeck and Margarita Winkel, Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period, 2005, p. 175, no. 64
Hayashi Yoshikazu, Edo ehon meisaku shiryo sen, n.d.
Shirakura Yoshihiko, Eiri shunga ehon mokuroku, 2007, p. 79
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
February 26, 2021
Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
fx: (212) 585-0475
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