The Scent of the Flower
(Hana no kaori)
set of twelve koban shunga with original fukuro (wrapper); each print embellished with very fine metallic details and karazuri ('blind printing'), the wrapper inscribed in ink (most-likely by the owner) Meiji sanju hachinen shigatsu (Meiji 38 , 4th month), ca. 1905
each koban yoko-e approximately 3 5/8 by 5 in., 9.2 by 12.8 cm
The wrapper is further marked on the verso with inscribed ink and pencil notations including an indication that the set was intended as a wedding present: Keikkon wo musubu (....'for the wedding').
Unlike most Edo-period shunga sets, this set of small deluxe prints depicts only passionate encounters between amorous couples. There are no resisting partners, propositions or manipulations. The primary message is of mutual pleasure, and most of the dialogue is devoted to describing their appreciation and excitement, which is heightened by typical anxieties regarding privacy.
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking Part 4: Shunga, Scholten Japanese Art, 2014, cat. no. 61
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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