Attributed to Katsushika Hokusu, Mirror of Pine Needle Positions-Opposing Mirrors

Attributed to Katsushika Hokusu, active ca. 1804-1830

Mirror of Pine Needle Positions: Opposing Mirrors
(Ehon Matsuba Kagami: Awase Kagami)

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.

Fukuda, Ukiyo-e no higi ga, 1978, p. 105 (attributed to Hokusai)
Uhlenbeck and Winkel, Japanese Erotic Fantasies, 2005, p. 175, no. 64
Hayashi, Edo ehon meisaku shiryo sen, n.d.
Shirakura, Eiri shunga ehon mokuroku, 2007, p. 79



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