Ryushinzan Shrine

1: Ryushinzan Shrine

Ukiyonosuke in his original size encounters the famous beauties, Osen of the Kagaya teahouse who is representing the Ryushin shrine, and Ofuji of the Yanagi-ya who represents the Kinryuzan shrine. They offer him the magic shrinking potion in response to his prayers for greater wisdom.

Suzuki Harunobu, ca. 1724-1770

Elegant Erotic Mane'emon
(Furyu Enshoku Mane'emon)

complete set of twelve prints with forward from the first volume of the two-volume publication (13 sheets), published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, ca. 1768-70

each chuban yoko-e approximately 8 3/8 by 11 1/2 in., 21.2 by 29.2 cm

This set of twelve prints, in remarkably pristine conditions, is from the first album (of two volumes) published by Nishimuraya Yohachi, with text that is very likely by Komatsuya Hyakki (1720-1793), an influential artist, writer and patron who is thought to have commissioned prints by Harunobu. The story is a light-hearted tale following the adventures of Ukiyonosuke (lit. 'man of the floating world'), an Eddoite who is transformed into a tiny form as small as a bean and he takes the name Mane'emon ('imitation man'). Once transformed, Mane'emon resolves to seek out understanding of the Way of Love. He travels around and is able, thanks to his very small size, observe people in their most intimate settings, commenting on what he sees and frequently mimicking their actions. The first volume depicts his adventures in Edo and the countryside; the second volume relates the activities of the Yoshiwara—which very frequently revolves around the rivalries and manipulations of its occupants. The Mane'emon series, with its great humor and insight, is arguably Harunobu's best-known and best-loved shunga works.

This set published:
Klompmakers, Japanese Erotic Prints, 2001, pp. 52-77, cat. B.1a- B.12,
Uhlenbeck and Winkel, Japanese Erotic Fantasies, 2005, pp. 98-99,
nos. 22 a, b, c, d

References:
Hayashi and Lane (eds.), The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga, no. 21, Harunobu, 1998, pp. 11-14, pl. 5
Kobayashi (ed.), Ukiyo-e soroimono makura-e: Shunga, Vol. II, 1997,
pp. 30-41
Shirakura and Hayakawa, Shunga: Japanese Erotic Art, 2009, cat. nos. 17, 63, 78, 85, 136, 141 (sheets 7, 2, 9, 6, 4, 5)
Calza, Poem of the Pillow and Other Stories, 2010, pp. 152-161
Clark et al., Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, 2013, p. 163-164 (text on sheet 9), pp.173-176, p. 407 (text on sheet 2)
Waterhouse, The Harunobu Decade, 2013, nos. 431-440

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site last updated
June 30, 2020

Scholten Japanese Art
145 West 58th Street, suite 6D
New York, New York 10019
ph: (212) 585-0474
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