Torii Kiyonaga Twelve Modern Reflections of Love- Maiden

Torii Kiyonaga, 1752-1815

Twelve Modern Reflections of Love: Maiden
(Imayo Juni Kagami: Kimusume)

an inexperienced teenage girl, wearing a furisode which indicates her youth, is coerced by a visitor, possibly a bookseller or book-lender, ca. 1785

chuban yoko-e 7 5/8 by 10 3/8 in., 19.3 by 26.5 cm

The visitor appears to be an agent of a kashihon'ya (commercial book-lender) who is taking advantage of an absent matron of the house. The girl protests "Stop this, I'm going to tell the mistress." He insists: "You're mature enough, don't be a baby."

One of the ways that ehon (illustrated books) and shunpon (erotic books) were distributed during the Edo Period were by traveling book-lenders. Although erotic prints and books could be acquired at print and bookshops, the advantage offered by the itinerant book-lenders is obvious—the convenience of browsing in one's home and the affordability of borrowing as opposed to purchasing what were often sumptuously produced volumes.

Laura Moretti, The Distribution and Circulation of Erotic Prints and Books
in the Edo Period
, in Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art, 2013, pp. 300-305



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