Shunga

Shunga (春画) is the Japanese term for erotic art.  The word “shunga” literally means spring picture, with “spring” being a euphemism for sex.  Most shunga was published in books, with the larger images spanning two facing pages.  Although shunga is generally unsigned, hidden signatures and known pseudonyms often permit identification of the artist.  Kuniyoshi is known to have used the pseudonyms Hakubyôkai Hodoyoshi (happy keeper of white cats), Gobyôtei Hodoyoshi (five cat home–just right), and Sanbentei Nekoyoshi (the Sanbentei cat lover).  The titles of shunga are often plays on words, resulting is widely varying translations.  A good introduction to shunga may be found in this article by Marijn Kruijff.

 

Series

Date

Shirakura*

Robinson

Tôsei Suikoden (A Modern Suikoden)

1829

6

 

Ehon Chushingura (Treasury of the Loyal Retainers)

1829

16

 

Hiyaku mon futari furisode

1829

22

 

Fuzuko Suikoden (An Elegant Suikoden)

1829

28

 

Tsukushi matsu fuji no shigarami (The Matsu Fuji Weir in Kyûshû)

1830

30

 

Yakô no tama

1830

36

 

Hyaku mana ko

1830

42

 

Kaidan hyakki yagyô (Ghost Stories: Night Procession of the Hundred Demons) Images added 11/6/17

1830

156

 

Ôeyama

1831

48

 

Tôsei azuma buri (The Truth about Modern Wicked Women of the Eastern Capital)

1831

58

 

Shunshoku mutamagawa (Spring Scenery along the Six Crystal Rivers)

1832

68

 

Enpon juichidan gaeshi

1832

70

 

Aki no nanakusa zokuhen (Seven Flowers of Autumn: The Sequel)

1832

74

 

Mitsu Segawa gokuraku asobi

1832

78

 

Ômi hakkei (Eight Views of Lovers’ Meetings)

1833

82

 

Koi Genji (Genji Love)

1833

160

 

Edo Murasaki Yoshiwara Genji (Edo’s Murasaki and Yoshiwara’s Genji)

1834

92

 

Hana-goyomi (Calendar of Flowers)

1835

94

 

Azuma Genji awase (Prince Genji of the East) Image added 10/25/17

1835

 

 

Shunshoku irifune chô (Spring Scenery for the Launching of New Ships)

1837

102

 

Gyokueki chiwa hana ikada (Flowers by a Stream)

1837

108

 

Hana-musubi Irono Hodoyoshi (Fitting Colors of Floral Decorations)

1837

116

 

Edo nishiki azuma bunko (Edo Brocade, The Eastern Library)

1838

124

 

Chinpen shinkeibai

1839

132

 

Kuni no sakae (A Country’s Glory)

1840

 

 

Tanuki (Raccoon Dogs)

1842

 

209

Aratamete tanuki no tawamure (More Fun with Raccoon Dogs)

1844-1846

 

 

Dôke tanuki no... (The Popular Raccoon Dogs as...)

1846

 

 

Nan-nyo no ryoji (Male and Female Travelers)

1849-1850

 

 

Shima asobi

1852

142

 

Takarabune hichi fuku jin (The Female Treasure Ship)

1853

144

 

Tôsei komonchô (Little Book of Fashionable Patterns)

1853

146

 

Shunshoku matsu no sakae (The Vigorous Growth of the Erotic Pine)

c. 1848-1854

 

 

Shunshoku chisato no chigiri (Erotic Connections with Distant Lands)

c. 1840s-1860s

 

 

Irigunki

 

150

 

Adamakura Chûshingura (Revenge of the Loyal Retainers:)

1857

154

 

    

Miscellaneous shunga prints

 

90, 161

 

Shunga paintings

 

158

 

*Page number in Japanese Shunga of Kuniyoshi by Yoshihiko Shirakura, 2012, Heibonsha Ltd., Tokyo

Series number in Kuniyoshi by Basil William Robinson, 1961, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

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