Dreams of Desire 62 (Hokusai)

Hokusai-Gods of Myriad Conjugal Delights 1821
Hokusai-Gods of Myriad Conjugal Delights-1821

Katsushika Hokusai is undoubtedly the most famous ukiyo-e (pictures of the floating world) artist of the Edo period. Not only was he responsible for the single most famous Japanese artwork, The Great Wave OffKanagawa, his The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is the most widely known example of shunga (spring pictures), the astounding Japanese erotic art that flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries.

What is striking about ukiyo-e is that every major artist of the period produced shunga, including Eiri, Utamaro, Kuniyoshi, Kunisada and Eisen. Although shunga was subject to periodic censorship by the shogunate, this didn’t seem to affect its widespread popularity among all classes of Japanese society. It was also a highly profitable venture for the artist who could supplement their income for months with a single painting.

Below are examples of Hokusai’s work, including The Great Wave Off Kanagawa as well as some brillitantly executed shunga.

hokusai-japan-manga-rome-exhibition[1]
The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
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Hokusai-Sea Cucumber
Shunga_lesbiennes_-_doble_harikata[1]
Hokusai-Entangled
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Hokusai
models hugs[1]
Hokusai
scena_erotica_shunga_realizata_cu_pigmenti_metalici_reprezentand_un_cuplu_intr-o_incapere_intima_stampa_rara_katsushika_hokusai[1]
Hokusai
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Hokusai
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Hokusai
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Hokusai

27 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 62 (Hokusai)

    1. Shunga possessed a strong sense of humour, a realistic setting (the floating world referred to the pleasure quarters) though a decidedly unrealistic features, the gymnastic postures and the exaggeration of certain body parts. Thank you.

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      1. Well my new shunga post is up… I have another two Asian posts planned (one is South Korean), though not on art. You know I like to mix it up. By the way I hope to have a book out shortly.

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  1. I’ve always loved these. I have some modern-day versions that are fun interpretations. We have a wonderful erotic arts festival here, can always count on interesting items on sale in the gift shop.

    Liked by 1 person

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