Roten Shujin 露天主人 (act. c. 1750s)
Unidentified Artist 作者未詳
Great Compendium of Writings about Sex
(Shikidō daizassho)

Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), c. 1750s
Woodblock-printed book; ink on paper
Purchase, Richard Lane Collection, 2003

In a parody of writings about Chinese astrology and Daoism, the bodies of a man and woman are divided up according to the 12 earthly branches: rat (ne), ox (ushi), tiger (tora), rabbit (u), dragon (tatsu), snake (mi), horse ([m]uma), goat (hitsuji), monkey (saru), rooster (tori), dog (inu), and wild boar (i). According to this philosophy, the rat (ne) is associated with water, and horse ([m]uma) is associated with fire. Since water is used to quench fire, and since fire is used to boil water, the two elements are often paired with one another.

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