Utagawa Kunisada 歌川国貞 / Toyokuni III 三代歌川豊国 (1786–1865)
An Erotic Guide to the Bedchamber
(Shunshoku neya [no] shiori), vol. 2 of 3
Japan, Edo period (1615–1868), 1847
Woodblock-printed book; ink and color on paper
Purchase, Richard Lane Collection, 2003
A young woman relaxes in bed and amuses herself by reading an erotic text. In addition to anecdotal evidence that women enjoyed shunga, this image by Kunisada offers support to the theory that shunga was not merely a tool for autoeroticism. Like non-explicit artwork, shunga was appreciated for its artistic and literary qualities.
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