Anno Moyoco (b. 1971)
Untitled (Illustration from the text Sakuran)
Japan, 2001-2003
Painting; ink and color on paper
Copyright: Anno Moyoco / Cork Inc.
Loan from Moyoco Anno / Cork Inc.

This painting, reproduced as the frontispiece of Chapter 5 in Sakuran, is one of the more sexually explicit images in the text. The chapter deals with Tomeki, the girl who has recently graduated from the rank of kamuro (assistant) to hikkomi kamuro (apprentice-in-training) and has accordingly received the name Orin. When the brothel owners witness Orin’s first menstruation, they inform her that she will soon be required to sexually service visitors.

Despite its splendid sense of decoration, the asymmetrical, chaotic composition of this painting, which depicts Orin’s impending ‘debut,’ clearly conveys her apprehension about sex.