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Puupiirrokset, osa 5


15 Katsushika Hokusai, "Interlocking Patterns (Ehon tsui no hinagata)"
Woodblock, 11 from a set of 12, Űban
ca. 1812
25.4 x 38.0 cm

The name of this picture book, "Pattern Book of Matching Parts," contains two layers of meaning: "pattern book of male-female coupling (tsugai)," and "pattern book of female genitalia (tsubi)." The work depicts the sexual mores and customs of the common people of Edo in an interesting way, particularly the men and women of the Shitamachi that Hokusai was familiar with. The conversations between the men and women in Hokusai's shunga in particular are purposely devoid of any "literary" affectation, plain, vivid and funny.

[Not Exhibited] Setting: The second floor of a deai-chaya. Characters: Two young lovers. Situation: The young lovers have conspired to meet under the pretense of going to a nearby shrine's festival. The man, on his way back from the festival, is feeling the effects of the sake he drank, while the young lady has used the festival as an excuse to escape from her house.
Dialogue: Man: "So, let's begin our own festival now. Just like the famous kabuki song of the Chinese lion, I'm the lion frolicking with the peony. This slippery "moss" feels good. The smell of this "flower" becomes fuller and fuller, too much for me to resist. And now I fondle the fruit and ring the bell."
Woman: "I finally managed to come out here today with the excuse of going to the shrine festival; if you're going to make such bad puns I won't make love to you."
Man: "Sorry, sorry. Iíd like to do this for half the day if possible. However, since you and I are already panting like "lions," wouldn't you say that "Godís appeared," and it's time to "ascend into heaven?"

[fig. 2] Setting: A commoner daughter's room. Characters: Two teenage lovers. Situation: At night, the young man sneaks into the young woman's room with a candlestick, hoping to receive her favors.
Dialogue: Man: "You said I was your first, but is that really true?"
Woman: "It's true. Until I met you, no other man truly caught my fancy, so I'd never made love before. Donít say such unpleasant things. Oh, don't do that kind of thing, do what you did the other night."
Man: "Does it still hurt?"
Woman: "No."
Man: "Your hairpins aren't noisy. Move your legs up a bit. Oh, somehow that feels good."

[fig. 3] Setting: A room in a commoner house. Characters: Two young lovers, well acquainted with each other. Situation: The couple immerse themselves totally in their sexual encounter. The woman's enthusiasm in particular is quite remarkable.
Dialogue: Man: "I like doing this as well, but I can't possibly compare to you. I have no idea how many times you could continue!"
Woman: "You're talking like a weak man. I've only come three times, and Iím just about to have my fourth. This has just been the first course. If you're a man, you should keep going until I'm completely satisfied. Oh, itís vexing, but I can't argue any more. Oh, yes, that's it, that's it. I'm going to come, so go harder and all the way in. Oh, don't miss like that! It poisons the atmosphere -- but poison or no, I'd be happy to die like this with you, so go ahead and strike me down! Aah, yes, thank you."

[fig. 4] Setting: A bedroom in a commoner house. Characters: A chŰnin husband and wife, well accustomed to each other. Situation: The aftermath of some fulfilling marital activities on a summer night. This scene uses a rare device: a housecat gives its impressions on its masters' frolicking as two mice, inspired by the humans, are copulating.
Cat's monologue: "Like a mouse's eyes, people's eyes change from time to time. The husband here said, 'Hey, you, wake up,' and shook the wife awake, and when he made her hold his erection, her eyes opened up to a round shape. Then, after he put it in two or three times, her eyes grew thinner so that they looked like eggs. When she said, 'Aah, yes, I'm going to come. That's it, that's it,' her eyes looked like needles. It's very strange. It's also strange that when it turns dark, her pubic hair glows like a mouse's whiskers, and the man always enters her in the proper spot. Hmm, somehow I've started feeling strange. The husband and wife did so well, maybe I'll go catch some mice. Oh, the mice have begun as well! A true man about town would let them be. Even so, I'm the only one not having any fun."
SenryŻ (short satirical poem) written on paper fan:
"Benkei and
Komachi were fools
werenít they, my dear"
(Benkei: A legendary hero who is said to have never slept with a woman.)
(Komachi: A legendary beauty who is said to have continually refused men who sought her favor.)

[fig. 5] Setting: A commercial practice hall for popular songs. Characters: A female teacher and her male pupil. Situation: The teacher falls for her male pupil, and invites him to go beyond just rehearsal. Behind the teacher a shamisen and plectrum are depicted; resting on the shamisen is a practice book.
Dialogue: Woman: "Even at times when Iím not playing the shamisen, I don't sleep with my pupils or customers. Yet, since the two of us have become close, even when I'm called to a guest's gathering complimenting them and setting the mood has become a chore. Don't play pranks like that -- it's very irritating."
Man: "Oh, it hurts. Your tongue is wicked. How many men have you bewitched with it, I wonder. There's a rumor that you've been seen in some strange places recently. I'm also well-known as an author of kyŰka (lit. ďmad-verse or crazy verse,Ē short, burlesque poetry), but for some foolish reason I have a soft spot for you. When I see your skin, whiter than the shamisen's cat hide, I can't resist.
"Making the shamisen your pillow
Bringing skin and skin together --
Makes four breasts"
(On the catskin stretched over the top face of a shamisen, the four teats of the cat are visible.)
Woman: "What are you talking about? Come over here."

[fig. 6] Setting: A living room in a commoner house. Characters: A chŰnin man and woman who are intimately acquainted with each other. Situation: The affectionate couple, as they read a book while sitting under the kotatsu, become mutually aroused and begin to make love. The title of the book reads, "Harmony between man and woman is the glory of the vagina (inyŰ wagŰ gyokumon no sakae)," so it is apparent that they were indulging in some erotic literature.
Dialogue: Woman: "Stop it, there's nothing there to see. It's not interesting at all, so don't look."
Man: "I still haven't seen it well, so I'll just take a peek. The hair is quite thick, isn't it. It's said one can make a cure for gonorrhea from three of a woman's pubic hairs -- from this you could make enough for a thousand men. I wonder why this thing, which looks like a hairy potato, tastes so delicious. Although it might be good to burn it a little with some incense."
Woman: "Mind your own business. If you don't like thickly haired ones, then don't make love to me."
Man: "No, no, I'm sorry. Well, which is more to your liking, my Edo-mae (seafood from the Edo bay) or some other fish? Why don't you take a taste and see?"

[fig. 7] Setting: A living room in a commoner house. Characters: A married woman and her lover. Situation: The wife, tired of her husband, invites her lover in for some amusements while her husband is away.
Dialogue: Man: "To have a bobo like this every night, your husband must be a very happy man."
Woman: "Youíre having an affair with your maidservant (jochŻ) Ohagi, aren't you?"
Man: "What? Making love to a woman that ugly would give me indigestion."
Woman: "Since I'm always putting my slow-witted husband off, saying that my head hurts or my stomach hurts, this morning he stormed out of the house. I'm frightened what punishment I'll receive for making love to you."
Woman: "Oh, why does something to be punished feel so good? Yes, go deep there. Oh, I'm about to climax so go hard and deep."
Man: "You're climaxing? Then, I will as well."

[fig. 8] Setting: A living room in a commoner house. Characters: A mother and her adopted child. Situation: The widowed older woman and her adopted son, who has grown into a young man.
Dialogue: Young man: "I think someone might have come to visit, so please let's finish quickly."
Foster mother: "Oh, this child says such inconsiderate things. Even if my late husband himself were to walk in, we couldn't stop after only two rounds. I suppose you think you can make a fool of me since I'm your foster mother. Stop saying such things, and do it the way I like: give me pleasure by rubbing my clitoris, while strongly penetrating me, and occasionally putting your finger in, moving it in and out. Because you're young and pretty, I was worried that you would lack strength -- I'm relieved you're so virile."
Foster mother: "Aah, I canít talk any longer. I'm almost there, so go strong. Oh, yes, this child is so good to his mother. Here now, I said to raise my hips and go harder."
Young man: "Mother, oh, I'm already climaxing. Please forgive me."

[fig. 9] Setting: A room in the Yoshiwara licensed quarters. Characters: A courtesan and client. Situation: Negotiations between courtesan and client after the event. Here the courtesan is full of enthusiasm, the client rather reticent.
Dialogue: Woman: "Hold me like this for a while. You're quite an inconsiderate man. If you keep moving like that, I'll hold you like this forever. You must be saying bad things about me after you go home, that Iím so persistent, but no matter how many times you make a fool of me, once you're holding me like this, no matter what you say I donít care. You're a very impatient man. There, in my sleeve is some tissue paper, please take it out for me. Then, I'll let you go."
Man: "Iím being considerate and finishing early for you. Here, why donít you go to the bathroom when you get some tea. Ow, that hurts! I've done nothing to offend you. Stop now, stop!"

[fig. 10] Setting: A living room in a single woman's house. Characters: The single woman and her secret lover. Situation: The man has snuck away to meet with the woman, just out of her bath, for a hurried rendezvous.
Dialogue: Woman: "It could be unpleasant if someone came by, so hurry. Having just washed my hair like this, I must look refined like the noblewoman Komachi (a legendary beauty) one sees in paintings."
Man: "I don't know whether you look refined (kedakai) or hairy (kebukai), but I love picking up a scarlet hakama (pleated, trailing trousers resembling a divided skirt) and wrapping my stiff cudgel in it. Try touching it. It's hot and thick, isn't it. This thing can go day and night, twelve times in a row without a strain. Doing it in the daytime, rather than Komachi one should say homachi (secret). However, if, like Komachi, you were to become ana-nashi ("lacking an opening") it would be dreadful."

[fig. 11] Setting: A deserted outdoor spot. Characters: A man and a young woman acquainted with each other. Situation: The older man brings his young female acquaintance to this outdoor spot and coerces her into sex. The exchange between them is interesting.
Dialogue: Woman: "I thought at first you were kidding, but you're serious, aren't you. Look, stop it. Just let me be. "
Man: "I could let you go, but my "little monk" is salivating impatiently at the prospect of your tender manjŻ, so won't you give him just one bite? Come on, it's not going to damage it."
Woman: "What nonsense -- of course it'll be damaged."
Man: "Well, if it gets damaged, just like a geta (wooden clog) you put in a new tack and keep wearing it."
Woman: "How impertinent, putting your hand in my most important spot. I said stop, so stop. I'll bite you."
Man: "Go ahead and bite me -- bite my little monk with your lower mouth."
Woman: "How persistent! And that's a bad joke."
Man: "Who cares? You're all talk. Have you forgotten all the face powder I bought for you, or the pretty cloths to decorate your hair? If you show me a little compassion you won't regret it. My endowment is sure to satisfy you. What do you say? I can't hold back any longer."
Woman: "Aah, murderer!" 

[fig. 12] Setting: A room in a deai-chaya. Characters: A married older woman and her young lover. Situation: The married older woman has invited her young lover to a deai-chaya, where they can fulfill themselves completely.
Dialogue: Woman: "Aah, it feels so good I can't describe it. There's never been anything like it. There, thrust your hips more, and penetrate me all the way. Oh! when you miss, it feels unpleasant. You're still quite young, so persevere a bit longer, won't you? Itís only my third time around. I can't be satisfied with less than seven. Aaa, ooohhh, how is it that youíre so good at making a woman climax? Yes, here it comes."
Man: "Since you're enjoying yourself so much, I can't hold on any longer. Why donít you take a break and kiss me."
Woman: "You're incredible, it feels better and better. Uh, uh."
Inscription on folding screen:
"Large vaginas look best to the eye
Small vaginas feel best when making love
Hairy vaginas are best to the touch
-- Written by Hokusai" 

Lasipalatsin Mediakeskus Oy ©2001 8.9.2004