Look for the magnificent printing details such as the use of ‘bokashi’-shading and the highly detailed carving of the individual hair-lines.
“A mature woman bites into a cloth in sheer ecstasy during an erotic encounter with a young lover.”
Their wild entangled pose is an indication of the impulsivity of their love bout. The woman is wearing toed socks (tabi) and a white paper hat (ageboshi) which was typically worn by women to protect their hairstyles.
Ukiyo-e expert dr. Richard Lane comments the following on the original Eiri design in Models of Calligraphy:
In the first appearance of a matronly heroine in this series, we find a widow – with shaven eyebrows and clipped hair – sporting with a handsome young shop-clerk, mounting him with all her might. The reversal of positions, together with the rather shibui appearance of the mature woman, lends a certain static quality to the design: but it would seem that wealthy ladies of the merchant and samurai classes formed a goodly part of the clientele of shunga – and they doubtless found such scenes exhilarating, to say the least”.
Antique Japanese color woodblock.