“An oiran (high-class courtesan) and her client.”
Antique Japanese color woodblock (1786-1865). Shunga (Erotic print).
In the design a lot of Japanese symbols concerning New Year's Day are depicted for instance: on the table left a woman with a broom, the long-haired turtle and the plum-blossom (winter). The heart-shaped 'love' leaves (Cyclaam) on the square bowl can be found on the kimono of the woman.
Reference: The 'Shõ-utsushi Aioi Genji'-series is illustrated and described in depth by Yoshikazu Hayashi's in Vol.19 of 'The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga'.
'Shõ-utsushi Aioi Genji' tells the story of the amorous adventures of Ashikage Yoshimitsu, the third Muromachi shõgun and there is no doubt that this book series was a private edition for a daimyõ.
Hayashi states: "...The polychrome pages more than live up to their name: they are printed from dozens of blocks. The use of gold, silver, graded color printing, gaufrage, embossing from the reverse side, and lacquer, "gold dust" or powdered mica further enhances this deluxe production. One can only wonder that such a shunga book could have been a viable commercial product".