“A man is trying to penetrate his female lover. The black teeth of the woman indicate that she’s either a widow or married. It is suggested by shunga expert Richard Lane that she is unfaithful.”
Look for the magnificent printing details such as the use of ‘bokashi’-shading, black lacquer (urushi-e) and the highly detailed carving of the individual hair-lines.
Ukiyo-e expert dr. Richard Lane comments the following on the original Hokusai design in Lovemaking at New Year’s (aka The Adonis Plant) :
“Here we find yet another passionate matron – widow or unfaithful wife – swooning under the embraces of her mature lover. The conversation – presumably by Hokusai himself – is again not very edifying, consisting of the female’s directions to her lover regarding the proper placement and manipulation of his ample phallus.
A rather similar composition will be found in an earlier Hokusai illustration, from Kinoe no komatsu, but again the composition is a loose one, overly dominated by the baggage and parasol at rear. One might note here the differing psychological effect, depending on whether the lover has actually made entry or not: often it is the latter depiction that is the more sexually stimulating – expectation being, so to speak, a stronger emotion than fulfillment”.
Antique Japanese color woodblock.