18 November 2014
SHUNGA -- Manpuki Wagogin [The Gods of Myriad Conjugal Delights.] N.p.: 1821 [but late 19th-century, Meiji period].
Octavo (251 x 175mm). 12 double-page and 2 single-page colour-printed woodblock illustrations in the manner of KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI (1760-1849), the two single-page plates with imitation mica-printed grounds, the first depicting anthropomorphic genitalia representing manifestations of the gods of conjugality [wagojin], the second and last plate illustrating a wide range of sex paraphernalia, which are illustrated throughout the story in the preceding double-page plates. (Pl. 2 with short tear at gutter and small crude, ineffective repair to verso with associated slight loss, pl. 4 detached at extreme left-hand edge just into image as well as with short tear at gutter without loss and staining to upper portion of image, pl. 9 with large split at gutter with associated small loss.) Original decorative light-blue cloth-covered boards, blank paper title slip to upper cover, decorative gilt-speckled endpapers (lower cover detached, joint to upper cover splitting). Contained in a metal box with small locked padlock through closure loop (clasp lacking and box resoldered in clasp's former position).
ONE OF HOKUSAI'S MAJOR WORKS, here in a late 19th-century reworking, with the illustrations re-composed and sometimes compressed. 'The work is unusual in that, rather than consisting of the usual series of unconnected erotic scenes more typical of the illustrated erotic books of the period, Manpuku wagojin narrates a coherrent story with text and illustration of equal strength' (Carpenter, p.271). However, in this edition, the background text has been entirely removed and replaced with various landscapes, and omits the final print of Otsubi and Osane, the two protagonists. BM Shunga 84 (first edition).
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