Item ID: 9714 Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar]. Shigenobu II 柳川重信 YANAGAWA, artist, Tsukinari 猿猴坊月成 ENKOBO, author, Yoshinobu 艶川好信 or KOIKAWA.
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].
Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].

Sexual Music

Shamisen juni choshi 三味線十二調子 [12 Tunes of the Shamisen Guitar].

Full-page color-printed frontis. (in Vol. II) & 12 fine double-page colored-printed woodcuts. 17.5; 18.5 folding leaves. Two vols. 8vo, orig. semi-stiff boards, woodblock-printed title labels on upper covers, new stitching. [Japan, probably Edo]: 1824 or 1836.

First edition of this rare deluxe erotic work; we find no copy in WorldCat (but there is a copy at the Smithsonian). The artist, Yanagawa (active ca. 1820s-late 1850s), who also used the name Yoshinobu Koikawa, studied under Shigenobu I (1787-1832). Following the death of his teacher, he took his name and began signing his works as Shigenobu II.

This beautifully printed shunga exhibits highly detailed and complex color printing, ample bokashi, subtle embossing, and extended use of metallic pigments, including gold and silver. Each illustration has been titled with an explanatory pun, with musical overtones and sexual undertones. For instance, one scene depicts a couple having a sudden tryst on an outdoor porch. The caption reads (in trans.): “Out of Tune.” In another scene, a man is masturbating his lover to orgasm; the caption reads “High Note.” And in another scene, while engaging in sex, both the man and woman are playing their instruments. The caption says “Get into Full Swing.”

The color printing of this book is highly complex and detailed. For example, women’s faces have been printed with several delicate colors and blind embossing.

The artist’s name is found on the silk-screen of the final image of the second volume.

Fine copy, with some minor thumbing in lower corners. Minor marginal worming, well repaired, in first volume. Preserved in a modern wooden box.

References

Hillier, The Art of the Japanese Book, pp. 785-86.

Price: $12,500.00

Item ID: 9714