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Harunobu
Suzuki Harunobu, ca. 1724-70
Elegant Erotic Mane'emon: 3, Moxa
(Furyu enshoku mane'emon)

design number three from the series of twelve; a young woman has sex with a man seated behind her while at the same time uses a feather to fan the moxa she is applying to an older woman to the right; in the foreground Mane'emon also applies moxa to the front of his leg, ca. 1770
chuban yoko-e 8 1/4 by 11 1/8 in., 21 by 28.1 cm
Moxa is a form of dried mugwort which was applied to the body and burned in key positions in a manner similar to acupuncture. The woman enduring the procedure complains: "That last one burns!" While in the foreground Mane'emon administers the remedy to himself and comments wryly (with a clever pun referencing his name) that in matters of sex as well as burning moxa it's important to be mindful and pay attention: "Mame de nakedeba naranu!"
Published:
Klompmakers, Japanese Erotic Prints, 2001, p. 58, cat. B.3a
Highlights of Japanese Printmaking Part 4: Shunga, Scholten Japanese Art, 2014, cat. no. 12
Reference:
Richard Lane and Hayashi Yoshikazu (eds.), The Complete Ukiyo-e Shunga, no. 21 Harunobu: "Eight Stylish Views of Edo"- Furyu Edo hakkei and More, 1998, pl. 5
price: $ 3,500