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Shunga with peeping Toms

Identifier: 1775c Koryusai shunga peepers

Like most shunga this print is unsigned. It is clearly designed like many of the other known Koryūsai erotic images, but attributions can be tricky unless otherwise confirmed. However, there is one other element, easily overlooked, and that is the view of the little boy at the bottom center of this print. He is wearing a robe which is decorated with an image of a hare seen facing full on. This same boy, same costume, also appears in another print by Koryūsai in the Lyon Collection - #1320 - but that one is signed.

One can only speculate, but this robe worn by the young boy must have been a stock item in Koryūsai's studio. In fact, there are other prints in the collections at Harvard and the Met. At Harvard there is a boy on a raft wearing an outfit where this same hare motif is visible on the front, instead of the back. The one at the Met is a variant on a print from the one at Harvard and the one here.

Now it appears that there is another example of a print in the Lyon Collection (#75) with this same hare motif, but this time in spades. It shows up on the robe of a woman by Kunisada created about 50 years later. Go to that print and use the enlarging tool to see what we are talking about.

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