(c. 1850). Three small quarto volumes. (18)pp., + 13ff. plates. A colorful example of Japanese shunga by the popular and successful Edo-period ukiyo-e artist Utagawa Kunisada. Shunga, which literally translates to "pictures of spring," are Japanese erotic images that celebrate sexual pleasure. They were created by iconic artists such as Utamaro, Hokusai, and Kunisada, and were enjoyed by men and women of all social classes. This particular three-volume set is a satire of the Tales of Genji. Scrolls at the top of each spread show chaste scenes of courtly love from the Tales, while the explicit images below show what Kunisada suspects was actually going on. The illustrations are vibrant and detailed, showcasing Kunisada's skill. Colin Franklin describes the rich colors as: "all stops pulled out for an organ-blast of color printing." Extraordinarily complete: in the original bindings with pictorial title slips, housed in the original box with the same title slip, and including the color-printed dust jacket. One broken thread on the third volume, but an otherwise remarkable survival in this fine condition. Item #27007
(Exploring Japanese Books and Scrolls, p. 74).