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Mane'emon no. 5 まねへもん五 / Furyu enshoku Mane'emon 風流艶色真似ゑもん (Elegant Amorous Mane'emon)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Mane'emon no. 5 まねへもん五

    Title (series)

    • Furyu enshoku Mane'emon 風流艶色真似ゑもん (Elegant Amorous Mane'emon)
  • Description

    Colour woodblock print. Shunga. Young female role actor (onnagata) and his client making love at a tea-house near the kabuki theatre, as Mane'emon holding a kite watches them.

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 1770 (Meiwa 7)
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 0.2 metres
    • Width: 0.28 metres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

        まねえもん 五 まねへもん やりくり島にて夫婦<みやうと>のいざこざゆへ 其家をそふ/\宵だちにして ふきやがはま さかいしまへ渡り けん酒めりやすの声をまくらとして 其夜はとあるいへいに夢を結び 何とそ二かいのてい とこの頼しみを見んと思ふ 折ふし春��末なれば いかのぼりの糸めに取附物干に下り こと/\くやうすを見て喜悦の思ひをなしけるが あまりのさわぎにとりのぼせ それより湯治ながら在辺へおもむく
      • Inscription Transliteration

        Mane'emon go. Mane'emon yarikuri shima nite myoto no izakoza yue sono ie wo sousou n yoi dachi nishite hukiyagahama sakaishima e watari kenshu meriyasu no koe wo makura toshite sono yoru wa toaru iei ni yume wo musubi nanitozo nikai no tei toko no tanoshimi wo minn to omou. Orifushi haru no sue nareba ikanobori no ito me ni toritsuke monohoshi ni kudari kotogoroku yosu wo mite kietsu no omoi wo nashikeru ga amari no sawagi ni torinobose, sore yori toji nagara zaihen he omomuku.
      • Inscription Comment

        Inscribed with title
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Content

        「けふはきついふうらい山人と云身た 座しきはとんだおもしろ事 いやはやとこはいかぬ事の どふりてかつは先生も木曽ぢをやめて 南ン品ンとでられた」「ヲゝ うでがだるふてしんどふなつた」
      • Inscription Transliteration

        'Kyo wa kitsui Furai-sanjin to iu mi da. Zashiki wa tonnda omoshiro goto. iyahaya toko wa ikanu koro no. Douride Kappa sensei mo kisoji wo yamete Nanpin to derareta.' 'Oh, ude ga daruute shindou natta.'
  • Curator's comments

    Buckland 2010

    In edo-period Japan, a man could take a younger male lover if he chose. At tea-house near the kabuki theaters, hte young female role specialists(onnagata) worked as prostitutes. Here, an attractiver youth stimulates himself as he mounts his client. The narcissi on his robe are a symbol of male love. The 'Bean Man' comments, 'Good heavens, the method of having male sex involves some elaborate armwork.'
    - Hayashi Yoshikazu, 'Ehon kenkyu Harunobu', Tokyo, Yuko shobo, 1964, pp.199-232.
    - Hayashi Yoshikazu, 'Shinpan Harunobu Ensyoku mane'emon higacho', Tokyo, Gabundo, 1968.
    - 'Ukiyo-e soroimono' vol.jo, Tokyo, Gakushu kenkyusha, 1995.This is the most important set of shunga prints by Suzuki Harunobu, the first artist fully to exploit the new full-colour printing technology known as ‘brocade pictures’ (nishiki-e), from 1765 until his death in 1770. Unusually for such sets, the whole group forms one continuous story, which can be summarized as follows. A man, a native of Edo who has enjoyed sex all his life, vows to study the ‘way of love’ more deeply, and so he makes a pilgrimage to a shrine and prays to the god of love. The ‘love protection’ deity appears and the man receives a strange potion which he is told will fulfil all his desires. The strange potion consists of ‘mud’ dumplings (tsuchi dango), which cause his body to shrink to the size of a bean, and a miraculous medicine which ensures that he will never age or die. The man eats the dumplings straight away, shrinks down to bean-size, and sets out on a voyage of adventure around various provinces, using the name Mane’emon. The main narrative is a description of the various sexual customs that Mane’emon witnesses in the places he visits. The first part of the story (that is, the first twelve sheets) describes the sexual habits of the common people of Edo and the provinces close to the city. The second part (not illustrated) concentrates on the sexual customs of Yoshiwara, Edo’s large government-licensed pleasure quarter. Across the top of each picture is the text of the story and some erotic senryu- (comic haiku) verses. In the picture itself, around the figures, are conversations between the protagonists and Mane’emon’s commentaries on the proceedings. Viewing the pictures alongside these explanations and conversations gives us an extremely clear understanding of the context of each image (see also Shunga, pp. 162–9). [HM]


  • Bibliography

    • Buckland 2010 pp.42-43 bibliographic details
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 November 1998

    Reason for treatment

    Temporary Exhibition

    Treatment proposal

    Repair, inlay and re-mount.


    There is surface and ingrained dirt overall. Vertical crease down centre of image. Blackened red lead pigment. Creased corner lower left and lower right corners. On verso there is adhesive residue along the right hand edge.

    Treatment details

    The crease was supported using Japanese mino paper. The print was lightly spray relaxed on the verso and pressed between blotting paper and boards. It was inlaid using Japanese paper strips and an esparto paper. It was hinged into an acid-free mount.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


Colour woodblock print. Shunga. Young female role actor and his client making love at the tea- house near the kabuki theater. Mane'emon having a kite watches them .

Colour woodblock print. Shunga. Young female role actor and his client making love at the tea- house near the kabuki theater. Mane'emon having a kite watches them .

Image description



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Object reference number: JCF11682

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