Keisai Eisen (渓斎英泉) (artist 1790 – 1848)
An amorous couple with a woman tying off an undergarment from the series 'Secret Conversations with Courtesans' (Keisei higo - 契情秘語)
15.375 in x 10.125 in (Overall dimensions) Japanese color woodblock print
Museo de Arte Carillo Gil
The National Museum of Asian Art
Barry Rosensteel Japanese Print Collection, U. of Pittsburgh
This elegant print is only one of a set of 12, none of which show explicit sexual acts. This type is referred to as an abuna-e.
The courtesan with her client is tying a white sash, an iwata-obi (岩田帯), across her belly. This indicates that she is pregnant. Major sites translate this term as a "belt used for back support after fifth month of pregnancy".
There is a Kiyonaga shunga print at the British Museum that shows a woman wearing an iwata-obi while engaged in intercourse. The curatorial files say: "The woman wears a so-called ‘Iwata sash’, signalling that she is pregnant. The man approaches from behind so as not to put pressure on her stomach. He shows care and gentle consideration toward his pregnant wife, who appears relaxed." To see the full print click on the attached jpeg shown below the featured print.
erotic prints (shunga - 春画) (genre)