MADMEN – Coopers Office – The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife
The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife is an erotic woodcut of the ukiyo-e genre made around 1820 by the Japanese artist Hokusai. Perhaps the first instance of tentacle erotica, it depicts a woman entwined sexually with a pair of octopuses, the smaller of which wraps one of its tentacles around the woman’s nipple and kisses her, while the larger one performs cunnilingus (or is mating with her the only way it could). Hokusai created The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife during the Edo period, when Shinto was making a resurgence; this influenced the piece’s animism and playful attitude towards sexuality. It is a celebrated example of shunga and has been reworked by a number of artists. Similar themes of human females having sexual intercourse with sea life have been displayed since the 17th century in Japanese netsuke, small carved sculptures only a few inches in height and often extremely elaborate.