Kobayashi Eitaku, Japanese silk handscroll. Circa 1887.
"The scroll shows the stages of decompostion of womans body, beginning with her fully clothed body and ending with her bones being eaten by dogs. The subject is an ancient Buddhist one, treating of the transience of the physical body, but which later assumed didactic functions relating to the proper conduct of women. In this example, however, the theme is given a new and somewhat prurient twist by its featuring of a prostitute as the subject. The work intersects with the world of "erotic pictures" (shunga) and gives a very useful counterpoint for studying that genre.