Violent Dream Fantasy of an Abalone Diver
11 september 2017 
1 min. read

Violent Dream Fantasy of an Abalone Diver

In the dunes near the sea we see a male awabi (abalone) diver making love to a tied-down female colleague. The woman is attached with ropes to an anchor. The waves in the background emphasize the direction of the movement in the design.

awabi diver - bondage - shunga

A male awabi (abalone) diver making love to tied-down female colleague‘ (c.1810s). Designed by Utagawa Kunimaru  (1794-1829)

Awabi (Abalone) Diver

Initially I thought this was a rape scene but after closer study I am pretty certain that it is a female fantasy scene like Hokusai‘s The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife.


The artist Utagawa Kunimaru was a pupil of Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825) and therefore entitled to carry the name Utagawa. Besides that he wrote Haikai * poems and that he mainly designed kabuki actors, courtesans and books little is known about him.


*Haikai  is a short comical verse with a specific rhytm. They were looser in convention than Renga poems, and were often funny and vulgar.

About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
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