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Two Rare Meiji Era Byōbu Folding Screens with Large Shunga Paintings
9 October 2020 

Two Rare Meiji Era Byōbu Folding Screens with Large Shunga Paintings

We have expanded our shunga collection with two rare folding screens (Byōbu*) consisting 0f four large erotic paintings from the late Meiji/early Taisho period.

Tea Ceremony

Large screens (6 to 8 panels) served as background decoration for the traditional theatrical performance or as embellishing enclosures for rituals at temples. The smaller screens (2 panels) were made for the more intimate tea ceremonies or the so-called ‘Makura Byobu‘ (pillow screen), to protect from the wind and put at the corner of the bedroom of a traditional Japanese room with tatami.

Gifted Unidentified Artist

All paintings show aristocratic couples making love in a typical Japanese setting. Painting on rice paper. Mounted on silk brocade. With a red lacquered wooden frame. At the sides the signature of the gifted unidentified artist. The backsides have some imperfections.


Size; High 24 1/3″ inches (61 4/5 cm), 1 panel is 31 1/3″inches (79,5 cm) width, total width 62 2/3″ inches (159 cm). The paintings are 21 2/3″ x  16 1/2″ inches (55cm x 42cm). These kind of room dividers are light in weight and can also be easily mounted flat to a wall.

folding screen shunga

backside erotic folding screen

shunga folding screen

shunga screen painting

shunga screen copulating couple

close up intimate couple

intercourse close up shunga

nude passionate couple making love

close up passionate couple

close up heads

close up intercourse image

opened folding screen

backside folding screen

samurai making love to an aristocratic female

close up intercourse detail

close up sensual couple

shunga folding screen painting

close up sensual couple

close up intercourse image

Click HERE for more articles on erotica from the Taisho era….!!

*Byōbu are Japanese folding screens consisting of several joined panels, bearing decorative painting and calligraphy, used to separate interiors and enclose private spaces, among other uses. Byōbu were an indispensable interior item in traditional Japanese architecture at the residence of federal lords, shrine and temples.


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.


on 9 October 2020

Amusing, thank you for pictures! The first couple reminds of Hokusai. It's funny to see screens depicted on the screens. It makes me wonder if there are any erotic screens with depictions of erotic screens in the background...



on 9 October 2020

Thanks Darya. I believe there must be. I will do some research. If I come across any examples I will let you know!

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