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The Popular Sumo Wrestlers in Sensual Encounters
20 juni 2018 

The Popular Sumo Wrestlers in Sensual Encounters

Shunga was an art form intended for a wide audience and therefore dealt with themes that would appeal to many, and for this reason sumo certainly could not be missed. The origins of sumo wrestling dates back to somewhere between the third and seventh centuries and has been an important part of Japanese culture ever since.

Raise Money

Sumo as we know it in its present form, with professional sumo wrestlers, originated in the Edo period. Competitions were organized to raise money to build or reconstruct public buildings such as temples and bridges. From this time on, sumo was not only a sport enjoyed by the rich and powerful but became part of the masses.

Banning Sumo

Sumo’s popularity grew even further with the introduction of the woodblock print, that often included scenes of sumo events or with portraits of famous sumo wrestlers. Like shunga, the authorities at the time condemned fighting and often issued orders banning sumo.

Giant Organs

In shunga, sumo wrestlers appear still wearing their Mawashi (loincloth, Fig.2.), casual wear (Fig.1.), or as giant organs (Fig.3.). Sumo wrestling was also often used as a parody on the battle of sexes (Fig.6).

erotic sumo

Fig.1. ‘Sumo wrestler with geisha’ (c.1850) by a pupil of the Utagawa school

erotic sumo

Fig.2. Koban-sized shunga with ‘a Sumo in kesho-mawashi fingering a geisha‘ (c.1840) by Utagawa school

erotic sumo

Fig.3. ‘Sumo wrestlers with phallus heads‘ (c.1850s) from the series ‘Iro no minakami sumo-e awase‘ by Utagawa Kunimaru

erotic sumo

Fig.4. Black & White version of Fig.3.

erotic sumo

Fig.5. ‘Ejaculating Sumo wrestler‘ (c.1890) by an unknown Meiji artist

erotic sumo

Fig.6. ‘Sumo wrestler making love to his lover under the sunset with in the backgound sailing vessels‘  (c.1899) by Terazaki Kogyo (1866-1919)

erotic sumo

Fig.7. ‘Sumo poses man and woman‘ (c.1770) from an untitled series by Isoda Koryusai (1735-1790)

erotic sumo

Fig.8. ‘Sumo with beauty‘ (c.1854) from the series ‘Hoshi-zukiyo ito no shirabe‘ by Utagawa Kuninao

erotic sumo

Fig.9. ‘Completely nude sumo wrestler and girl making love near a field of orchids‘ (c.1900) attrib. to Tomioka Eisen

Sumo and a lover ' (c.1900) by an unknown Meiji artist

Fig.10. ‘Sumo and a lover ‘ (c.1900) by an unknown Meiji artist

Painting of a giant sumo making love to two females' (Late 19th century) by unknown artist

Fig.11. Painting of ‘A giant sumo making love to two females‘ (Late 19th century) by unknown artist

Click HERE and discover more exciting subjects and themes within the shunga genre…!!!

What are your favorite subjects within shunga? Leave your feedback in the comment box below!

Source: Web-Japan.org

About the author
Marijn is the founder of shungagallery.com. 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.
P.C.Brouwer
By

P.C.Brouwer

on 23 June 2018

Including Sumo ,gives a broader view of shunga

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 23 June 2018

Thanks. Yes, shunga is in fact the only genre within ukiyo-e that included all important subjects and themes that were part of Japanese culture/society at the time...

P.C.Brouwer
By

P.C.Brouwer

on 7 July 2018

The explanation on your side makes many pictures more acceptable.

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 7 July 2018

Thanks again for your kind feedback. We try to provide as much background information as possible about shunga. This to make this art form more accessible, in what might seem a bit confrontational at first...!!!

Darya
By

Darya

on 3 March 2020

btw have you seen a print depicting something that looks like a rape scene with a hairy sumo wrestler by Shuncho?

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 3 March 2020

No, that doesn't ring a bell. You made me curious, do you have a photo?

Darya
By

Darya

on 3 March 2020

Of course I have a scan!

Marijn
By

Marijn

on 4 March 2020

Thanks so much, I have included it!

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