senju shunga Fuyu Winter season
Senju Shunga
3 min

Vagina Reflection Referring to the Winter Season

3 min

In an earlier blog we treated one early shunga piece by Senju Shunga (1968) produced in 2013 featuring a mirror reflection of a vulva referring to the various seasons. Three years later, the artist returned to this subject and made two additional paintings. Below you can find these two works including comprehensive descriptions of the artist in his own words.

senju shunga Fuyu Winter season

Fig.1. Fuyu (Winter), 2016

Heron Maiden

Three years passed before I finally found the inspiration to complete my series of the Five Mirrors of the Season Series. So much had my style and thoughts on art changed that I at first had great difficulty returning to my old manner of working. Perhaps that is why the two final paintings also seem to separate slightly from the earlier three. In Fuyu (Fig.1) I drew my inspiration from the kabuki dance play Sagi Musume (the Heron Maiden).

The haiku by the Japanese poet Suzuki Masajo (1906-2003) reads:


                                                          ochiba fumaneba

                                                             yukenu michi

                                                            No escaping it -

                                                   I must step on fallen leaves

                                                           to take this path

Subdued Erotic Tone

Sagi Musume is a melancholy kabuki dance drama set in winter and since I live and work in the far north of Sweden the theme seemed appropriate somehow. The play is a chaste and romantic affair but I always sensed an subdued erotic tone present somewhere amidst the precisely controlled movements and when I released the painting as a print I wrote an erotic short story on my blog to accompany it. It is still there for the anyone that feels inclined to read it.

Warm Naked Skin

Since winter is the season we find ourselves constantly wrapped in layers of fabric to keep the cold at bay, the thought of the warm naked skin of two lovers meeting in embrace is all the more arousing. Perhaps one of the few things that can measure up to the intimacy found in a wintry bed is the presence of ocean on someone's body as lovers melt together.

senju shunga heron


Icy Riverside

My story has the lovers sneak away for a passionate and lustful meeting in a cold storage house by the icy riverside. Giving in to their desires, they are at the same time being cautious as not to get caught and thereby exposed to a perhaps less understanding community. It is the idea of deep intimacy that is one of my driving forces when trying to create shunga.

Meeting In the Dark

The little secrets that lovers and other intimately connected beings share and turn into jewels adorning their everyday life. Unfortunately the idea of what could be amazing sex is now more commonly attached to ideas of the fantastic, the spectacular and strangers meeting in the dark.

True Being

As for me personally I feel the best sexual encounters are to be found together with someone close to you and being so requires a deep sense of trust. This is built up over time. Days, weeks, months and sometimes years that is spent sharing yourself and embracing the true being of your partner. Please keep in mind that a relationship can be so many things and does not always constitute the socially accepted romantic couple of two.

In the extended Premium version of this article, you can find the detailed story by Senju on another "mirror" piece referring to new years day entitled Ganjitsu..

Click HERE for Senju's voluptuous piece on Sagi Musume the artist made a year later

A lot of Senju's prints are still available in the artist's gallery.

Source: Kagami - Contemporary Shunga by Senju