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30 januari 2018 

Graphic Penis Close Up Designs in Shunga

The over-sizing of the organs is a feature of shunga, but they are not depicted as universally large. More realistically sized ones appear, mostly on younger people or on the very old. Shunga provokes the adult male’s imagination. He wishes to conceive himself larger than an adolescent to compensate his lesser potency and vitality and also still safely distanced from feebleness.


Actually, there is little known about the deification of penis size by Edo-era women or men. The latter also never seem to have mentioned it as a source of pride. Young boys were ‘chosen’ on the basis of their ‘chrysanthemum seat (buttocks)’, not their penis.

close-up of an erected penis

Koban print of a ‘close-up of an erected penis‘ (c.1890) by an unknown Meiji artist

Unrealistic Dimensions

One of the theories regarding the large size of the genitals and their unrealistic dimensions is that they match the size of the heads, giving them an equal status. Another one is that every detail of the genitals can be well studied when magnified to such a degree. However, this is more a clever device intended to focus the viewer’s attention on the genital area, the main point of interest.

Extreme Close-Up

More importantly, shunga (and therefore also the exaggeration of the genitals) must be seen as symbolizing the fantasy of the artist. Every now and then, artists allowed their imaginations to go beserk, and therefore there are a few prints that depict the genitals in extreme close-up.

Some of these examples can be seen below…

penis close up attributed to Keisai Eisen

Penis close up‘ (c.1830) attributed to Keisai Eisen (1790-1848)

Close-up of a tied penis (c.1839) from the series 'Ama no ukihash' by Keisai Eisen

Close-up of a tied penis‘ (c.1839) from the series ‘Ama no ukihashi‘ by Keisai Eisen

Various penis close-ups (c.1822) from the series 'Makura Bunko (Pillow Library)'' by Keisai Eisen

Various penis close-ups‘ (c.1822) from the series ‘‘Makura Bunko (Pillow Library)’‘ by Keisai Eisen

Close-up of erected penis

Close-up of erected penis‘ (c.1822) from the series ‘Makura Bunko (Pillow Library)‘ by Keisai Eisen

penis penetrating a vulva in a pickle barrel

Fantasy scene depicting a ‘penis penetrating a vulva in a pickle barrel‘ (c.1823) from the series ‘Kogo zatsuwa‘ by Keisai Eisen

Dildo, boxes with lubricants and a plum blossom twig

Dildo, boxes with lubricants and a plum blossom twig‘ (c.1830) attrib. to Keisai Eisen

More genital close designs can be discovered HERE…!!!

In our gallery shop you can check out some rare original shunga portraying penis and vagina close-ups for sale…!!

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.
Rosella Alm Ahearn

Rosella Alm Ahearn

on 9 March 2018

Definitely interesting! I never thought of tying a penis. Thanks.



on 22 March 2018

Thanks Rosella. I am pleased you got some inspiration from this post!



on 12 March 2020

Thank you for this set! I also like a close up by Toyokuni from his ‘Shikido mitsugumi sakazuka’ series.



on 12 March 2020

Thanks for the link! No, I mean another piece.

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