Pregnant Women Having Sex as Portrayed in Shunga
20 augustus 2018 
7 min. read

Pregnant Women Having Sex as Portrayed in Shunga

No daily subject matter was omitted in the images of shunga, so pregnant women having sex with their spouses should not be missing from the artist’s idiom. The woman depicted during their pregnancy attract attention not only by their swollen belly but also by a piece of clothing called haramaki (lit. “bellyband”), that was worn around the abdomen.

When shown having sex, pregnant women are frequently on top. The rare depiction of childbirth (mainly late Edo period), were most probably added to demonstrate the consequence of making love but also as hilarious subject matter with a baby (Fig.9) being born during love-making.

Many of these images are realistic depictions and have the same purpose as educational books found today. Clearly, they were not created with any idea of stimulating desire – further evidence that shunga was not created as pornography.

Below you can find some exciting examples…

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.1. ‘Samurai and pregnant lover‘ (c.1837) from the series ‘Sumagoto‘ by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865) (Euro 635,-)

A samurai making love to his pregnant lover sideways. The sword he is carrying on his back is partly visible.

pregnant women having sex

Fig.2. Painting depicting a ‘Pregnant woman and husband‘ (c,1850s) by a highly-skilled ukiyo-e artist (Euro 1875,-)

In this magnificent image a pregnant woman is having intercourse with her husband while sitting on his lap. The man holds on tight to her swollen belly.

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.3. ‘Pregnant woman in an ecstatic pose‘ (c.1825) from the series ‘Kon kurabe tama no ase‘ by either Utagawa Sadashige or Toyokuni I  (Euro 425,-)

In the privacy of their living room a married couple experiences an ecstatic moment.

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.4. Meiji painting ‘Pregnant woman taken from the rear‘ (c.1880) inspired by Kiyonaga’s ‘The Sleeve Scroll‘ (Euro 650,-)

A pregnant wife, a sash wound her belly, rests on her arms to allow her husband to penetrate her carefully from behind.

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.5. ‘Threesome including pregnant woman‘ (c.1827) from the series ‘Imose yama‘ by Utagawa Kuninao (Sold)

During the course of their threesome lovemaking the man is handed a cup of sake by a pregnant participant.

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.6. ‘Passionate encounter with pregnant beauty‘ (c.1853) from the series ‘Shikido 18 kajo’ by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Euro 865,-)

A compelling scene with a pregnant woman taken from behind by her imperturbable lover (look at his ecstatic facial expression !)

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.7. ‘Insatiable pregnant lady‘ (c.1840) from the series ‘The Flower’s Smile (Hana no egao)‘ by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Euro 625,-)

A pregnant woman with a voracious sexual appetite (look for the used tissues surrounding them!). Striking is her bent neck which expresses her total ecstasy.

Pregnant Women Having Sex

Fig.8. ‘Childbirth performed by old lady‘ (c.1828) from the series ‘Yako no tama‘ by Utagawa Kunisada (Euro 575,-)

A very unusual abortion scene with a young pregnant woman at the point of giving birth (the tiny forehead already coming out) holding on tightly to an occasional table while being supported by an old woman. Erotic signifiers enhance the scene for example in the visibility of the aged woman’s genitalia adding a lesbian undertone and the stream depicted on the folding screen in the background which evokes woman’s sexuality.

pregnant women having sex

Fig.9. ‘Interrupting newborn‘ (c.1855) from the series ‘Shunkyo karami-dako (Spring Games: Grappling Octopus)‘ by Utagawa Kunisada II (Euro 285,-)

Hilarious design featuring a newborn who is interrupting the sexual activities of his parents.

Click HERE and check out an amusing post that features a lesbian madam who is testing the excitement level of a younger geisha…!!!

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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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