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13 of the Most Violent Designs in Shunga (P1)

To name shunga a violent art is exaggerated but violence and death were subjects that were not avoided. Indeed the success of shunga in the 19th Century was certainly also determined by these exploitative characteristics. In this and the upcoming article we’ll focus on thirteen designs (in no particular order) that meet these requirements more than adequately…

violent art

kunisada - erotic violence - shunga

Erotic murder scene‘ (c.1830s) from the series ‘Kari no fumi‘ by Utagawa Kunisada


A spectacular scene with a samurai killing an intruder, by sticking the blade through the transparent latticed-window, while at the same time enjoying passionate sex. The momentum is reinforced by the cushion and the woman’s hair-pin that are portrayed outside the frame. A nice detail is the silhouette of the surprised hand gesture of the dying man behind the window.

disturbing images - kunisada - monster - shunga

Ghost with bitten off genitals in her mouth‘ (c.1826) from the series ‘Ehon Kaidan yoru no tono (‘Tales of Pussy in the Palace at Night‘)

A trick-moving picture (shikake-e) from Kunisada‘s acclaimed ‘Tales of Pussy‘-series. This was a bizarre adaptation of the love-suicide tale of Chan and Choemon.

Giant Penis

In this adaptation the couple are returning from a long journey to Ise. Upon their return they are violated by a gang of attractive youngsters. Ohan is forced to have sex with the youths in front of Choemon, culminating in her rape by the monk Dokyo with his giant penis. Afraid of what people might think the two determine to commit love-suicide in the Katsuragawa River. Fate decides to leave Choemon alive.

Bitten Off Genitals

The above picture shows an excerpt of the opened trick page featuring a horrific scene revealing Ohan who has transformed into a giant ghost. She has bitten off Choemon’s genitals and is flying off into the night’s sky.

ninja rape - shunga - hokusai - Utamaro

Rape and torture by a violent ninja‘ (c.1803-06) from the series ‘‘Erotic Book of Conjugal Eddies (Ehon futamigata)’ by Hokusai or Utamaro


This sinister rape scene, one of the greatest shunga designs in ukiyo-e, should definitely be included in a list like this.

Since I have treated this image before in detail I would like to refer you to the following article A Sadistic Ninja Raping and Torturing a Terrified Couple

violent art

Masked bandit terrorizing tied-up female victim‘ (c.1825) from the series ‘Kon kurabe tama no ase‘ attributed to Utagawa Sadashige (aka. Utagawa Kuniteru, act. 1818-1860)

Masked Intruder

Another unpleasant image including a sadistic masked intruder raping a woman. She is tied to a pole near the doorway while he shines his lantern on her to examine her anxiety. The fallen screen in the background reminds us of the violent interaction that happened shortly before.

Bloodied helpers‘ (c.1824) from the series ‘Ikuyo monogatari‘ by Utagawa Toyokuni I (1769-1825)

Bloody Sword

A design from Toyokuni‘s series Ikuyo monogatari  (c.1824) depicting the results of a short battle between a samurai, now making love to his lover, and two women (probably his girlfriend’s helpers) who are now running for their lives in the background. The bloody sword pointing in the floor of the room as a silent witness.

tied woman - violent art - kunitora

Tortured woman‘ (c.1830) attributed Utagawa Kunitora (act.c. 1804-1844)


A so-called trick-print (shikake-e) with an included flap that when opened reveals another design. The first print depicts a woman nailed down to a giant wooden board with the bully behind her with his hand leaning on his instrument of torture.

For the second part of this intriguingly violent art collection click HERE !

About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more then 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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