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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 !