Let’s move quickly to the other shocking examples…
Like the other panel of this shikake-e (see previous article!) design the male in the second picture is in the same ominous situation. The fire flame indicates the presence of fox spirits (kitsune-bi) as is the blue makeup (kumadori) on the face of the tied male.
This gruesome suicide (seppuku) scene from Toyokuni’s Mirror of the Vagina series with a couple in the final stage of seppuku. In a previous scene the couple can be seen in last stage before ending their life with them desperately crying. Their bodies are surrounded by countless crumpled tissues which is indication of their insatiable love-making prior to their final act.
The depicted herons on the folding screen in the back connect both events. This scene has a striking resemblance with the crime scene pictures* of the F.B.I.
A samurai, his face partly hidden behind a scarf, runs amok in a dormitory. He swings his sword wildly while threatening the old man laying underneath the fallen screen and restraining the young woman. Her subtly exposed private parts help us remember that we are looking at a shunga image.
Without a doubt the most eerie image that appears in the late Edo-period. In this sinister scene a young woman has been captured by a mountain bandit and is being raped while her legs are tied to a pole.
The designer Kunisada was specialized in this sub-theme and had a special pseudonym (Bukiyo Matahei) for this special kind of depictions. This pen name would be instantly recognized by the initiated reader at that time.
A design that might disconcert some male viewers with castration anxiety. A masked intruder has interrupted the love-making of an ugly man and his attractive female partner.
The heavily-armed swordsman is threatening to “circumcise” his male victim while at the same time suppressing the female. This is another image in this top 10 that comes from one of the most violent shunga book series ‘Tales of Pussy‘ in the genre.
A violent encounter near a riverbank between a samurai, protecting his lover, and a dangerous female spirit. A sardonic detail is the sandal of the man touching the ghost’s vagina while piercing his sword through her chest.
Pool Of Blood
A complex trick-print portraying a murderous attack with a man climbing on a balcony with in the background a silhouette of a love-making couple behind closed doors. The above scene shows the man’s during his violent attack with the woman falling from the balcony while the male victim lies in a pool of blood.
A perverted samurai, his sword laying on the wooden box in the back, is experimenting with some kind of “clitoris pump” on a frightened girl who he has tied to the door.
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*Back-cover of the book ‘Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective’s Scrapbook‘ by Sean Tejaratchi & Katherine Dunn