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27 augustus 2017 

13 of the Most Violent Designs in Shunga (P2)

In this sequel (click here for the first part) on thirteen of the most violent designs in shunga we’ll continue to examine this violent erotica.

Let’s move quickly to the other shocking examples…

violent erotica: tortured man - shunga - kunitora

Tortured scene with fox spirit‘ (c.1830) attributed Utagawa Kunitora (act.c. 1804-1844)


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.

violent erotica: toyokuni - seppuku - shunga

Double suicide‘ (c.1823) from the series ‘Mirror of the Vagina (Kaichu kagami)‘ by Utagawa Toyokuni ( (1769-1825)


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.

violent erotica: kunitora - samurai - shunga

Wild samurai‘ (c.1827) from the series ‘Toshi toko‘ by Utagawa Kunitora (act.c. 1804-1844)


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.

violent erotica: kunisada - shunga - rape in a forest

Gruesome Rape in a Forest‘. (c.1829) from the series ‘Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter: Prospects for the Four Seasons (Shunka shuto shiki no nagame’)‘ By Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)


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.

Pen Name

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.

violent erotica - kunisada - tales of pussy - violent art - shunga

Threatening samurai‘ (c.1826) from the series ‘Kaidan Yoru no Tono (Picture Book: Tales of Pussy in the Palace at Night aka.Vaginal Tales of the Nocturnal Palace‘ by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)

Castration Anxiety

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.

Murder scene at a riverbank‘ (c.1830) attributed Utagawa Kunitora (act.c. 1804-1844)

Female Spirit

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.

tales of pussy - kunisada - samurai

Bloody robbery‘ (c.1826) from the series ‘Vaginal Tales of the Nocturnal Palace (Kaidan yoru no tono)‘ by Utagawa Kunisada (1786-1865)

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.

Bonus Pictures…

violent erotica

Painting featuring a ‘Sadistic samurai and a tied girl‘ (c.1890) by an unknown Meiji artist

Clitoris Pump

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.

violent erotica

A male lover is trying to smother the female he is making love to. They are in a small cabin in a low-class brothel‘ (c.1850) by Utagawa school.

violent erotica: Vengeful male attacking his female lover

Vengeful male attacking his female lover‘ (c.1830) from the series ‘ Sugatakurabe‘ attrib. to Utagawa Kuniteru

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Click HERE for more articles on the violent erotica in shunga…!!!

*Back-cover of the book ‘Death Scenes: A Homicide Detective’s Scrapbook‘ by Sean Tejaratchi & Katherine Dunn

About the author


on 1 September 2017

This is the first time that I've seen this kind of shunga.



on 1 September 2017

Thanks a lot, Kerahdah. I'll be adding many more in the near future. If interested, I can keep you posted ! If so, you can contact me through the above (right) subscription link.

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