What Are the 17 Most Violent Designs in Shunga? (P2)
Marijn Kruijff
5 min

What Are the 17 Most Violent Designs in Shunga? (P2)

5 min

Welcome back! Did you manage to get out of the first round unscathed? In this second round we’ll continue to examine this violent erotica and see what is in our opinion the most cruelling one. So let’s move quickly to the final seven!

In 7th place…

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.

6th place…

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.

At 5…

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.

Number 4…

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.

The final three.

At 3rd place…

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.

At 2nd place…

gruesome art demon Kunisada

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. A detailed description of this design can be found here!

And at NUMBER ONE ! Drumroll…

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


OK, maybe not as bloody as some of the previous tableaux in the list but in terms of suspense this double book page has no equal. 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

Because this is our personal favorite shunga print we have published a unique remake of it in 2019. Click HERE and check out all the details on this UNIQUE project!

At this time you can get this rare piece at a one-time 20% discount offer. Closes shortly!

violent erotica Hokusai

Our 2019 unique remake of Hokusai’s “torture” piece carved, colored and printed by Yuuya Shimoi

Click HERE for articles on brutal rape scenes in shunga…!!!

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

Do you think there is a violent design missing from this list? Let us know in the comment box below….!!