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10 Most Intriguing Homo Erotic Woodblock Images in Shunga.


Shunga, literally "Images of Spring", is the generic term used to describe erotic prints, books, scrolls and paintings of Japan.


If one focuses on the number of people portrayed in shunga one notices the great variety from one person masturbating to a whole group involved in an orgy. In majority intercourse between a man and a woman is depicted but homosexual and lesbian sex are also shown. This article treats 10 of the most intriguing homo-erotic scenes in the art of shunga.









Utamaro - Ugly Man

A bold headed ugly man rudely interferes the amorous liaison of a young man and his lover. A design form Kitagawa Utamaro's acclaimed On the Road, Love Songs for the Thick-Necked Shamisen shunga book series published in 1802. The striking contrast in the size of the genitalia of the older male protagonist and the receptive partner is noteworthy. In shunga, the sexual imagery depicting homo-erotic intercourse often concerns partners with distinct differences in age, with the older partner as the agressor.









Utamaro - Moistening Fingers

From the same shunga book series as the previous image the depiction of a young man bending over to allow anal penetration while the older man moinstens his fingers with clear intensions. The young woman in the background who peeks through the curtain is Osome, who's most probably the older man's daughter and a mistress of Hisamatsu (the young man). The tale of Osome and Hisamatsu was a famous genre in the Kabuki theatres of Edo and were called Osome and Hisamatsu plays.





Koryusai - Hand Job

In this image, from an untitled series by Isoda Koryusai published around 1770, a woman lies on top of a young boy while she's being penetrated by an adult man who's at the same time holding the young boy's penis. The folding screen, decorated with butterflies and peonies, seperates them from uninvited guests. 

> Erotic Shunga Netsuke 'Hand Job'






Koryusai - Male Prostitute

A samurai performing coitus a tergo on a young kagema (young male prostitute). Outside, near the veranda, a hollow tree trunk which served as a water basin can be seen. 
The wisteria, visible through the window, indicates the spring season.







Shigenobu - Chief Priest

This scene from Shigenobu's excellent shunga book The Floating Bridge of Heaven presents a Chief Priest making love to a male najimi (regular partner). Their passionate encounter is emphasized by the red kukuri makura (stuffed roll pillow) which has fallen of the bedding.





Kunisada - Kabuki Actor

A shunga illustration designed by the prolific Utagawa Kunisada depicting an adult man with an onnagata (male kabuki actors who were specialized in female roles). The youth wears female attire and has his hair dressed like a woman. The large size of the young onnagata's genitalia is very uncommon in this kind of scenes.






Keisai Eisen - Samurai

A high class courtesan (prostitute) and her young male client in an ecstatic pose while a middle-aged samurai takes the young man from behind. A print coming from a shungabook designed by Keisai Eisen published in the 1820s.






Kuniyoshi - Old Buddhist   

A comic depiction of an older Buddhist who's having sex with his kagema. Striking and unusual is their passionate kissing which might be indicative that this is not their first encounter. 
Look for the spread toes on the left foot of the young man.









Utamaro - Temple Page

Utamaro's homo-erotic masterpiece in the so called o-tanzakuban yoko-e format (half-size oban yoko-e) which measures approx. 6 1/2" x 14" depicts a chigo (temple page) who is being taken by a monk. These temple pages were regarded without censure as among the most desired followers of the so called Way of the Youth. Look for the inro (a traditional case for holding small objects) behind the head of the young man.






Kuniyoshi - Exposure 

An unusual and humorous design by Kuniyoshi in which an onnagata forces himself on a surprised visitor. 
On the floor on the left lay some opened shunga books.



Some of the prints treated in this article are available in >> our gallery If you are a shunga lover or collector please donít hesitate to contact us if you have any questions/inquiries on the items we are offering: >> e-mail.



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