Secret Lives of the Samurai


Kiss of Death (2007).

From a series of marvellous homoerotic ink drawings by Kenya Shimizu. The artist seems to have no web presence at all, unfortunately, aside from three pages of work for sale at London’s Adonis Art Gallery. Most of the pictures there are hardcore images so if you don’t want to see any of that, don’t look. His paintings are as good as his drawings but I typically prefer the black and white work, especially since there’s a slight Beardsleyesque feel to some of them—or is it merely the Japanese line which Beardsley borrowed? Nice to see a variety of cum shots as well; the first drawing in the Samurai series, Release, is even a bukkake scene, something you rarely see in gay art.

Kenya Shimizu was born in Fukui Prefecture in Japan, 1976. Kenya Shimizu devoted himself early on to mastering the techniques of his art.  His homo-erotic fantasies (pen and ink) – very much in the Japanese erotic tradition – are brilliant compositions executed with panache and great skill.  His paintings on gold and silver leaf, are masterpieces of watercolour workmanship;  His watercolours of modern Japan – reveal and portray the present-day homo-erotic fantasies of the ‘salarymen’ and students of today’s Japan.

Within recent years, one of the leading Japanese practitioners of homo-erotic painting – Sadao Hasegawa – sadly died.  Now a worthy successor has come onto the scene.

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The gay artists archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999
The art of Takato Yamamoto
The art of ejaculation

5 thoughts on “Secret Lives of the Samurai”

  1. Maybe they’re not intended to be, but I find these hilarious. I’ve watched ‘Mishima’ and too many old, grainy honor-obsessed samurai movies, read too many noirish Japanese graphic novel type deals that end with hara-kiri/seppuku, and played one too many ultra-violent Japanese stealth games, for me to be psychologically capable of placing that kind of imagery into any whimsical or remotely sexual context and keep a straight face.

    There are enough traditional elements there, such as the rope-bondage, extensive tattooing, and what-have-you (not that its surprising coming from a Japanese artist) for me to able to appreciate where he is coming from. The titles, ‘Secret lives of samurai’ certainly are reinforced by the traditional elements anyways, since certainly some of the affairs depicted were going on behind closed doors in that era. I can’t help it though, they’re well done, and also pretty cool if I could just look at them from an unemotional point of view, but right now I am barely typing this right, and will no proof-read if I can stop snickering like some stupid jockey.

    I should print some of these off and show them to some of the contemporary conservative types I know, who like to imagine all traditional warrior societies were asexual, and always fully clothed for ritual and war, and see how extreme their reactions are. Not to say I am much better, of course I know better, but have more or less trained myself, whether I meant to or not, to be incapable of imagining samurai being even partially naked unless they are lying disembowled in the ditches of a fiery battlefield.

  2. All porn is ridiculous to a greater or lesser degree so I think that’s a natural response, the comedy increases the more a picture moves away from anything which stimulates you. Having said that, some of those samurai things are pretty comic anyway, not sure what he’s playing at with the long-nosed guys. These are a lot less ridiculous to me than Patrick Fillion‘s gay superheroes with their enormous genitals.

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