The history of Japanese erotic art truly is an interesting one. Born in an open-minded culture, it is rich just as it is kinky and bizarre , from curious traditions to the famous Shunga paintings. In fact, it were the Shunga that had major success as artworks for pleasure and are still one of the most fascinating aspects of Japanese erotic art, with all their themes, meanings, uses and even legacy. For almost three full centuries of the Edo period , between and when the economy grew and the people enjoyed arts and culture to the fullest, the Japanese saw the bloom of Shunga. A form of the traditional erotic art, these pictures originated during the Heian period to AD , but the copying of images was expensive and complex at the time, due to the lack of technology. The woodblock printing technique allowed artists to carve pictures into wooden blocks, which would then be coated with ink and pressed onto paper, leaving a print.
Nobuyoshi Araki: The Controversial Master of Erotic Photography in Five Keywords | FotoRoom
Most shunga are a type of ukiyo-e , usually executed in woodblock print format. While rare, there are extant erotic painted handscrolls which predate ukiyo-e. Following the aesthetics of everyday life, Edo-period shunga varied widely in its depictions of sexuality. As a subset of ukiyo-e it was enjoyed by all social groups in the Edo period, despite being out of favour with the shogunate. Almost all ukiyo-e artists made shunga at some point in their careers. Shunga was heavily influenced by illustrations in Chinese medicine manuals beginning in the Muromachi era to
Skip to main content. Erotic Photography. Customers also bought.
But now Japan is playing catch-up. The Eisei Bunko Museum in Tokyo is organizing an exhibition of pieces of Shunga, making it the largest exhibition of its kind in Japan. Running from September 19 — December 23, the Shunga Exhibition presents an overarching view of some of the most explicit and brilliants pictures of pleasure ever produced. Exquisitely created, the imagery was often intended to be tender as well as humorous. Admission for the show is yen and you have to be 18 to enter.