Japanese Erotic Art: The Hidden World of Shunga
Ofer Shagan and Mark Halpern
Japanese erotic art, or shunga , has a long history, with thousands of high- quality paintings, prints, handscrolls and illustrated books produced by artists both celebrated and anonymous, mostly from the late seventeenth to the nineteenth century. Frequently explicit, but also tender, sensuous and humorous, even educational, shunga – a euphemism meaning ‘picture of spring’ – celebrates all facets of human sexuality. In a dazzling diversity of images drawn from his own unrivalled collection, Ofer Shagan shows us the full spectrum of sexual practice and expression, including nudity and clothing, voyeurism, gods, monsters and animals, orgasm, adultery and jealousy, and much else. Organized thematically, this book highlights the symbols and motifs, often hidden in the background of the art, which are crucial for a proper understanding and appreciation of this genre. With over 1,000 illustrations, all specially photographed and many rarely or never published previously, this beautifully produced book explores the intimate riches of shunga in a way no other publication has done before.