Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700-1820
This book offers an entirely new assessment of the genre of Japanese paintings and prints today known as shunga. Recent changes in Japanese law have at last enabled erotic images to be published without fear of prosecution, and many picture books have since appeared in Japan. There has, however, been very little attempt to situate the imagery within the contexts of sexuality, gender or power. Questions of aesthetics, and of whether shunga deserve a place in the official history of Japanese art, have dominated, and the question of the use of these images has been avoided. Timon Screech seeks to re-establish shunga in its proper historical contexts of culture and creativity.
Sex and the Floating World opens up for us the strange world of sexual fantasy in the Edo culture of eighteenth-century Japan, and investigates the tensions in class and gender of those who made – and made use of – shunga.
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