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Rosina Buckland

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-0698-9
Trim Size: 9 5/8 x 9 5/8

Product Description

Featuring paintings, handscrolls, prints, and illustrated books of erotica produced in Japan between 1600 and 1900, Shunga showcases some of the finest examples of Japanese erotic art, created with opulent materials and special printing effects. This book includes works by Kitagawa Utamaro (1753, 1806) and Katsushika Hokusai (1760, 1849), who produced erotic imagery as a standard part of their work.

The erotic encounters depicted in Shunga reflect multiple perspectives—male, female, heterosexual, and same-sex. There is a particular emphasis on sexual situations in everyday life: a wife catches her husband seducing a maid, a couple is spied on by a curious servant, and mice start copulating in imitation of the humans. Japanese erotic art was characterized by exaggeration and fantasy and, as one verse-writer warns, "The foolish couple copy shunga and pull a muscle." Shunga examines this underexplored area of Japanese culture and is fully illustrated with fascinating images from the rich collections of the British Museum, many of which have never been published before.

Rosina Buckland is curator of the Japanese collections at the National Museum of Scotland. Her primary interests are the art and culture of the late Edo period and early Meiji era, with a focus on paintings and prints. She is a co-author of A Japanese Menagerie: Animal Pictures by Kowanabe Kyōsai (2006).

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PG Wodehouse