Re: erotic(?) prints

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Posted by Richard Illing on May 27, 1998 at 23:30:22:

In Reply to: erotic(?) prints posted by J Kano on May 16, 1998 at 22:52:41:

: A few years back, I acquired, lent, and lost, a fat book (Floating World of...) which contains some reproductions of erotic(?) woodblock prints.

: Is the subject taboo in this forum?
: Are the prints/reproductions avaiable on line?
: Were they intended to be erotic, humorous, or both?

Such a large proportion of the wookblock prints and printed books (ehon) illustrated erotic subjects [shunga] that it is a shame that so few are available in the usual books etc. Over the last twenty years these have become more acceptable and several museum catalogues and commercial publications have reproduced some. I work on the assumption that, although some are supposedly intended as instructional texts for the new bride, in practice they were designed to appeal to the 'girly mag' brigade as erotica. Since the Japanese had less of a sense of 'Christian' sinfulness about fornication they probably had less of a hang-up about the shunga than our 'Victorian' forebears. These days they are probably more prudish than us in the West but recently even the Japanese have allowed unexpurgated shunga to be published. I do not know of any dedicated shunga site on the web, but then I have not looked!

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