Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period
September 9th, 2011 by Aldouspi

Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period

This is the first modern study on Japanese erotic print art (so called shunga), illustrating a large selection of the best works mainly from private collections in Europe and the USA. The publication shows highlights from the oeuvre of Kitagawa Utamaro, Katsushika Hokusai, Suzuki Harunobu, Utagawa Kunisada, Utagawa Kuniyoshi and many others. It outlines the artistic developments from the early period to the end of the 19th century when western themes began to appear in Japanese erotic art. Vario

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3 Responses  
  • wiredweird "wiredweird" writes:
    September 9th, 20113:42 pmat
    43 of 44 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The best collectionI’ve seen, June 5, 2005
    By 
    wiredweird “wiredweird” (Earth, or somewhere nearby) –
    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period (Hardcover)

    It’s a wonderful collection for a variety of reasons: the beautiful reproduction, the many poses and practices it shows, the many artists and styles, the scholarly but interesting commentary, and attention to a print-lover’s details.

    The depictions cover the whole range of possible couplings, plus a number of impossible ones. Most of the pictures focus on coupling of one man and one woman, but men together, women singly or together, multiples of each, and even mythical beasts appear in various samples. At least a few pictures show use of toys, genital kisses and caresses, and even cleanup tissues – a little touch that lends familiarity to this unfamiliar culture. Another point appealed to me as well, that all or nearly all scenes show happy, consenting partners.

    The historical notes are what such notes should be. They explain the unfamiliar or point out details, without belaboring the obvious. Descriptions of the prints themselves could have been a bit better, especially regarding foxing, fading, and other signs of age. I was glad to see the damaged images, though. It gives viewers a more realistic idea of what to expect when the see prints in galleries or stores, and I’d rather see the image damaged that never see it at all.

    In terms of printing and image-making techniques, this book spans a very wide range. The collection is dominated by 17-19th century woodcuts, in the familiar colored style or simple linear images. The authors have also included some of the cartoons that would have been used to guide the artisan cutting the blocks, as well as pencil drawings made for their own sake. There are a few clever fold-outs, including one where, upon lifting the tablecloth on the print, we see lovers playing footsie under the table. Another series (cat. 87) shows a lovely set of prints in a style new to me, one that imitates traditional ink drawings. Others (cat. 84) use “blind impressions” to emboss patterns into the print. Careful photography shows how the indentations enhance the patterns of the fabric, or (in a second print) describe the modeling of the figures and their musculature. In a few cases, the authors show multiple impressions of a given image, to show how instances of the “same” image may differ.

    If you have just one book of Edo-era erotica, make it this one. It’s beautiful, broad, and informative in many ways. Best of all, it gives a very happy impression of the players and their play.

    //wiredweird

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  • Dragon Phoenix "D.P." writes:
    September 9th, 20113:44 pmat
    2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Fabulous, February 21, 2009
    By 
    Dragon Phoenix “D.P.” (Everywhere) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period (Hardcover)

    The books is just beautiful, well organized, a real treasure. I bought it for my best friend and her husband as a gift. They are in their late 50’s and have begun to rekindle their romance after 30 years of marriage. My friend is a seasoned artist herself and just gushed over the book. Of course they loved it! What’s not to love about this book. You could look at it for hours. One point however, for people wanting a “guide book”. The writings in it are prose, not “how to’s” for sexal yoga practices. But you know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

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  • Anonymous writes:
    September 9th, 20114:08 pmat
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hotei’s books are unique but VERY EXPENSIVE, May 27, 2011
    This review is from: Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period (Hardcover)

    I just bought this book when Borders has 50% off and 10% membership saving.

    The quality of this book is very exceptional. High quality!

    But, compare with the many other books, which have the similar quality, this book is REALLY REALLY EXPENSIVE.

    Well, if you like it, BUY IT; otherwise, WAIT UNTIL Borders sale.

    Can anyone tell me why Hotei’s books are so EXPENSIVE???

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