Erotic Japanese Art

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Shunga is a Japanese term for erotic art. Most shunga are a type of ukiyo-e, usually produced in woodblock print format in the 18th and 19th centuries. The ukiyo-e movement as a whole sought to express an idealisation of contemporary urban life and appeal to the new chōnin class. Following the aesthetics of everyday life, Edo period shunga varied widely in its depictions of sexuality. As a subset of ukiyo-e it was enjoyed by all social groups in the Edo period, despite being out of favour with the shogunate. Almost all ukiyo-e artists made shunga at some point in their careers, and it did not detract from their prestige as artists. (Read more…)


Eva Hamon is a French artist who has created a series of contemporary shunga titled “Cherry Blossom Shunga.” According to her website, her shunga are “copies from ancient woodblock prints of famous Japanese artists, with a free choice of colors, scenery and namely, textures in kimonos, always with gold leaf applications. Carefully painted, never with haste, with attention to details and lines, to the expressions of faces, to the harmony in the picture.” [Read more…]


This gallery is a compilation of various Japanese artists and photographers, including Hidemi Tada, Takeji Fujishima, Kazuya Akimoto, Seiki Kuroda, Okada Saburosuke, Hakuho Hirano, Hashiguchi Goyo, Toraji Ishikawa, Shinsui Ito, Shotei Takahashi, Kotondo Torii, Hiroshi Nonami, Tim Ernst, Keiichi Tahara, and Kimbei Kusakabe.

READ: Japanese Art and Shunga Prints – Art or Pornography?

WATCH: Shunga: Themes from an Exhibition

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