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Shunga - Images of desire in the erotic art of Japan yesterday and today


This book dedicated to Japanese erotic art and prints in particular is structured by themes, based on the environments and topics that are the subject of the various works: voyeurism and homosexuality, erotic toys and animals, genitals and monsters, violence and foreigners, family and outdoor sex; the last chapter outlines the evolution of one of the most famous shunga themes in some contemporary works, from painting to manga, from anime to video games. There are many interesting ideas, which offer the reader a new perspective to better appreciate the prints. The introductory section analyzes the historical, social and cultural context in which this art developed: pleasure centers and the role of women, literary associations and taste for parody, users of the erotic genre and censorship, reception of shunga in the West and aspects technicians. In the final part, a glossary and a section dedicated to reading the image and symbology help to understand the meaning of some particular motifs and specific elements of Japanese culture, to more easily understand the less immediate contents.

Reasons of interest:

  • A thematically organized book, which offers a 360-degree view of the world of Japanese eroticism

  • 400 extremely high-quality images covering a wide range of artists, styles, subjects and periods

  • A highly effective cross-section, with easily understandable contents thanks to the explanations of the elements and symbolic motifs

  • A final chapter with the evocative title of “Tentacle erotica”, which illustrates the development of these themes in contemporary Japanese art

  • Enlargements of selected prints that highlight and enhance the expressions of the lovers' faces, the details of the interiors and luxurious clothes, the funniest and most curious views, and much more

Size: 22.5 × 28cm
Hardback with cloth spine
Number of pages: 304
ISBN: 9782889750252
October 10, 2022

ELISABETTA SCANTAMBURLO she is a researcher in the field of Japanese arts. Translator and editor of volumes on the subject, after graduating in Japanese Language and Literature with an artistic focus at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice, she obtained a doctorate in Civilizations of India and East Asia, investigating the influences of Zen on 20th century Western arts and also carrying out research at Keio University in Tōkyō. In addition to having curated numerous exhibitions of contemporary art and design, collaborating with various galleries, he participated in the organization of some of the most important exhibitions on Japanese art held at Palazzo Reale in Milan: Hokusai (1999), Ukiyo-e. The Floating World (2004) and Japan. The art of change (2005). She has written various articles on both Japanese and contemporary Western art and is co-author of the volume The Art of the Japanese Poster (2021). He has a master's degree in teaching and promoting the Italian language. He also translates children's books.