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Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan 1700-1820by Timon Screech
Synopses & Reviews
During the Edo period in eighteenth-century Japan, erotic paintings and prints known today as shunga were popular among both men and women. Yet, prior to Tim Screechs definitive study, Sex and the Floating World, no one had attempted to situate these overtly sexual images within the contexts of the sexual, gender, or class tensions of the time.
Newly revised and expanded, this second edition of Sex and the Floating World examines how and why these images were made and used. Along the way, Screech illuminates a provocative world of sexual fantasy in Edo Japan.
‘With concern, proportion, wit and a bit of levity, the author of this authoritative and invaluable contribution to scholarship has given us the book for which we have long waited.”—Japan Times
“Screech provides a fascinating and informative introduction to the social and sexual habits of pre-modern Japan, copiously illustrated and full of witty anecdotes as well as solid scholarly research. The ideal bedtime read?”—Insight Japan
This book offers an entirely new assessment of the genre of Japanese paintings and prints today known as shunga, Recent changes in Japanese law have at last enabled erotic images to be published without fear of prosecution, and many picture books have since appeared in Japan. There has, however, been very little attempt to situate the imagery within the contexts of sexuality, gender or power. Questions of aesthetics, and of whether shunga deserve a place in the official history of Japanese art, have dominated, and the question of the use of these images has been avoided. Timon Screech seeks to re-establish shunga in its proper historical contexts of culture and creativity.
Sex and the Floating World opens up for us the strange world of sexual fantasy in the Edo culture of eighteenth-century Japan, and investigates the tensions in class and gender of those who made - and made use of - shunga,
About the Author
Timon Screech is professor of art history in the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London and senior associate at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. His books include The Western Scientific Gaze and Popular Imagery in Later Edo Japan and The Shoguns Painted Culture.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Second Edition
1. Erotic Images, Pornography, Shunga and their Use
2. Time and Place in Edo Erotic Images
3. Bodies, Boundaries, Pictures
4. Symbols in Shunga
5. The Scopic Regimes of Shunga
6. Sex and the Outside World
7. Re-engaging with Edo Erotica
List of Illustrations
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