Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan 1700-1820 / Edition 2

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Overview

Sex and the Floating World offers an entirely new assessment of the genre of Japanese paintings and prints 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 shunga imagery within the contexts of sexuality, gender or the politics of power. Questions of aesthetics, and of whether shunga deserves a place in the canon of Japanese art history, have dominated, and the issue of how such images were used has been avoided. Timon Screech seeks to re-establish shunga in its proper historical contexts of culture and creativity. Shunga prints are unusual in that they are overtly about sex. Once we begin to examine them first and foremost as sexual aids, we must be prepared for some shocks. In Sex and the Floating World, the author takes us into the strange world of sexual fantasy in Edo-period Japan, investigating the tensions in class and gender experienced by those who made -- and made use of -- shunga.
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Editorial Reviews

Japan Times
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.—Donald Richie, Japan Times

— Donald Richie

Insight Japan
"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
Japan Times - Donald Richie
"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."—Donald Richie, Japan Times
Japan Times

"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."--Donald Richie, Japan Times

Insight Japan

"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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861894328
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/15/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Timon Screech is Senior Lecturer in the history of Japanese art at SOAS, University of London.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 7
1 Erotic Images, Pornography, Shunga and Their Use 13
2 Time and Place in Edo Erotic Images 39
3 Bodies, Boundaries, Pictures 88
4 Symbols in Shunga 129
5 The Scopic Regimes of Shunga 193
6 Sex and the Outside World 237
References 289
Bibliography 305
List of Illustrations 313
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