Shunga, The Japanese Erotic Art of the XVII and XVIII Centuries
Shunga engravings are a kind of ukiyo-e (woodcut prints) produced in Japan during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The word shunga means spring image, euphemism used to refer to sexual intercourse. The culmination of these erotic Japanese illustrations is in the Edo period (17th-19th century) and used as a sexual guide for the sons and daughters of families who could afford these scrolls. The Japanese kept these illustrations next to the couple’s bridal furniture.
The ukiyo-e was a commercial-centered production dedicated to satisfying the demand for printed materials, both literary and visual, of a large popular mass that consumed these works in a manner very similar to how books are consumed today.
Erotic movies. Due to aspects of its aesthetics were very popular in the West from the nineteenth century. They are drawings of an amazing modernity, where the woman appears not as a mere erotic object, but are shown as active lovers whose pleasure is at the same level as that of men and are pleased. The difference with the Indian prints of the Kamasutra is the obscenity and passion that produce the images produce, with an aesthetic that is much closer to our time.
Japanese or ukiyo-e illustrations, depicting scenes from the nuptial life of eighteenth-century Japan. Among those that were not taught to the public and were hidden to be sold in secret for important amounts of money, they were recreated infidelities, vouyerism, masturbation, orgies, women caressing phalluses, men caressing clitoris and vaginas, and even homosexual acts.
In a way, one discovers that nothing has been invented in our time, and that, deep down, the passions of that humanity far away in time and in its culture show us an exciting proximity, an erotic blush that invites to laughter, Love, sensuality and sex as a high intellectual form of enjoyment, communication, antidote to death in these songs to life that so much speak to us of the refined uses of a people.
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