Shunga: Stages of Desire

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Shawn Eichman;Stephen Salel
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A gorgeous presentation devoted to the art of Japanese eroticism, drawn from the Honolulu Museum of Art??s rare and distinguished collection. The Japanese paintings and prints called shunga (literally spring pictures ) reflected the thriving sexual culture of early modern Japan and depicted with sensitivity and nuance the private lives of various social types, from courtesans and Kabuki actors to ordinary townspeople. Organized around a series of exhibitions at the Honolulu Museum of Art, this sumptuous volume presents art from the museum??s vast holdings of ukiyo-e prints, woodblock-printed books, and paintings, particularly those originating from the collections of scholar Richard D. Lane and famed author James A. Michener. These fascinating works, dating from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, explore Japan??s sexual culture (including issues of gender and the country??s ever-evolving sex industry) with humor as well as a surprisingly sophisticated literary and art-historical approach. Sure to become a collector??s item, this gorgeously designed publication offers stunning color plates showcasing numerous and unusual examples of exquisite Japanese erotica. Texts by leading scholars of shunga and ukiyo-e complete this treasure album of a book.