We regret that due to the technical limitations of our site, we are unable to offer eBooks or Audio Downloads to customers outside of the UK.

For further details please read our eBooks help.

Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art (Hardback)
  • Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art (Hardback)

Shunga: Sex and Pleasure in Japanese Art (Hardback)

, , ,
Hardback Published: 14/10/2013
  • In stock
  • Free UK delivery

We can send it to you within 24 hours

  • This item has been added to your basket
Click & Collect From your local shop
You can discover Japanese art like no other. Originally created by the artists of the ukiyo-e school of the floating world to advertise brothels in 17th-century Yoshiwara, these popular spring pictures (shunga) transcended class and gender in Japan for almost 300 years. These tender, humorous and brightly coloured pieces celebrate sexual pleasure in all its forms, culminating in the beautiful, yet graphic, work of iconic artists Utamaro, Hokusai and Kunisada. This catalogue of a major international exhibition aims to answer some key questions about what shunga is and why was it produced. Erotic Japanese art was heavily suppressed in Japan from the 1870s onwards as part of a process of cultural modernisation that imported many contemporary western moral values. Only in the last twenty years or so has it been possible to publish unexpurgated examples in Japan and this ground-breaking publication presents this fascinating art in its historical and cultural context for the first time. Within Japan, shunga has continued to influence modern forms of art, including manga, anime and Japanese tattoo art. Drawing on the latest scholarship and featuring over 400 images of works from major public and private collections, this landmark book sheds new light on this unique art form within Japanese social and cultural history. Shunga: sex and pleasure in Japanese art is published to accompany an exhibition at the British Museum from October 2013 to January 2014.

Publisher: British Museum Press
ISBN: 9780714124766

You may also be interested in...

“Simply stunning”

This is a big, beautiful, ground breaking book of unexpurgated examples of Shunga. The paintings and woodblock prints reproduced here are explicit, yet not offensive; they are frequently quite funny and tender, which... More

Hardback edition
21st November 2013
Helpful? Upvote 2


After the initial shock and embarrassment of the explicit illustrations, I found this to be a very informative and beautiful book that enriches the appreciation of sex. Over the centuries there have been many authors... More

Hardback edition
4th November 2013
Helpful? Upvote 2

“Interesting and beautiful”

A beautiful and extremely interesting book which has vivid and often colourful erotic artwork whose detail is breathtaking. Not for the faint of heart as this is at times extremely explicit but a truly great book... More

Hardback edition
10th November 2013
Helpful? Upvote 1

Your review has been submitted successfully.

We would love to hear what you think of Waterstones. Why not review Waterstones on Trustpilot?

Review us on Trustpilot