Shunga is the Japanese term for a particular genre of ukiyo-e ("pictures of the floating world") in which humor and sexual explicitness coexist in skillfully rendered images.
The word itself (春画) is made up of the kanji characters for 'spring' & 'picture,' with spring being a common euphemism for sex.
Born out of playful competition between renowned Japanese painters such as Utamaro, Harunobu, and Hokusai, the art form, which enjoyed immense popularity among all classes during the Edo period, had great influence among such artistic luminaries as Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Larry Flynt.
From September 19, 2015 to December 23, 2015, the Eisei-Bunko Museum in Tokyo is putting on the most comprehensive Shunga exhibit the world has ever seen.
I had the good fortune to visit on a rainy day which kept the crowds in check. Apparently, when the weather is good, the 3-story exhibit becomes Tokyo-rush-hour-train crowded whereas when the weather is bad, it’s merely can’t-hardly-move-without-elbowing-a-fellow-perv-masquerading-as-an-art-enthusiast crowded.
There is much to admire and ogle with subject matter running the gamut from romantic trysts to unsightly three-ways to bestiality and ghost porn. In particular, there seemed to be a lot of sneaky fingers slipping beneath robes and into fleshy vaginas, so if that’s your thing, this exhibit is a must-see.
Perhaps the biggest surprise for me, however, was an exchange between exhibit-goers in reaction to a painting depicting a 6-on-1 (6 ladies: 1 gentleman).
“What do you think?” the female asked her male companion.
“Too many,” he replied reprovingly.
It took every ounce of will power I had to not slap this guy in the face and take away his man card.
But other than that, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Below are some highlights.
These first three works disprove beyond a shadow of a doubt the ugly stereotype about small appendages:
And here's a handsome couple:
Next, we see a couple of naughty kapas spiriting away a young maiden. And then raping the crap out of her.
The biggest crowd of the day was around this depiction of an octopus performing cunnilingus on another young beauty. Perhaps the origin of tentacle porn?
Next, some haunting ghost porn.
Lastly, we have an unfortunately blurry copy of my favorite piece. A gentleman coming out of a maiden’s shaggy vagina, leaning back while enjoying an attentive BJ.
All in all, while crowded, this exhibit is well worth a visit if you like some culture with your porn.
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