- Publisher: Reaktion Books (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1861894325
- ISBN-13: 978-1861894328
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,35,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sex And The Floating World: Erotic Images In Japan 1700-1820 - Second Edition Paperback – 2009
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During the Edo period in eighteenth-century Japan, erotic paintings and prints known today as shunga were popular among both men and women. Yet, ?prior to Tim Screech's definitive study, Sex and the Floating World, no one had attempted to situate these overtly sexual images within the contexts of the sexual, gender, or class tensions of the time. ?Newly revised and expanded, this second edition of Sex and the Floating World examines how and why these images were made and used. Along the way, Screech illuminates a provocative world of sexual fantasy in Edo Japan. '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."?Japan Times "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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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Very easy read if your English vocabulary is well-rounded and the footnotes are very complete. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in this art form.
Having established that basic point, Screech uses it to explain the conventions if the imagery, regarding the people, places, seasons, and furnishings displayed. He examines the visual symbols of clothing, opulence, and nature. Things like the hidden (or not so hidden) observer recur, too, and invite explanation: very possibly a placing of the image's viewer in the image itself, or a reassurance that it's OK to enjoy looking the way the depicted voyeur enjoys it. And, since this is a second edition, Screech uses it to answer many of the objections and misinterpretations that met the first version.
Please note that this is not a showcase of the artworks themselves. A few of them do appear, usually in very small format and without color. These generally serve to illustrate some point of history or style, and rarely appear in a form that allows full enjoyment of the imagery. That's not the purpose - reproductions in this book act as footnotes to the text rather than features in themselves. Readers interested in the imagery for its own sake will be better served by collections like Hayakawa's,Calza's,Uhlenbeck's, or any of many others.
But, if you want to learn more about the society and artistic environment that let these beautiful images flourish, Screech's book is the best I know.
Screech's book stands in stark contrast to the many previous volumes on "shunga" that have concentrated on reproducing the erotic prints, and the total space devoted to visual images is rather limited. Still many readers will find this book rewarding, and however iconoclastic some of the findings may be no serious student of Japanese art or early modern history will want to be without it.