c. 1920s Japanese Shunga Print on Silk in Unusual Modern Style

Regular price $75.00

This is an unusual, early 20th c. Japanese Shunga (erotic) print--I am pretty certain a woodblock, printed on sheer silk-- which I purchased from a Japanese print seller in California, who also noted the unusualness of the style. Shunga (translation: "picture of spring," "spring" being a euphemism) has a long and fascinating history, both formally (among other influences, Shunga was shaped early on by illustrations in Chinese medicine manuals) and in terms of where and how and by whom it was made, owned, presented, banned or encouraged. The vast majority of Shunga one sees was done by ukiyo-e artists in the traditional manner, 17th-19th c; by the late 19th/early 20th c. Shunga prints became much scarcer, due to concerted government efforts to ban and confiscate it, and as it was largely replaced by erotic photography. And so this piece, done in a modern style with subjects wearing modern hairstyles, is a rare one--and it looks to me, with a few small holes and some staining along fold lines--as if it was kept in a wallet or similar for personal viewing.  

8 1/2" x 6 3/4". Some staining to lower left corner and along fold lines  and a few small holes as evident; I shot it against a white mat, placed over black they are less pronounced. Color is strong, fabric-silk I believe--is sheer, as evident from flip side view.