Shunga Exhibition

Art, Masterpiece
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Katsushika Hokusai
Suzuki Harunobu
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Suzuki Harunobu
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Kitagawa Utamaro

After much hand-wringing and controversy, the first-ever exhibition of traditional Japanese erotic art (shunga, literally 'spring pictures') in this country is finally happening. Spurred on by the success of a similar, critically acclaimed display at the British Museum in 2013, the organisers reportedly offered this exhibit to around ten museums, only to be turned down by them all – the 'obscene' reputation of shunga remains strong in some circles, despite the fact the art is readily available in e.g. book form across Japan. The exhibition was finally taken up by Mejirodai's Eisei Bunko Museum, usually dedicated to the preservation and display of the Hosokawa samurai clan's history and artistic fortune. From September on, visitors can rest their eyes on around 120 pieces by the likes of Hokusai, Utamaro and Suzuki Harunobu – but you'll need to be 18 or older to enter.

For more on shunga, check out our article on the art form's history and unique characteristics.

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