Japanese erotica  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Japanese erotica is erotica from Japan. It is a part of Asian erotica.


Japanese pornography

Japanese pornography

Japanese pornography has some unique features which separate it from pornography in other countries, especially Western pornography. The most common theme in Japanese porn are schoolgirls who are sexually submissive and often bound. It is quite common and frequently translated and exported to Western cultures because of its large spectrum of themes and media. Japanese erotica has a reputation in the West as being sado-masochistic and youth-centered.



Most shunga are a type of ukiyo-e, usually executed in woodblock print format. While rare, there are extant erotic painted handscrolls which predate the Ukiyo-e movement. Translated literally, the Japanese word shunga means picture of spring; "spring" is a common euphemism for sex.

The ukiyo-e movement as a whole sought to express an idealisation of contemporary urban life. Edo period shunga sought to express the sexual mores of the chonin in the widest variety of forms possible, and therefore depicted heterosexual and homosexual, old and young alike, as well as a wide range of fetishes. In the edo period it was enjoyed by rich and poor, men and women, and despite being out of favour with the shogunate, carried very little stigma. Almost all ukiyo-e artists made shunga at some point in their careers, and it didn't affect their prestige as artists. Classifying shunga as a kind of medieval pornography can be misleading in this respect.

Japanese sexuality

Japanese sexuality

Sexuality in Japan has developed separately from mainland Asia, as Japan did not adopt the Confucian view of marriage. Monogamy in marriage was not prized in Japan, and married men often sought pleasure from their courtesans. Prostitution in Japan has a long history, and became especially popular during the Japanese economic miracle, as evening entertainments were tax-deductible. Homosexuality and bisexuality were common in former times, but are taboo in the modern era. Japanese pornography has a wide following worldwide and is translated and exported nearly everywhere due to its wide range of themes and media. Japan has a vibrant fetish scene particularly in the larger cities that has influenced many fetish communities worldwide. Decreased sex drive in the 21st century was blamed for the low Japanese birth rate and declining growth of the Japanese population.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Japanese erotica" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools