The Carnal Prayer Mat  

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Rouputuan, also known as Huiquanbao and Juehouchan, and translated as The Carnal Prayer Mat or The Before Midnight Scholar, is a Chinese erotic novel by Li Yu. It was first published in 1657 in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Shunzhi Emperor. The authenticity of the author is questioned in Crisis and Transformation in Seventeenth-Century China: Society, Culture, and Modernity in Li Yü's World by Chun-shu Chang and Shelley Hsueh-lun Chang. It is divided into four volumes—Spring (春), Summer (夏), Autumn (秋), Winter (冬). In 1705, it was introduced to Japan, where it became known as Nikubuton (肉蒲團/にくぶとん). In the Chinese literary world, the novel was controversial, and has long been banned and censored. The novel was used as the basis for the Hong Kong erotic films Sex and Zen and 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy.

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