Sex and Society in Edo Japan

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    Suzuki Harunobu (1725?-1770). 'Lovers on a Veranda with a Shamisen,'…


Sex and Society in Edo Japan


Thursday Feb 14 04:00 PM


Doris Duke Theatre


About the Lecture:

For much of the 20th century, shunga, or erotic art, was banished to the closed doors and dark corners of Japanese art history. While this has changed in recent years, discussions concerning the role of sexuality in Japanese art during the Edo period (1615-1868) are still plagued by misunderstandings. Why, and for whom, was shunga made? Is it pornography? Is sexuality in Japanese art limited to shunga, or is it part of a larger phenomenon found in other genres? Can we understand shunga through the filter of modern concepts about sexuality and art, or does it offer challenges that require us to reevaluate some of our most fundamental ideas about these basic aspects of the human experience?

Asian art curator Shawn Eichman provides an introduction to sexuality in Japanese art, offering insights into the social context of shunga, and a consideration of shunga in light of other ways in which sex and art intersected during the Edo period.

Shawn Eichman is Curator of Asian Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art, and co-curator of the exhibition Arts of the Bedchamber: Japanese Shunga.

Present your ticket from Sex and Society in Edo Japan and get $2 off the 7:30pm screening of Taboo.


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