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Japanese erotica

Related: anime - ero-guro-nansensu - erotic horror - Japan - Japanese film - Japanese erotic films - Japanese bondage - manga - Nikkatsu Studios - Pink films - shunga - tentacle erotica

People: Nobuyushi Aruki - Hajime Sorayama - Hokusai - Namio Hurukawa - Yoshifumi Hayashi

Decadence: Japanese Erotic Art (2004) - Carol Gnojewski [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Yoshifumi Hayahsi

Illustration by Hajime Sorayama


Unusual sexual fantasies are certainly common in the world of Japanese manga and anime. And popular adult anime (sometimes referred to as hentai) such as "La Blue Girl," "Imma Youjo: Erotic Temptress" and "Twin Angels" can be found on the Web as well as in video stores in major American cities.

In addition, a number of photographers and artists in Japan are renowned for their explorations of fringe sexuality. There's Hajime Sorayama, whose cyberwomen appear regularly in Penthouse; Masaaki Toyoura, whose bondage photos can be viewed in various Larry Flynt publications; Yoshifumi Hayashi, the master of erotic pencil art, whose drawings delve into the nether regions of coprophilia; and Nobuyoshi Araki, the photographer whose book about the Tokyo sex trade, "Tokyo Lucky Hole," is truly a pervert's delight. --Stephen Lemons [2001|2005] http://archive.salon.com/sex/feature/2001/02/08/saeki/print.html [Jan 2005]

Erotica in Japan

Japanese erotica has some unique features which separate it from erotica in other cultures, especially Western pornography. It is quite common and frequently translated and exported to Western cultures because of its large spectrum of themes and media. Due to cultural differences and various taboos, Japanese erotica has a reputation in the West as being sado-masochistic and youth-centered. -- adapted, but changed pornography into erotica http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_in_Japan [Aug 2004]

Censorship laws

The social taboo against nudity has historically been weaker in Japan than in the West: "pillow books" detailing sexual acts were widely sold in the Edo era, and women and men routinely worked in the nude and bathed in public up to, and even after, the Meiji Restoration. While in Western society nudity has typically been a taboo, that idea entered Japan only after Meiji-era and how deeply that idea is rooted is argued. Although extreme public nudity such as showing genital area would be persecuted in Japan (except in gender-divided public baths and even then with discretion observed), the Japanese attitude toward nudity in the media is more liberal than that of the United States, although it is still conservative in contrast to western Europe. Oddly enough, Japan does not have a nudist beach.

In Japan, it is illegal for any commercial publications to depict the female clitoris or male glans. Any publications depicting the penis or vagina must be shrink-wrapped and barred from sale to minors. However, it is not uncommon for pictorial magazines to depict nude women with their genitalia airbrushed over in black, and video pornography routinely depicts explicit sex scenes with the participants' genitalia mosaiced out.

Until 1991, the entire pubic region, including hair, was deemed obscene.

It is also illegal to bring pornographic material into Japan, and customs agents are known for checking videotapes in international mail and hand baggage. Extreme cases could be punished by fines but most merely have their stuff confiscated.

Many common genres of Japanese erotica evolved because of these laws. Tentacle rape (originated in the Edo-era wooden print of a woman in a sexual act with a giant octopus, first depicted in anime by Legend of the Overfiend), an animated portrayal of rape fantasies involving a human female and a science fiction-like creature, emerged as an alternative to depicting the male penis. Bukkake, a genre focusing on ejaculation on the female body, also fell outside obscenity laws, and has made its way into Western pornography retaining its Japanese name. In general, Japanese tend to view Western pornographic videos as being "beast-like in their acts", "lacking in story and depth", and "the fixed smiles plastered on actresses are scary". In short, they look artificial and 'howls' often elicit laughter as they look comical in their acts to Japanese eyes. Note that North Korean propaganda TV shows that show women and children in crooked smiles are often looked at with the same bemusement, scary and comical at the same time.

There is also a thriving genre of underground pornography in Japan (called urabon) that ignores these censorship laws: it has become especially prevalent on the internet, as there are no mechanisms in place to prevent its transmission from Japanese nationals to the outside world. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pornography_in_Japan [Aug 2004]

Toshio Saeki: The Early Works (1997) - Toshio Saeki

Toshio Saeki: The Early Works (1997) - Toshio Saeki
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Book Description
Before Toshio Saeki worked in his current palette of bright colors, he expressed the darker and more chaotic aspects of unbridled eroticism in black and white, with the occasional and dramatic splash of a single primary color. In this lavishly illustrated book, Saeki's disturbing iconography reveals links to the past and simultaneously indicates the even more bizarre twists his work would take in the future. Early Works also includes the panel-by-panel replication of a Saeki manga story. Japanese Text Only

Please note that Catherine Robbe-Grillet has contributed to this book.

Decadence: Japanese Erotic Art (2004) - Carol Gnojewski

Decadence: Japanese Erotic Art (2004) - Carol Gnojewski [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
This is a lush coffee table art book comprising a survey of Ukiyo-e poster art, which was a genre of Japanese wood block prints of the ancient Edo period (1600-1867) that continue to inspire and inform creators of Japanese manga and anime. Decadence focuses on shunga prints, or Japanese erotica. Shunga was designed to titillate, depicting a range of traditional themes such as exotic Asian beauties in intimate, pin-up poses and dramatic couplings with fierce warriors wielding enormous "swords," macabre supernatural lovers, and bestial animals and monsters.

Many of the most historically and aesthetically significant artists of the genre are represented, including Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, Kachoyojo Azumagenji, Toyohara Kunichika, Yoshiiku, and Hokusai, among others.

Modern artists through the 1990s who have been influenced or inspired by Ukiyo-e imagery are also represented, such as the Japanese underground cartoonist Suehiro Maruo, who in 1988 recreated Ukiyo-e theatre posters about a kubuki drama called 28 Murders in a manga format using current famous murderers; the tattoo artist Horiyoshi the Third; the contemporary pin-up photographer Nobuyushi Aruki; Ultraman creator Eiji Usuburaya, whose B-movie scenarios are reminiscent of kabuki plots and Ukiyo-e images; Nagisa Oshima's film In the Realm of the Senses; and others.

The color and black-and-white Ukiyo-e images may surprise Western eyes, with their highly decorative realism, attention to detail, exaggerated sexual genitalia, and almost Cubist (before Cubism) multiple perspectives, giving them a surreal, vivid, and disorienting quality. Proving the universality of fetishism and sexual fantasies, this erotic guide serves to bridge the ancient and the modern, providing a glimpse into by-gone pleasures and pleasure districts and their influences on contemporary Japanese popular culture and erotic literature. --Amazon.com

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