Shunga and the world

Friday 4 October 2013,

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Timon Screech, SOAS, University of London, outlines what shunga is – a form of Japanese erotic art – and the relationship it has had with the wider world.

Shunga was collected overseas from at least the 16th century, and some of it also depicts foreign themes. 2 October marks the 400th anniversary of the first Japanese diplomatic document issued to the British, which was delivered to the king's representative and East India Company employee, John Saris. Saris brought the first shunga to England, though it outraged the East India Company and was burned.

Parental guidance advised for under 16s.

In association with Japan400

Age: P

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Torii Kiyonaga (1752–1815), detail taken from Sode no maki (Handscroll for the Sleeve), c. 1785.