This interesting publication is certainly not safe for the family room. Dating back literally hundreds of years, Japan (among other cultures actually) has a history for high quality erotic art. Much of it was produced during the ukiyo-e period that ranged from the 17th - 19th century. The art has a feeling just as you would expect from traditional Japanese art, and much of the work was done by some of their major famous historic artists - such as Hokusai, Utamaro, and Kuniyoshi. Those instead of a large wave, fishing boat, or calm mountain scene, these paintings are are taboo defying images of sexuality and hidden passions from a culture that mostly repressed such thoughts from being publicly discussed. The images here are "safe for all eyes," but not that the majority of these works are for adults only. This is old-world Japan hentai - a sexually charged art style popular in Japan today.
This classic art (known as Shunga, or "spring images") and stories from this era were contained in "pillow books." Pillow books had a variety of purposes similar to what we would use such imagery today - to inform, entertain, and of course arouse. The difference is the quality of the work being on par with the era's finest paintings and other master works. Shunga works were mostly originally done on wood, and are great collector's item all over the world. In the upcoming publication Poem of the Pillow and Other Great Stories: Erotic Japanese Art by Utamaro, Hokusai, Kuniyoshi and other artists of the Floating World
, by Phaidon Press
, much of this famous art is collected in one source. The book will have 350 full color images done in Phaidon's typical high quality style. The 384 page, beautifully presented book will be available soon and comes with a large erotic scene image by Utamaro that can be framed. Price is just $49.95 and available in June.