Ukiyoe shunga: Stampe erotiche giapponesi di epoca Edo

  • Eleonora Ala University of Turin
Keywords: Shunga, Hayakawa, stampe erotiche, periodo Edo


The term ukiyoe shunga (浮世絵春画, literally “erotic paintings of the floating world”) indicates all those woodblock prints and paintings with erotic allusions realized in Japan during the Edo period (1603-1868). Most of the ukiyoe artists of that time involved themselves in this genre, even great artists such Utamaro and Hiroshige. The history of shunga travels through the history of Japan itself, since its origins as a genre imported from China, to its apogee as genre appreciated by all classes, until its decline, due to strong censorship during the Meiji Restoration (1868).

The article consists of a short introduction and of the translation from Japanese into Italian of an article by Hayakawa Monta, professor of “Modern Japanese Art” at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies of Kyōto.


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Author Biography

Eleonora Ala, University of Turin

Eleonora Ala is a graduate student at the University of Turin. In 2016 she spent six months in Japan, at the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies as an exchange students. After graduating in 2017 with a thesis on ukiyoe shunga, she is now continuing her studies on translation. In 2017 she also collaborated with the Museum of Oriental Arts in Turin for the translation of informative material for the exhibition “Calligrafia, l’arte del segno”. In 2018 she was an interpreter and guide for the Japan Week held in Turin. 

She can be reached at:


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