Although shunga, meaning "spring picture" or "pillow picture", was a mainstream artistic genre for several centuries, enjoyed by ordinary townspeople as well as aristocrats, it was suppressed in the 20th century when Japan opened up to the west and the country went through an accelerated "modernisation".
At that point, instead of being regarded as a part of the texture of everyday life, presented to brides upon their marriages for instruction, arousal or amusement, shunga "was treated like pornography", (Higgins, 2013b).
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