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THE PILLOW BOOK OF SPRING AND LAUGHTER: Eroticism in Meiji, Taisho and Showa Japan, by John Stevens. Tokyo: The East Publications, Inc. 156 pp., profusely illustrated, color plates/b/w photos. 4,200 yen.

We associate spring pictures (“shunga”) with the Edo period, lovers usually fully dressed with just an aperture or two for maneuvers, equipped as we would all like to be but seldom are, earnestly engaged with a dedication that is a far remove from the normal spheres in which we operate.

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