Translated literally, the Japanese word shunga means picture of spring; "spring" being a common euphemism for sex in Japan.
The ukiyo-e movement as a whole sought to express an idealisation of contemporary urban life and appeal to the new chōnin class.
In the Edo period it was enjoyed by rich and poor, men and women, despite being out of favour with the shogunate.
Although the pink film genre has declined dramatically since the advent of AVs on VCR the genre is significant in that it paved the way for true pornography in Japan as well as for multiple other genres of Japanese pornographic film including: hamedori, roshutsu, and Japanese bondage.
with those in Japan more often referring to hentai as "seijin" or "adult" manga/anime.
Nudity and sex officially entered Japanese cinema with Satoru Kobayashi's controversial and popular independent production Flesh Market (Nikutai no Ichiba, 1962), which is considered the first true pink film.
In the 1970s, some of Japan's major studios, facing the loss of their theatrical audience, took over the pink film.