Shunga: Japanese historical erotica

If you love watching Japanese porn you will notice straightaway one very strange thing: pixelation. There’s not a private part in sight — they’re all fuzzed and blurred out by the censors.

Why the need for mosaics? Is it some strange kinky thing that men like? Well, maybe it is NOW, since a whole generation of Japanese men have grown up obsessed with porn and sex featuring pixels rather than penises.

The real reason for it, though, is a 1907 obscenity law that remains unchanged to this day. (Taro and Tadashi, however, hate mosaic and always get under-the-counter porn that is pixel-free.)

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These rules even extend to “normal” movies, where pixels or even just clumsy large black circles appear over any scenes with genitals on display. Talk about ruining dramatic tension!

For a country with a porn industry bigger than the size of the US and European markets COMBINED (!), and with call girl services and prostitution clearly visible in urban areas — it seems peculiar to have such sexual hang-ups that you can’t even show a cock.

Well, this is certainly NOT the traditional attitude of the Japanese. Let Tokyo Kinky take you on a trip back in time…

Any fan of art will know what a ukiyoe print is: famous symbols of Edo period Japan, full of vibrant images of samurai, kabuki actors and scenes of Mount Fuji. But do you know the subgenre of shunga (literally “spring painting”)?

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These are the erotic print versions of ukiyoe and boy are they explicit! Everyone knows how small Japanese guys are (sorry, Taro, it’s true), so clearly verisimilitude is not on the cards, as any glance at the monstrous sizes of these historical rompers’ members will tell you!

However, that doesn’t distract from the sheer exhilaration of watching people in kimono get down and (very) dirty on the tatami floor. The Edo folks may not have had Xtube or YouPorn — but they still knew how to make good pornography.

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The funny thing is that the artists who made shunga weren’t necessarily dirty old lechs who couldn’t make a dime elsewhere. No, the most famous and respected ukiyoe masters also all dabbled in erotica prints: Hokusai, Eisen, Kuniyoshi and Utamaro.

And I’m sure you’ve all heard of tentacle sex through supposedly “violent” and dangerous anime, right? Well, it all started with shunga!

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The ancient Japanese of Edo can also teach us a thing of two about adult toys too. Check out HigoZuiki, the adult toys of feudal Japan!

The stem of the giant elephant ear plant, found in the Higo province of Japan, was prized for its aphrodisiac properties, and crafted into pleasure tools for samurai, daimyo (barons), and the women of the court. The plant’s active ingredient, saponin, stimulates and increases blood flow to the genitals, making sex more pleasurable and intense.

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In the old days, frisky couples had to tie their own sex toys from lengths of the raw dried plant, but this ancient sex toys are available today in easy-to-use versions. Check out the HigoZuiki Futonaga dildo, the Bijin Pack that ties around your cock, and the HigoZuiki lubricant.

And for a modern master of shunga-style erotica, we should look to Makoto Aida. Taro told me that never has he wanted to be a cockroach so bad!

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