There, in Iwami,
Near Mount Takatsunau,
Between the trees thick, in the distance,
Did you see my sweetheart,
How did I wave to her, saying goodbye, my sleeve?
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro (end of VII century - the beginning of the VIII century). Translation by A. Gluskina
Yes, many, probably, such “tolerance” that took place in medieval Japan, and even later, will seem strange. At first glance, this can not help but surprise, or simply shock. But everything is relative! And what is better in this regard, the "working medal" attitude to sex in Russia, where the holy fathers of the church for a long time equated any form of intimate contact with fornication? In this case, there was no exception and sex between spouses who are legally married, consecrated by the sacrament of the church! Moreover, it is not clear why in the 15th-century shabby in “The Tale of Befitting One's Confession” about 90 percent of the text was devoted to elucidating the details of the intimate life of the person professing. Well, the very beginning of the confessional rank was such: “As a child and brotherhood, for the first time corrupted his virginity and defiled his bodily cleanliness, with a lawful wife or with a stranger ... Kako first corrupted his virginity: whether fornication or a legitimate wife, for fornication is everybody? ”This is where confession started at that time with us, and the confessor did not just ask about sin in general, he required a detailed account of each type of sin, which included almost all the perversions known to date to diversify sex nuyu life. All other sins fit in one short phrase: "And then ask everyone about murder, and about theft, and about the seizure of gold or kun." But later, an exemplary "Confession to wives" from the Toxinist already in the 16th century: "And she carried herself on herself (amulets, which were considered manifestations of paganism!), And she touched her husband’s secret udas and strangers with her hands, and also commanded. And with a neighbor in the family for sexual immorality and adultery fornication every sodom fornication, sneaking at them and letting herself loose, and giving it up, giving, and giving into the anus, and waving the tongue in her mouth, and giving the tongue into her bosom, and giving them she also worked ... Fornication on girls and over wives, she snapped on them and let loose fornication, and kissed them on the mouth, and on her breasts, and on secret blows with lust before the expiration of lust, and with her own hand she lost her body "(Quoted in: D.Zankov." Everybody is fornication "//" Homeland №12 / 2004)
Lovers. Marunobu Hisikawa (1618 - 1694).
And what, really in all of this was more purity, morality and morality? And did the people’s penitentiaries stop them from being written in detail for all this, or, shall we say: having learned about all these sins at confession, they turned away from them immediately and forever? By the way, the same monks at confession had to ask about masturbation, and also ask, well, just an amazing question: “Did you look at the holy icons with lust?” Comments to him, as they say, are superfluous in this case! But you can recall the parable of the beam and the straw in the eye, very relevant in this case.
Interestingly, the bride's clothes in Japan were long white, and even earlier than the white color became the color of the bride in Europe (for example, in France of the XIV century. White was considered a symbol of widowhood!). Moreover, the white color in Japan had two interpretations at once - purity and purity on the one hand, and the color of death on the other. The dual meaning in this case is explained by the fact that the girl, getting married, dies for her family and is reborn in the family of her husband. At the same time, brides on kimonos very often depicted cranes and pine branches as a symbol of happiness and family well-being in memory of Tei and Matsue. At the same time, the wedding itself was usually held according to the Shinto ritual, since Shintoism was considered a religion of life, but people were buried according to Buddhism, since it was believed that Buddhism was the “religion of death”.
There were also beautiful legends about mutual and unrequited love in Japan, which were not inferior to the tragedies of Shakespeare. For example, there is a legend about the fisherman’s daughter Matsue, who loved to sit on the beach under an old pine tree and look at the sea. Once the waves carried a young man named Tei to the shore. The girl saved the unfortunate and did not let him die. He never left Matsue again. Over the years, their love grew stronger and stronger, and every evening, in the light of the moon, they came to a pine tree, which helped their hearts meet. And even after death, their souls remained inseparable. But another one, very similar to this one. storyconnected with the popular in the West (and in Russia!) plot of love of a Japanese woman and a foreign sailor. This beautiful story was heard by the artist Torii Kienaga in Minami, the “merry quarter” in the southern part of Edo. And this short story about first love inspired a young and little-known artist so much that he painted a picture, calling it “In the Minami Quarter”. The story itself is this: Once the Portuguese sailors ended up in Minami. Among them was a young man. He was introduced to the youngest geisha named Usuyuki, which means - “Thin snowball”. Young people love each other at first sight. But they did not understand someone else's speech. Therefore, the lovers spent the whole night in contemplation without saying a word. The next morning they broke up. However, her beloved's telescope remained in Uusuyka’s room and the naive girl thought that by this very thing the young man wanted to say that some day he would definitely return to her. Since then, she went out every morning with her friends to the Sumida River, looking out for a Portuguese ship. Years passed, and the Sumida river carried away a lot of water, while Usuyuki continued to walk ashore. Residents of the city often saw her there and gradually began to notice that the years did not completely change the girl. She remained as young and beautiful as she had when she met her lover.
"In the Minami Quarter." Woodcut Torii Kiyonaga (1752 – 1815).
The Japanese say that the Great Love stopped for her fast-flowing time ... In Japan, everything was exactly the same as in other places! Although, yes, where traditions and upbringing were mixed in the affairs of the two, just what surprises us most of all is just present! As for the Japanese "visible erotica", then it was also much easier with her than in European countries. For example, in the pictures with images of gods, many of them have their heads painted so that they look like “something male” ... With a satisfied facial expression in beautiful clothes, they sit surrounded by many courtesans and geishas, that is, by their presence they all approve. And in one of the old drawings, several gods and a courtesan are depicted washing in a bath. Well, and, of course, it is simply impossible not to mention the shung scrolls - “spring pictures” or brides scrolls. In them, the graphic means described everything that should have been useful to the young girl on the first and subsequent wedding nights. In Japan, doctors even trained in shung scrolls, since their plots were carried out with the utmost anatomical accuracy. The Japanese have always emphasized and emphasize that in their country not all the obvious is exactly what it seems like more than in other places, and halftones are more important than complete clarity. That is why in shung images of completely naked lovers are very rare.
Kesai Eisen (1790 - 1848). Typical shung, which can not see even a piece of naked flesh. Art Museum in Honolulu.
Much more often in the picture it is difficult to distinguish, especially a European, where a man, and where a woman, is not easy - clothes and hairstyles are very similar, and determining the location of lovers relative to each other is possible only by their genitals (sometimes you find out with surprise that lovers are same-sex). However, even a semi-disguised kimono or robe with battened floors should have been detailed and anatomically accurate — with all vessels, skin folds, hair, and other physiological details — the genitalia of the main shung characters would also be shown, exaggerating their dimensions to grand proportions. If the final date of the meeting was depicted, in the foreground a little phallus could reach a little larger than its owner, from which sperm flowed in a powerful stream - the more, the more courageous the fresco hero was. The same factor could emphasize the numerous sheets of special absorbent paper, scattered around the lovers in many. Already in the era of the first shogunate Kamakura Shung enjoyed great popularity among the samurai. The warriors wore small booklets of the “pocket” format under their helmets. Not only for entertainment during leisure hours, but also as amulets that protect against evil spirits and bring good luck. At about the same time, the tradition was established to depict the genitals in an enlarged form. On the small pocket-sized pictures, otherwise it would simply have been impossible to see them. In addition, even then there was a persistent belief that the male and female bodies differ very little from each other, especially without clothes. And the main difference between them is precisely the genitals. It is for this reason that the genitalia pictures were usually depicted disproportionately large, with an accentuated affect on the pictures of the sung.
Attention to secondary details is another distinctive feature of shung. At first glance, shocking pictures pretty soon convince in a small selection of key stories, although there are some very unusual, lovingly capturing, for example, defecation, but the details and the background of what is happening do not know their equal in riches of choice. Here and romantic landscapes, which traditionally admire the sad lovers at the time of unhurried intercourse, and the classic scenes from the life of Yoshiwara (a quarter of brothels) - from the usual date to a sudden passion during a drunken brawl. And also numerous variants of voyeurism, starting with an indiscreet gaze of a child facing a bulging toes of an adult woman (in Japan it is a symbol of female eroticism!), And ending with the observation of orgazmiruyuschim partners for the copulation of the cat couple in front of their eyes. There are scenes filled with humor, for example, when a man enters the bosom of a masseuse, who is doing cauterization on the back of a client at this time, or when a peasant family discusses the rape happening before their eyes. In general, there are usually several actors in the engraving, although scenes of group sex are extremely rare - this is another feature of the Japanese attitude to love. Among the plots of shung there are pictures of different eras, including those in the Edo epoch showing the connection between Japanese women and foreigners, there are almost medical benefits that teach girls the development of the female body until old age - often there is a doctor with appropriate gynecological tools in action who enter after observation in communication with the patient. Quite a number of engravings are devoted to the use by Yoshiwara girls of male substitutes - various dildos - harigata, including such an original thing as the mask of the long-nosed and red-faced demon tengu, often used earlier by samurai as a somen fighting mask, and then she found herself not only in the theater, but ... in bed! Interestingly, with all such obvious promiscuity in medieval Japan, the same bestiality did not spread at all!
And the reason here is not in any particular Japanese morality, but in ... the natural and geographical characteristics of this region, the main agricultural crop of which was rice. Rice farming and fishing, not hunting - these are the main occupations of the Japanese, and samurai, if they were hunting, used predatory birds! Therefore, the same dog in Japan has never been considered, and now it is not considered to be a “friend of man.” She could not become a friend of the Japanese peasant, as horse and goat creatures he did not need — animals that are very characteristic of the “animal” bestiality of the Central Asian ethnos, and, by the way, the same shung is direct evidence of this! At the same time, the twisted out of paper dog figurines in the homes of Esivari were used for strange witchcraft. She was laid on a closet or shelf and asked, turning the muzzle to a client who was in the next room - will he leave or stay? After that, it was necessary to look at the ties of the kosi-maki (belt) and if it turned out that they were tied with a knot, then this was the answer - the guest will have to leave! Interestingly, the government, which had nothing against Yoshiwara, forbade shung pictures, that's how! But it did not succeed in this at all, since about half of all printed materials of medieval Japan (!) Were frankly sexual in nature, and how was it to keep track of all printers? The first shung appeared in the beginning of the 17th century and were black and white, but then they began to be printed in color, the most famous masters of their work worked on them and, of course, it was impossible to stop the release of new and new “spring pictures” by any means! But during the Second World War, Japanese propagandists quickly realized that the high moral motives of sex did not interfere, and began to print patriotic leaflets on ... the flip side of pornographic cards for soldiers. The calculation was that the soldier would look at the card, then read the text. Read the text - look postcard. At the same time, adrenaline will be released into his bloodstream, which will raise his morale!
Husband and wife. Illustration of Suzuki Harunobu to Kiohara no Motosuke's poem. XVIII century woodcut Tokyo National Museum.
Well, for Europeans such a calm attitude towards nudity and sex (including on the side, in the Esivare quarter) was absolutely incomprehensible, while for the Japanese, any sexual relations were completely normal - “an act harmonizing the universe”, which helped keep bodily health and vigorous spirit!
In Europe, there was a hypocritical attitude towards sex. For example, in accordance with the English views on sexual relations in the family, “the lady in bed does not move,” therefore, for something “livelier”, it was possible and necessary to turn to public women. But to talk about it should not. And even more so it was impossible to return home with two prostitutes whom you haven’t paid yet, and who should have paid for the work ... to your wife! Moreover, not only Japanese samurai allowed themselves to do this in the past, but today, it happens, Japanese managers allow it. Interestingly, Japanese women occupied the most unenviable position in samurai society, not in the era of wars, but in peaceful times of the Edo period, which fully corresponded to Confucian teachings. Despite their intelligence and worldly wisdom, only the right to be a servant and ... everything was recognized. Similarly, the flowering of homosexuality in Japan did not fall on the “age of war”, but at the very end of the 18th century, that is, again, in peacetime. What to do - boring! Well, the principles that assign women a minor role in society, the Japanese adhered to and in the second half of the XIX century, after the Meiji restoration, and in part adhere to even now.
Woman in summer kimono. Hashiguy Geyo (1880 - 1921). Art Museum in Honolulu.