Every culture seems to have had their own expression of “toilet humor”, including fart jokes, since the dawn of time. Martin Luther famously published his Depictions of the Papacy (1545) in which peasants fart on the Pope Paul III in response to a papal bull. It’s not surprising then to find the Japanese, masters of so many arts, are masters of this art-form as well. In fact, the 18th Century inventor Hiraga Gennai even wrote a satirical treatise called “On Farting.
The above image is from the Japanese scroll entitled He-Gassen (Fart Battle), and dates from the Edo period, making it somewhere between 200 and 400 years old. There are more panels from the scroll at News-For All The Lovers Of Japanese Art. My personal favorite is the one with the cat, but I selected this one to show you because it’s probably the tamest of the bunch. The rest contain partial nudity, meaning lots of butts. Don’t laugh too loud, you’ll attract attention!
- Divine wind indeed! Japanese ‘He-gassen’ art is actually a form of social commentary (dailymail.co.uk)