Back in old Japan, horny, eye-popping, shunga netsuke charms insured a happy sex life, as a means to safeguard against bad luck
For those unfamiliar, Japanese netsuke sculptures or carvings are a sight to behold. Their overt eroticisim would be shocking, if it weren't so damn joyful.
As always, when discovering and checking out erotic art from centuries past, it's reassuring to know that our ancestors where just a frisky as their descendents. Perhaps moreso.
One also gets the sneaknig suspicion that the cultural attitudes and beliefs about sexuality, though deeply structured (see ancient Greece), might have, in some aspects, been far healthier than today.
That whole shame thing was virtually nonexistent, in context. (Granted, it was complcated.) Though history books downplay sexuality, it was certainly on healthy dispaly in many cultures, from phalluses strewn across ancient Rome to these frisky netsuke charms found hung over lintels and strung on clothing in 17th century Japan.
According to the Widewalls.ch post, "Erotic Sculpture - 10 Titillating Examples from the History of Art," netsuke were invented to serve a practical purose,
"Since the traditional Japanese garments had no pockets, netsuke were used to secure cords of the pouches that contained personal belongings "
On the fascinating and informative DangerousMinds.net website, writer Paul Gallagher holds forth on the history, meaning and use of the netsuke:
"Netsuke were primarily carved from ivory or bone though wood and whale tooth were also fashionable. The sculptures generally depicted famous people, animals (cute little bunny rabbits were very popular), plants, deities, mythical beasts and sex. These porny carvings were known as shunga netsuke and featured all forms of coitus: straight, gay, group and bestiality.
The men in these carvings generally sported humungous dicks and the women always looked rather pleased. But these miniatures were not just novelties—they were considered good luck charms..."
Read the full post and see a dizzying collectin of shunga netsuke here.
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