This should appeal to those of you who were tickled by those magnificent Edo-era He-Gassen scrolls, which put the art in "fart." Throughout the early 1800s, celebrated Japanese artist Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1798-1861) painted hundreds of gorgeous scenes, including those of landscapes, samurai, and beautiful women.
He also illustrated raccoon-dogs with massive, parachute-like testicles, a skeleton with an ossified erection, and an octopus made entirely out of vaginas. We'll be focusing on those today. Welcome to an absolutely insane corner of Japanese art history.
Top Image: One of Kuniyoshi's composite, butt-nosed paintings (1847-1848), as I didn't want to slap a giant mythical ballsack on the front page.
Now, some of you may be familiar with tanuki from the Studio Ghibli film Pom Poko or Super Mario Bros. 3, but chances are you've never seen tanuki as disgustingly resourceful as Kuniyoshi's. Who knew that elephantiasis could transform you into MacGyver? Here's a sampling of things tanuki can do with their magical scrota. I suppose some of this could qualify as work unfriendly, but pull out the "highfalutin art history" card if anybody asks.
For starters, tanuki testicles can catch birds.
Tanuki testicles can haul goods.
Tanuki testicles can catch fish.
Tanuki testicles make for good umbrellas.
Tanuki testicles can become enflamed such that they fill the entire room.
Tanuki testicles make for fantastic fortune telling booths.
Tanuki testicles can advertise soap.
Tanuki testicles make for impromptu gyms.
Tanuki testicles can bludgeon catfish.
Tanuki testicles are an excellent substitute for a sumo wrestling ring.
Tanuki testicles are a warm blanket.
Tanuki testicles make for ripping cosplay.
Tanuki testicles are so ubiquitous that tanuki go to sideshows to laugh at tiny-testicled tanukis .
Tanuki testicles can imitate tengu , or bird monsters.
Tanuki testicles are used to make delicious mochi .
Tanuki testicles make for great nautical displays.
Tanuki testicles can scare the shit out of your friends.
Tanuki testicles make fine turtle costumes.
Tanukis sometimes sell testicles, despite the magnitude of their own (circa 1839-1842 ).
Tanukis teabagging humans are occasionally mistaken for the silhouettes of carp (circa 1848-1851 ).
And most importantly, tanuki testicles are essential for archery competitions .
Those furry creatures were pretty nightmarish, no? Well, Kuniyoshi painted much, much worse. In 1836, the artist worked on a series of erotic paintings depicting human genitalia as angry demons. This series is likely neither safe for work nor your sanity. I've supplemented the illustrations with translations from The Kuniyoshi Project. Apologies in advance.
"The Pussy Spirit of Kasane"
The disfigured Kasane had been murdered by her husband, Yoemon, with a sickle by the Kinu River.
"The Cunt Monk"
Umi-bôzu (sea monk) was a large demon that emerged from the sea to haunt ships.
"Consoling Pussy of Horse Face Mountain, Sometimes Called Monk Riot"
(The translation doesn't make a ton of sense, so I'm not even going to ask.)
Hitotsume kozô (one-eyed acolyte) was a much-feared demon. This four-eyed version holds higo-zuiki (dried stems of sweet potato), which were used as a sex toy.
"Octo-pussy of the Numeri River"
(The name says it all.)
"Pillar of Flames"
A flaming pillar of penises rises above the roofs of the Yoshiwara pleasure quarter (which was frequently destroyed by fire).
"The Penis Skeleton"
(More truth in advertising.)