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Gay Erotic Art in Japan Vol. 1

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Gay Erotic Art in Japan Vol. 1: Artists From the
Time of the Birth of Gay Magazines

Compiled by Tagame Gengoroh

Notice: This book with English text translation.

[Release date: December 19th,2003 On Sale]
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Size: A5, 194 pages

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Look inside this book:

■A history of gay erotic art in Japan
(Tagame Gengoroh)

Kitajima Yuji

Kitajima Yuji (born in 1968) is a gay writer and a translator.He has devoted himself to cross-cultural communication,which is now his life-work, being aware of himself as gay,as Japanese, as a man, and as a man who is both gay and Asian.He has been a regular contributor to gay magazines, including "G-men" (G-project), since 2002. At present, he is studying anthropology and Eastern philosophy in his quest to better understand humanity and what makes us tick.


The story of contemporary gay erotic art in Japan can start withthe magazine, "Fuzokukitan" (1960-1974). "Fuzokukitan" was a magazine that included all sorts of kinks, both male and female: S&M, fetishism, homosexuality, lesbianism, and transvestism. In short, it was for abnormal sexualities. (Note 1) "Kitan Club" (1952-1972), another slightly older magazine, of those for a similar audience, was the one which released Numa Shozo and Dan Kiroku, and was better known to the general public. However, "Fuzokukitan" was more important to the history of gay erotic art and gay culture.

According to some men who remember those days, "Fuzokukitan" had more articles related to homosexuals than other magazines such as "Kitan Club," "Uramado," and "Fuzokusoshi." Indeed, "Fuzokukitan" differed from the others with regard to its cover art for the start. While the cover of the other magazines only remind the viewer of S&M play by heterosexuals, "Fuzokukitan" used male nude art on the cover three times a year, one out of four issues, from 1962 to 1964. Even in the issues with an image of women on the cover, the catch copy featured gay related articles such as, "Sexual Desire: Pictures of Sodomy and Lesbos (October 1961)," and "The Country of Sodom," and "Graphic: The World of Sadism, Masochism and Homosexuals, (special extended issue, August 1963)." This suggests that the magazine gave a high priority to gay related articles. (Note 2) Now, let's look at the contents of the August 1962 issue. On the cover are two cowboys. One, a naked young man, is standing closer to us, and the other man, standing behind him, is making eye contact with him. If the viewer is gay, he will instantly get a sense of physical attraction basic to the construction of the picture. Though there is no credit to the artist, this piece is by the gay erotic artist, George Quaintance, who was then an active contributor to an American "physique" magazines. (Note 3) The frontispiece is four male nude pieces by Tom of Finland, who was also a "physique" magazine artist. The illustrations on the index page are similar. Then, there are sixteen gravure pages, and five out of the sixteen are of male nudes. Eleven pages of heterosexual frontispieces follow, then five pages of transvestites, and after the body in the middle section of the magazine, are eight pages of gay frontispieces. There are two gay articles out of six featured articles on "Cruel Stories of The War Front." Of those seven essays and memorandums, three are gay and one is transvestite themed. One of the two serial novels has a gay theme, and there is a gay column and a transvestite column. What's more, thirty seven out of fifty people with ads in the personal section are gay, more than half. As shown above, at least in this issue, over half of the contents are related to gay issues. In the three-year period mentioned above [1962-1964 -K.Y.], although there was some change in volume, the magazine kept featuring gay articles.

According to the summary index edited by "Fuzoku-shiryokan" [a members only library of abnormal sexuality books in Tokyo, -K.Y.], among the artists featured in this book, OKAWA Tatsuji and FUNAYAMA Sanshi appeared in publications for the first time in "Fuzokukitan" in 1963 and Mishima Go and Hirano Go in 1964. (Note 4)

ODA Toshimi, whose work first appeared much earlier than the four mentioned above, started contributing illustrations and other work to the magazine when it was just established. I highly evaluate Oda for his work not as a solo artist but for the work he did with the gay novelist, Adachi Eikichi (Also known as Aki Teppei, Kan Ryota, etc.) which many gays still remember. Adachi's famous serial novel "Chu-Chin-Chow" was featured in 1962, which was in the three-year period being discussed. Behind these significant movements, seems to have been the novelist, Mamiya Hiroshi, who later became a contributor to "Barazoku." Mamiya seems to have had an editorial role of the gay pages of "Fuzokukitan" He also contributed to the magazine with his novels, essays, and poems. (Note 5)

Now, let me put Oda aside for a while and focus on the other four artists. The rate of the issues with their work in the magazine increased to five issues in 1963 and eight in 1964. However, there were only two in 1965, the year in which there was no issue with a male nude on the cover. There were three issues with their work in 1966 and two in 1967. In 1968, all the gay artists disappeared except Okawa, and Okawa's last contribution to "Fuzokukitan" was in 1969. (Note 6)

At the same time, in the 1960s in Japan, there was a medium, which can be called "the root of gay magazines." It was a member's only small circulation magazine "Bara, "(Note 7) It was established in 1964. It happened to be at this time that the four artists most frequently contributed to "Fuzokukitan" In my research, three among the artists covered in this book, Mishima, Funayama,and Adachi, also contributed to "Bara." Considering this, together with the fact that male nude disappeared from the magazine cover in the following year and the number of gay articles decreased, it can be suggested that many readers as wellas artists and contributors switched to "Bara" from "Fuzokukitan," In 1971, the very first gay commercial magazine "Barazoku" was established. Encouraged by the success of "Barazoku," "Sabu" and "Adon" were established in 1974, and at last gay erotic art in Japan finally started moving forward.
Before I start discussing gay erotic art after the establishment of these gay magazines, let's go backwards and think about it before the days of "Fuzokukitan." Was there any culture in Japan that can be considered as gay erotic art before 1960?

There has always been the custom of sodomy from the ancient days in Japan, and, of course, there were pictures whose motifs were sodomy. The picture scroll, "Chigo-soshi (Catamite Stories)" from the Muromachi era [1336-1573 -K.Y.] and "Shunga"[erotic Ukiyoe -K.Y.] featuring images of sodomy by Hishikawa Moronobu or Miyagawa Choshun from the Edo era [1603-1867 -K.Y.], are well known. Without doubt, they are pictures of intercourse between men; they look like gay erotic art. However, is that really true? Here, the question is whether the Japanese sodomic culture ─sodomy in Buddhist monasteries or the custom of adoring pages in samurai society, and pederasty, which was popular in Edo era─ is equal to homosexuality in the present. As I understand, the matter pederasty is constructed as "a custom which does not deny it," or "support from spiritualist-like beauty," and "an idea of substitution." Therefore, it is a choice something people select out of many other options. On the other hand, homosexuality is an "absolute sexuality which is immanent in an individual," and it is something the person can choose based on custom or beauty, or be forced to have. It is often misunderstood by heterosexual people that being gay is something a person can choose to be, or is merely a way of life; it is actually a part of the person and is unchangeable. The word "gay" is a word to describe the group of people who share a preference for people of the same sex as sexual practices, it is not a word to regulate the specific types of sexual practices or relationship. (Note 8) So, pederasty, as we have seen, does regulate the type and the style of the relationship up to a certain point. From a linguistic point of view, these two words cannot be considered identical. (Note 9) Another question is, whether it is acceptable to consider pictures as gay erotic art simply if intercourse between men is illustrated in them. If so, male "Shunga" ukiyoe from Edo era and "Yaoi" [depicting the recent females interested in gay sex, beautiful gay boys, etc -K.Y.] art, "shota for men" [depicting males interested in very young boys, -K.Y.] art all would be considered gay erotic art. However, while "gay" is a word which refers to sexuality, "Yaoi," "June [the same meaning as "Yaoi" -K.Y.]," "Boys Love [again, the same meaning as "Yaoi" -K.Y.]," and "Shota for men" refer to artistic and sexual genres, not any specific sexuality. (Note 10)

Sexuality and these words don't have clear boundaries, they intercross with each other, making a vague and gradated area. Therefore, of course, there must have been some gays in the people who constructed the sodomy in Edo era, or the current "Yaoi" and "Shota." This only means that it is possible for gay erotic art to exist in those genres, and it is still impossible for the word "gay" to cover all those genres. Therefore, even when an erotic art piece is illustrating gay images, if it is a product of the genre in which being gay as the subject is not required, we shouldn't call it gay culture or gay erotic art.

This term, "gay erotic art" does have some problems. One is the premise that the artist is gay himself; it is sometimes rather too dependent on this premise. For example, even when the motif of the pieces is pinup-like male nudes, and not sexual intercourse, it is considered to be gay erotic art just because "the artist is gay," and therefore, this is a picture of his type of men." If we remove this premise, it is no longer a gay drawing or anything special but merely a picture of naked men. This is because there is no gay phenomenon or relationship such as intercourse between men or love between men.
There have been examples of pieces by heterosexual male, or female artists being featured in gay magazines and becoming popular with gay readers. So, there are some cases in which the pieces function and serve as gay erotic art regardless of the artists' own sexuality. This is contradicts the theory mentioned above. In order to discuss gay erotic art, instead of adhering to pieces by gay artists or pieces that illustrate gay situations, we should consider whether the pieces are produced for gay viewers, together with the influences such art may have in actual gay culture.

For the reasons given above, I have used the word "otoko-e (male pictures)" instead of "gay erotic art" when discussing art in gay magazines. I did this to try to put aside the issues of the artists' sexuality and sexual differences by defining "otoko-e" as "pictures illustrating the charms of men." Since the premise is that those magazines are for gay men, the logic is this: "Because both the subject in the image and the viewer are male, when the viewer finds the man in the image attractive, regardless of the artist's sexuality or sexual difference, a gay relationship is formed between the subject and the viewer."This logic can exist only under the circumstances that the viewer is gay. The word "Otoko-e" is sometimes used in Japanese art history to mean a picture scroll, in contrast with "onna-e (female pictures.)" To cancel the logic I just gave, and in order to avoid possible confusion, this word is not used in this book.

Regardless of the language used, the basic theory is the same. At the base of gay erotic art, as well as in its expressions of gay eroticism, the point is, it illustrates the beauty of men or the sexual charms of men according to the artist's perceptions and skills. (Note 11)

If we consider the ukiyoe "danshoku-shunga (male erotic art)" as the root of the present gay erotic art, it can be said that the unisexual expression of men by ukiyoe artist, Suzuki Harunobu and others influenced the current liking for beautiful boys. This influence can be seen in the pieces by Takahata Kasho and others. This influence on gay erotic art and its preference for beautiful boys and young men is introduced in this book by artists such as Okawa Tatsuji.

If that is the case, what about Funayama Sanshi or Mishima Go's gay erotic art depicting of a liking for rough men? Since the interest is on macho types, there are no common pictorial factors with pederastic "shunga." However, they have some common factors with ukiyoe by Katsushika Hokusai or Utagawa Kuniyoshi's "musha-e" [worriors' pictures -K.Y.]in expressing macho color, by exaggerating muscles, and, by illustrating thick body hair. Their work also has some similarities with the cruel pictures of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. (Note 12) This genealogy flows into the illustration culture of Ito Hikozo and others. As in the art of Takahata Kasho. Their art was around when the artists featured in this book were in childhood or puberty. One basic assumption is that these artists were influenced by the illustration culture like this while they were discovering their own sexualities, and were stimulated by it. It may be possible to see one stream that flows from ukiyoe to them. After experiencing the short lived magazines that were published in the post World War II years, these artists, featured in this book, finally had some publication that dealt with S&M or homosexuality and targeted the sexual minority of the readers; for the first time they had a place to have their work published. When gay erotic art is told from a gay cultural and historical point of view, it may be appropriate to consider that the time a medium such as "Fuzokukitan," where gays could introduce their pieces expressing their own sexuality, was born as the time gay erotic art was really born for the first time.

Let's go back to the subject and quickly consider how gay erotic art in Japan changed after the birth of gay magazines. Three of the artists included in this book, Mishima, Okawa, and Hirano, moved their center of activities to "Barazoku" from "Fuzokukitan," and Mishima later became one of the leading participants of another magazine, "Sabu" when it was established. These four, of course, are not the only artists at the time the gay magazines were born. Ishihara Gojin from "Sabu," had outstanding skills, and a wide range of work ─from children books to comics, S&M, and gay magazines. He also drew mysterious and slim beautiful young men, as did Hayashi Gekko. Toyama Minoru, who also had excellent skills, drew young men with a mysterious look and a mature body in both "Sabu" and "Barazoku. " Tsukioka Gen who kept drawing young men with sorrowful faces in a wide range of styles ─from Japanese to European─ for "Barazoku." And there were many more.

Let's consider up to this time as the first generation. The over all common factors are that the men they drew generally have a sorrowful look and a dark side, which may look rather sentimental; images of men with cheerful smiles and without worries cannot be found. The motifs are often the darkly spiritual male beauty based the traditional homo-social world in Japan, such as "samurai" or Japanese gangsters. Influences from Western gay culture are rarely seen. Although this chapter is about the history of drawings, so I won't go any deeper with this. At the time the time around the birth of gay magazines, some male nude picture books were published, and they too had an important role in the history of gay erotic art in Japan. In particular, the work of two photographers. One is Yato Tamotsu, who is known for his personal connection with Mishima Yukio, has left three picture books, "Taido (Body, Marshal Arts),"Hadaka-matsuri (Naked Festivals)," and "OTOKO (Males)."The other is Haga Kuro, who published many picture books under the name "Bon. " These artists are most important and should be highly evaluated for both the quality of their work and the influence they had on gay erotic artists of the same generation. (Note 13)
From the 70s to the 80s, the gay magazines grew rapidly. Each magazine produced extra issues, picture books, and photo books: "Barazoku" bore "Seinen-gaho (Young Men's Graphic)," and "Sabu" bore "Aitsu (That guy),"and "Sabu" Special."They had a larger format (A5) than the original magazines (B5) and put a higher priority on photography and illustrations. In addition, foreign gay cultures, art, and lifestyle that were introduced in "MLMW," ─a magazine, which developed from another magazine, "Adon"─ were increasingly influencing the next generation. In 1982, a new gay magazine, "Samson" was established. In the beginning, it was a general, interest gay magazine, dealing with all kinds of body types just as the other gay magazines did then. Later it specialized in the limited sexualities ranged around "chubby chasers" and "Daddy lovers." Thanks to this change, it supported gay artists who specialized in certain fetishes, and that was something uncommon in other magazines. (Note 14) In addition, Togo Ken established "The Gay." The cover art was male nudes from Europe and the US, and there were not so many illustrations in the main texts. So, there isn't much to discuss from a gay erotic art point of view. However, I remember it for using a famous artist from the heterosexual media for the cover art, and releasing some hardcore pornographic picture books as extra issues.

In these circumstances, the second-generation artists emerged.I would select three artists as representatives of that generation. First is Takeuchi George, who drew illustrations greatly influenced by the general commercial illustrations and fashion illustrations of the time. At the same time, he kept working on his serial illustrations in the Tom of Finland style in "Adon," "MLMW," and later "G-men." Second is Hasegawa Sadao, who drew wide range of illustrations from pinups to action pictures, and torture pictures, and whose decorative style took in European fin de siecle art, Japanese ukiyoe, and Asian ethnic art. He published in "Barazoku," "Sabu," "Adon," "MLMW," "Samson," and later "SM-Z." Third is Kimura Ben. Using a delicate touch, he drew delightful men, including sporty young men who look familiar, and not beautiful men who appear disconnected from reality. The three of them took care of the cover art of the gay magazines for many years. For both the quality and the quantity of their work, these three remain in gay people's hearts.

Other than these three, there are a number of other second-generation artists. Gym was attracted to the massive and bulky look of bodybuilder-like muscles and excelled in drawing young men with a strong smell of sweat ("Sabu"). Inagaki Seiji excelled in drawing detailed sketches of young boys with decorative and esthetic looks ("Barazoku"). Kiyohara Muneaki, who used a several pen names, such as Minakage Ryoji, and Mitate Kozo, worked in various genres such as illustrations, photography, and comics ("Sabu" "Barazoku" and later "Badi"). Takakura Daisuke drew realistic flabby bodies, and not idealized bodies, with every single body hair in details with a pen ("Sabu," later "Samson").
These second-generation artists vary in type and style, therefore it is hard to point out general characteristics. If I am to try to do so, first, the generalized sorrow and darkness, which were noticeable in the first generation, is fading. Together with each artist's differences in his art, this development must be related to the different stances; the time in which gays had to deal with some kind of guilt for being gay was disappearing, and the time in which gays were freeing themselves from guilt was emerging. As for motifs, samurai and gangsters decreased in number, and sportsmen increased instead. This may suggest that the objects of gay sexual fantasies are shifting from spiritual beauty to physical bodies as time went by. As for fetishic symbols, in addition to traditional loincloths and tattoos, motifs such that are influenced by European and American gay culture, such as jock straps and thin tank tops, leather fashion decreased in number. It was also when gay magazines started featuring comics. Yamaguchi Masaji who worked on a serial comic strip, "Gokigenyo (How are you?)" ("Barazoku"), which had both, romantic elements and hardcore and pornographic elements. Kaido Jin who drew high-level comics such as "Tough Guy," and "Make Up" that were of extremely high quality as romantic stories as well as erotic pieces ("Adon"). These are the two major comic artists.

In addition to them, a number of other artists also created gay comics. Yamakawa Junichi released many short comic strips that were very rich in settings ("Barazoku"). Takemoto Kotaro excelled in sentimental love stories with a ladies' comic-like touch, and is still actively producing ("Barazoku"). Tadokoro Daisuke drew sentimental love stories and cynical illustrated essays with a queeny taste ("Barazoku"). Mitate Kozo's work has already been discussed ("Sabu" and "Barazoku"). Bone Kaburagi worked on a long serial comic strip, "Kaze no Album (Album of Winds)," shifting his style from ladies' comic-like style to serious adult style ("Samson"). Tomozo drew of the eroticism of older male couples ("Samson"). The works of these artists are memorable.

In this period, in addition to the artists mentioned above who specialized in gay magazines, there were cases of artists contributing occasional illustrations and comic strips to gay magazines. To name as many as I can remember: Naito Rune, Yoshida Katsu ("Barazoku"), Minami Shinbo, Watanabe Kazuhiro, Yoshida Mitsuhiko, Fukuhara Hidemi, Aso Kan ("Sabu"), Tsuchiya Susumu, Leo Sawaki ("Adon"), and, although the period is a little late, Fujishiro Seiji, and Uno Akira ("The Gay"). However, these artists' works don't have any significance as gay erotic art, and they didn't have any concrete influence on other gay erotic artists. One exception must be Yoshida Mitsuhiko's comics, in which the artist's talent and the magazine's style combined nicely in producing excellent works of erotic art. And there is Tsuchiya Susumu's serial comic strip, in which he drew romances of salary men with a delicate touch and gave viewers a fresh impression. Finally, Leo Sawaki's illustrations, in which drew men's bodies with a realism touch to produce fine works of erotic art. (Note 15)

Now let's look at the flow of gay erotic art after the second- generation to the present. In the late 1980s and 1990, extra issues, picture books, and large-sized magazines, all disappeared, though, the major gay magazines all continued publishing. On the other hand, other general interest magazines often featured articles about gay life, and art magazines started featuring gay artists in Europe and the US. In addition, gays started trying to capture themselves in books and magazine-type books, that is, in media other than gay magazines and from different points of views than just sexual preference. (Note 16)

The latter is an experiment mainly by gays influences by "MLMW," and this kind of movement eventually lead to the essential change of gay magazines to be discussed. In 1994, "Badi," and in 1995, "G-men" were established. The existing gay magazines responded with manual editing, somewhat like small circulation magazines. The two new magazines dealt with everything that gays were surrounded by, including the gay market, gay communities, activities and gay lifestyles. Together with this new generation gay magazines, the circumstances of gays were in were becoming more and more active. For example, gay pride parades, HIV- related events, and all kind of gay nights at clubs were held. (Note 17)

Meanwhile, two of old gay magazines were discontinued, "Adon" in 1996, and "Sabu" in 2001. The number of gay erotic artists featured in gay magazines has increased compared with the 90s, and there are more varieties. At the same time, the media in which gay erotic art is featured has variety beyond gay magazines. There are pamphlets and flyers for various events, exhibitions related those events, personal galleries on the web, "Komike [shorthand for Comic Market, a twice a year festival of small circulation magazines and books organized by amateur artists -K.Y.], and cross-over with Yaoi culture. Each of them is growing in it's own way, and keeps going actively. However, this expansion also is diffusion. If each medium is fractionalized with it's own character, naturally there will be some separation between the members who are consisting each medium in generation and style. This probably means that the media, which is best able to cover the whole of gay culture, will continue to be the gay magazines that have a wide audience of every generation, from teens to seniors, and offer art and articles covering tastes and lifestyles. (Note 18)

Note 01: In "Fuzokukitan" there is a section looking for articles that say "we welcome stories, essays about your experience, and essays on sadism, masochism, sodomy, lesbos, and fetishism which may interest our readers."

Note 02: There is also the case of Adachi Eikichi, who will be discussed later. He had a good reputation for his many gay novels in "Fuzokukitan." He also sent his work to "Kitan-club" where the work "Otokozeme Shosetsu, Chu-Chin-Chow (Male torture novel, Chu-Chin-Chow) was featured under the name of Kan Ryota (December issue, 1960). Because the reputation of the magazine was not very good, he later released his work though "Fuzokukitan." This is from the reminiscences of a person who corresponded with Adachi.

Note 03: This is a general term for magazines that featured photographs and illustrations of "muscular and healthy male beauty" published in the 1950s and 1960s in the US. On the surface, they were magazines of male physical beauty and did not contain anything about sex or information on gays. In fact, the editors and readers were both gay. In other words, they were gay magazines pretending to be bodybuilders' magazines. They became later the bases of gay erotic art in Europe and the US. For details of the contents and history, refer to "Beefcake: The Muscle Magazines of America 1950-1970"! by F. Valentine III Fooven (TASCHEN America)

Note 04: As for Hirano Go, I have the extra issue of "Fuzokukitan" published in 1963 with his work in it at hand. The data published here are not always correct.

Note 05: For the relationship between Mamiya and "Fuzokukitan" please refer to the sections on "Mishima Go" and "Okawa Tatsuji."

Note 06: However, it was not that "Fuzokukitan" stopped featuring any gay articles; it kept publishing some gay article until the magazine discontinued in 1974. For example, Morimoto Hiroshi, who worked on the long running serial essay, "Nawa to Otoko Tachi (Ropes and Men)" in "Sabu" had other serial articles in "Fuzokukitan" from 1969 to 1971. Still, I must say the number of gay articles dramatically decreased compared with the "gay golden years" [1962 to 1964 -K.Y.].

Note 07: As for small circulation magazines, more than ten years before "Bara," there was the magazine "Adonis" (1952-1962), as well as "Apollo," "Memoir," "Rashin," "Man," "Doko," and "Rakuen." For details, refer to "Gay Toiu Keiken " by Fushimi Noriaki, (Pot Publishing Co.) and "Bessatsu Taiyo, Hakkin Bon II Chikashitsu no Hon, (Heibon Publishing Co.)

Note 08: There may be some objection to my definition of the word, "gay." My theory is that "the word 'gay' is the name homosexuals actively chose call themselves," and "it should be the word which is the greatest common devisor to include the people with that sexuality," whether they want it or not, There should be no homosexuals who are excluded from the definition of the word. My differentiation of the word is based on the theory stated here.

Note 09: On this issue, there is a study from a gay point of view, "Gay toiu Keiken" by Fushimi Noriaki, (Pot Publishing Co.). For the heterosexual point of view, see "Ukiyoe Shunga to Danshoku" by Hayakawa Monta, (Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishers).

Note 10: In this discussion of gay erotic art, I explain elements of Yaoi culture from a sexual point of view. Many groups of people exist: "females who are sexually stimulated by male intercourse, although they can never be the subjects," "females who are transgender or transsexual, or those who have that kind of nature," "heterosexual females who consciously or unconsciously choose gay men as sexual subjects due to being socially depressed in order to express their desire as females," "gay males," "bisexual males," "heterosexual males who can be turned on by androgynous looking men only when they are drawn on paper in a two dimensional world," "heterosexual males and females who can enjoy all kind of sexual fictions," and so on. "Liking very young boys" may look like it is included in the sexuality, "gay." But it also has a variety of groups, such as "bisexual males," and "heterosexual males who are turned on by very young boys only when they are drawn on paper in a two dimensional world." Their "liking of very young boys" cannot be considered the same as gays' liking for very young boys.

Note 11: Generally speaking, people may think that the word "male beauty" means the well-balanced physical beauty, as in Greek art, or that it means beautiful men or handsome men in general. However, that is not necessarily what I am talking about here.Some types of sexuality, such as bear chasers, chubby chasers, senior lovers, have no connection to the general models of beauty. Similarly, in erotic art, the standard of beauty basically depends on each artist's sexuality. In addition, when erotic art is discussed, it is not correct to think that sex appeal that is limited to "nudes." In erotic art, expression of sex appeal is more or less filtered by the artist's own fetishist-like taste. Seen through this filter, body parts such as muscles, fat, body hair, skinhead, and items such as uniforms, leather, jikatabi [Japanese workers' split-toed heavy-cloth shoes -K.Y.], and nylon stockings can all be erotic "information." For example, considering the above, for me, "a gay who likes machos, facial hair, middle aged men, and S&M," if I am to look for ideal male beauty in ancient sculpture, I will look to the Farnese Hercules, not the Apollo Belvedere: for an erotic piece I will select Laocoon, not The Capitoline Venus or the Sleeping Hermaphrodite.

Note 12: If we trace the flow backwards, we may be able to go back to the two Deva King sculptures in Todaiji temple's Southern great gate by Unkei [a famous sculptor of the period -K.Y.] in Kamakura era [1185-1333 -K.Y.], or the single Deva King sculpture in Todaiji made in Tenpyo era [710-794 -K.Y.]. The expressions such as the twisted muscles and the veins rising on the surface of the skin are, though they might have been ways to express the divinity and not male beauty, expressions erotic enough for gays like me who loves macho types. In art history, what's described as "homosexual" is limited to the works that are what's easy to understand for heterosexual people's eyes such as "hermaphoroditism" or estheticism, otherwise pictures of plural males to remind the viewers of gay relationship.

This may be going off track. As for the former one, it may be because it is easy for heterosexuals ─who never experience anything that is homosexual─ to understand if gays are attracted to men who are "as beautiful as women" or "with beauty beyond sexual differences." I have no intention to deny it, but it is merely the result of viewing homosexual is or gays from the outside, or the result of surmising abstractly. However, the realty of gay sexuality has far more diverse. I have no intention to say that Unkei was gay, but at the same time it is impossible to prove that he wasn't gay either, so there is some possibility that there was some homoerotic view in him while working on the sculptures. With a view such as "homoerotic art which is easy to understand for people outside," or as explained in Note 11, a view of general eroticism which excludes sexual minority's views or fetishism," this kind of possibility cannot be picked up. Moreover, as for the latter, ─male pictures to remind the viewer of gay relationship─ this is one example of misunderstanding that being gay is equal to having homo-social relationship. Relationship or togetherness between men cannot be gay if there is no sex existed there, and it can even be non-gay or anti-gay when they deny there sexual relationship or the non-maleness of the men being involved there. Still, their construction looks similar to gay's to the viewers outside the relationship, and heterosexual men may detect a mysterious feeling in it, gay men may have a dream of utopia upon it, and some women create Yaoi culture from it. I am not going discuss the propriety of the confusion, and I just would like to point out that there is some confusion existing.

Note 13: As for Yato Tamotsu, the existence of the artist is nearly forgotten, and original negatives are spread and gone, there is no movement to evaluate him once again. This is a very unfortunate not only for gay erotic art, but also for the history of Japanese photography. His work is highly artistic and timeless.

Note 14: Other than "Samson," there are several gay magazinesthat specialize in fetishism: "Debusen" and "Homan" are for chubby and senior chasers, and "Shonen" for young boy lovers. ("Debusen" and "Shonen" are no longer published) I merely glanced at "Samson," and never tried to study these magazines. I apologize for my lack of knowledge about the gay erotic art in them. There was a comic magazine called "Bara-komi," although it was not truly fetish. More recent fetish magazines include "Silver" for senior chasers, "DAVE" for young chubby chasers, "Yume-shonen" for boy lovers, "SM Toko Special" and "SM-Z" for S&M lovers, and "Parade," a comic magazine. Only "SM-Z" is still published.

Note 15: Of these artists, Naito Rune's relationship extends to the establishment of "Barazoku." The style of his artwork may not be exactly gay erotic art, but he did the cover art of the magazine for many years and contributed essays. Therefore, many gays will remember him.

Note 16: General magazines such as "CREA," "Imago," and "AERA"featured articles on gay, and art related magazines such as "Illustration" and "Photo Japon" featured Antonio Lopez, Mel Odom, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Memorable examples of gays own movement, include "Private Gay Life" by Fushimi Noriaki and "Bssatsu Takarajima/Gay no Okirimono" are memorable.

Note 17: These movements may seem to have no connection with the changes in gay erotic art. However, due to them, I can now claim that "in order to establish Japanese gay culture, we must excavate and re-evaluate Japanese gay erotic art from the past, and then excavate and support artists." Now I can actually do this, in past by releasing this book.

Note 18: Each gay magazine's readers are actually narrow based on the magazine's own taste. Since the market is less than one tenth of the general population, it is quite difficult for the magazines to further narrow their readership. If they do, as heterosexual specialized magazines or maniac magazines do, since the market is too small, commercial magazines won't be able to make a profit. Therefore, present gay magazines necessarily have a "general magazine-like" appearance.