Some of these feudal Japan sex life items are surprising. For example, samurai often had sex with 12-year-old boys during official apprenticeships. Aristocratic men could have multiple wives and concubines, while their female counterparts were stuck with one husband. In feudal Japan, sex life was influenced by social standing. Essentially, one’s sexual partner was almost always of a similar social background. Lower class teens in feudal Japan were free to have as much sex as possible, but upper class youths had to follow strict rules about whom they could see and marry.
You should also include hooking up with children and anal play in your definition of samurai. Samurai lived by a code, the way of the warrior, which provided various precepts. One of these precepts was shudo (abbreviated from wakashudō, “way of adolescent boys”). Shudo encouraged samurai to take on young, male lovers around the age of 12. Such “apprenticeships” were intended to create strong bonds between established samurai and future ones. The relationships would carry on until the boy reached adulthood and became a samurai.
Buddhist monks often openly indulged in age-unbalanced nanshoku, or pederast relationships in which they bum-shagged their young male acolytes, who were adolescent. Monks also carried on open relationships with women. Ikkyū even married a woman after he grew “exhausted with homosexual pleasures.”
Christian visitors to Japan were disgusted by the habits of monks. To quote Wikipedia on the subject, “Jesuit priest Francis Cabral wrote in 1596 that ‘abominations of the flesh’ and ‘vicious habits’ were ‘regarded in Japan as quite honourable; men of standing entrust their sons to the bonzes to be instructed in such things, and at the same time to serve their lust.’
Homosexuality Was Fairly Common
In the case of both monks and samurai, homosexual relationships often ended when one or both partners reached adulthood – in the case of samurai, when the apprentice became a warrior; in the case of monks, when the acolyte became a temple member of equal standing to his lover or a fully fledged monk. This obviously wasn’t the case with people who were paid to hook up or in the military, where clients and lovers were all adults.
Sex Was an Important Part of Japan’s First Creation Myth
My body, formed though it be formed, has one place which is formed to excess. Therefore, I would like to take that place in my body which is formed to excess and insert it into that place in your body which is formed insufficiently, and thus give birth to the land. How would this be?
Another writing states that “all sexual love is unconditional good.” This is obviously very different from how it’s is depicted in Christianity’s creation myth. In Genesis, love making is described as sinful and shameful, while Shintoism viewed it as good and natural.
Sexual Pleasure Was Tantamount to Spiritual Enlightenment
The oiran were well-trained entertainers, and they had a surprisingly high social status. Potential clients had to visit them twice before getting serviced, and it was impossible for them to contact oiran without a middle man (usually a nearby tea house). It was even common for men to be denied by an oiran if they were not deemed worthy enough.
Of course, this was just their act, and many of these “lucky” girls were coerced into sleeping with people for money. They were often indebted to their madams after being forced to pay for expensive clothing and make up. They worked long hours, had poor living conditions, and their training was grueling. These formal courtesans were eventually replaced by the cheaper and more chic geishas.
The notion and fate of a prostitute living in debt servitude to madams and yakuza so permeated Japanese society that it became a narrative trope in period films and fiction. Watch any Zatoichi movie, for instance, and you’re bound to find at least one such character, whom a hero is attempting to rescue from her fate.