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squeemu
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:34 am    Post subject: Nanshoku Reply with quote
I have recently become interested in Samurai and have been reading a lot about them. I had never heard about the practice of Nanshoku (the fact that apparently people in Japan never mention this nowadays would explain why) so I am trying to figure out how widespread of a practice it was.

Everything I have read has said different things: Some say all samurai did it, some say only some did it, some even say almost no samurai did it. Some say that everyone in Japan did it, some say just samurai and shogun, some say merchants did it too. Basically, every source says something different! Is there anyway to find the truth on this subject? Thanks in advance for any help!
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nanshoku, that is, the practice of having sexual and/or romantic relationships with adolescent boys, is something that seems to come up a lot, as it is seen as strange and taboo in society today.

It was not, however, back then. Some people did it, some did not. I certainly couldn't say what proportion, whether it was "most" or "nearly all" or "relatively few". But I would venture that those who did not engage in nanshoku refrained not out of moral objections of any sort, since it was not seen as immoral according to the beliefs and social mores of the time, but simply out of a lack of desire or opportunity.

As for which segments of society engaged in such activities, I get the impression that it was related to a cultural elite. That is to say, I don't believe I have heard of peasants engaging in such activities, but people of all types, from samurai (the top of the four-class mibunsei status system) to wealthy merchants (the bottom) to kabuki actors (outside the four classes), did. These are the same people who spent time in the pleasure districts, who made or bought ukiyo-e, who wrote or read sharebon and kibyoshi, who attended or were otherwise involved in kabuki... It's one element of the Edo period urban culture scene.
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shikisoku
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:25 am    Post subject: Re: Nanshoku Reply with quote
Nanshoku is old reading.
Japanese don't use the reading nowadays.
When they refer Homo-sexual in feudal period, it's called Shudo.
Some samurai had Shudo habit but not majority because of nature of male, mostly prefered famale of course.
And some Buddhist priests had Shudo habit too because they weren't allowed to have sex with women.

But there was no "Shudo statistics" so it's impossibe to get exact ratio.
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lordameth
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I knew the word looked funny. Shudo. Right.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Examples include (Shudo Tradition) the love between Takeda Shingen and his beloved retainer Kosaka Masanobu. At the time, Shingen was 22 years old and Masanobu was 16 .
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
MexSamurai wrote:
Examples include (Shudo Tradition) the love between Takeda Shingen and his beloved retainer Kosaka Masanobu. At the time, Shingen was 22 years old and Masanobu was 16 .


"Beloved" seems such an awkward word in the context.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
MexSamurai wrote:
Examples include (Shudo Tradition) the love between Takeda Shingen and his beloved retainer Kosaka Masanobu. At the time, Shingen was 22 years old and Masanobu was 16 .


"Beloved" seems such an awkward word in the context.


Well. My professor (Japanese History class from my university) was details about Shudo. My professor(Japanese-born) believed that Masanobu probably enjoyed a homosexual relationship with Shingen Takeda and his "beloved" . Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I don't presume to know anything about Shingen and Masanobu's feelings for one another, but I am surprised to hear Shingen was only 22.

Usually when one talks about older men and younger boys being involved sexually/romantically, one envisions the older man being at least, oh I dunno, 30, possibly quite a bit older. Yes, I realize that people didn't live as long back then, and 22 was considered a full adult, 40 an old man. Still, a six year age difference is not that big of a deal. Is it?
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
http://books.google.ca/books?id=eoIE0PcHwPAC&pg=PA17&dq=Satsuma+Choshu+alliance&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=TC_ER62wDpyIiQHFxdDFCA&sig=Qwqnx7joj8lZsmEp8XGW0wrOO_0

If I may recommend, I was looking through material and came across this in my studies. Its only a preview but if should give some additional incite as to which publications speak on the topic.
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