Tag Archives: scroll

He-gassen – antique Japanese farting competition scroll

You’ve got your thick-rimmed glasses, your manga books, your expensive jeans and a couple of t-shirts made of really really nice cotton, but do you have a farting scroll?

The database for Japanese and Chinese classics at Waseda University Library has digitised a rare scroll showing a he-gassen (屁合戦), or ‘farting competition’ (see it here in full).

Apparently, similar drawings were used to ridicule westerners towards the end of the Edo period, with images depicting the westerners blown away by Japanese farts.

Personally, I happen to know first hand that English ones are bad enough, so I’m not sure the Japanese guffs would have worked. My friend Max’s divine wind would have made short work of them.

I also once read a book about a dude who travelled the world learning weird local martial arts (pressure points, wrestling, iron jacket, all that stuff), and the weirdest of all was a guy who had deliberately developed halitosis so bad he could knock you out by burping in your face.