You can't spell "fart" without spelling "art"
August 10, 2018 4:14 AM   Subscribe

Japanese fart scrolls. In European medieval marginalia you get a lot of dick jokes, as well as weird sex and people sticking things up bums but farts are a bit less common. Of course fart jokes exist, because monks and scribes are only human and farts are hilarious (don't ask me why so many people are fighting snails though).

My personal theory on the fart scrolls is that some east Asian cultures have an interest in 'wind' - not wind as in farts, but 'wind' or 'air' as a component of the body and health, similar to the European concept of 'humours'. 'Bad air' can make you ill and so on, so I suspect there's a connection there. It is, of course, hilarious as well, and maybe that's enough.
posted by auntie-matter (17 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
This remains an obsession, or at least it did as of c. 2003. I remember Akihabara banners promoting an event called おならフェスタ — literally Fart Fest — and had to ask a Japanese friend for an explanation.

It was, yes, a gathering for people who wanted to share their love of gas-passing with other wind enthusiasts, complete with booths where you could pay pretty girls to fart on you. I am not about kinkshaming in any way, but that's one I don't think I'll ever quite understand.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:26 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]




Poor kitty!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:17 AM on August 10


don't ask me why so many people are fighting snails though

That, I expect, is thoroughly understandable to anyone who has grown vegetables in a moist climate.
posted by heatherlogan at 6:33 AM on August 10 [9 favorites]


In European medieval marginalia you get a lot of dick jokes

You didn't link to the penis tree and that's wrong.
posted by sukeban at 6:43 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


Does this mean the Japanese really invented the Dutch oven?
posted by arcticseal at 6:52 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


*sniffs*

Who arted?
posted by JohnFromGR at 6:56 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Early precursor
to our strategic defense
initiative: fans!
posted by M-x shell at 7:22 AM on August 10


It is worth noting that the first recorded joke is a fart joke. Not a very good fart joke, but a fart joke.

Its from a cuneiform tablet dated to around 1900 BCE: "Something which has never occurred since time immemorial; a young woman did not fart in her husband’s lap."

So, yup. Fart jokes and humanity seem to go together.
posted by sotonohito at 7:24 AM on August 10 [5 favorites]


Does this mean the Japanese really invented the Dutch oven?

The Dutch were the only Europeans allowed access to Japan during sakoku, so... maybe?
posted by tobascodagama at 7:31 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


So, yup. Fart jokes and humanity seem to go together.

In his novel Galapagos, Vonnegut imagines what humanity eventually evolves into after a plague event wipes out everyone but a handful of people who were on a cruise to the Galapagos Islands. Over the course of a million years, humans have become aquatic mammals, kind of like sea lions, with smaller brains (to allow for more streamlined heads for swimming) and flippers.

But the novel also says that even then, one million years in the future, humans still think farts are funny.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:34 AM on August 10 [1 favorite]


It's a Gas : A Study of Flatulence is a fun read on the history of farts. Honestly, it kinda blew me away.
posted by PHINC at 7:52 AM on August 10 [2 favorites]


I'd buy whatever console this came out as a game on
posted by scruss at 9:18 AM on August 10


Best of the web!
posted by Omnomnom at 9:20 AM on August 10


don't ask me why so many people are fighting snails though
They know what they did.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 9:25 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


Why do farts smell? So Deaf people can enjoy them, too.
posted by Midnight Skulker at 9:51 AM on August 10 [3 favorites]


don't ask me why so many people are fighting snails though

The comments on the post “What’s So Funny About Knights and Snails?” include a variety of possible answers – serious, joking, anti-French – to that quandary.
posted by LeLiLo at 10:15 AM on August 10


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