In Japan during the Edo period (1603 to 1868) Japan was ruled by the Tokugawa shogunate. The period was very strictly controlled, they didn’t desire trade or contact with the western world. The Japanese way of the shogunate focused on sustainability and conservation. They believed their way of life to be superior and they disliked foreign influence. So much so that sailors who came ashore were killed on the spot with no trial. The He-Gassen scroll  was created during this time.

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The He-Gassen scroll is 29.6 cm × 1003.1 cm (11.7 in × 394.9 in) and the translation of He-Gassen is roughly “Fart Battle” dailymail.co.uk

We don’t know who drew the He-Gassen scroll but we know it is a depiction of the racist anti-European sentiment of the day. A kind of political cartoon of the period.

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Each part of the scroll depicts people blasting farts upon one another. The farts are thought to represent the spread of Christianity which the Japanese wanted no part of.

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Although Japan was trading with the Dutch at this time the trading took place on a neutral island and not on Japanese soil. The Japanese people were also forbidden to leave Japan or consort with the dirty Europeans.

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