Book details Japan's rich history of man/boy love

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(The Love of the Samaurai: A Thousand Years of Japanese Sexuality by Tsuneo Watanabe and Jun'ichi Iwata, GMP Publishers, 1989 $19.95) The first form of homosexuality documented in Japanese history was the love of monks for their child-servants. Japanese popular tradition has it that that homosexuality was introduced by the monk Kobo Saishi in AD 806, along with the new Bhuddhist doctrines he had learned in China. In any case, in his chapter "The Love of Chigo in the World of the Monks," Tsuneo Watanabe describes the widespread and socially tradition of monks having sexual partners aged from ten to seventeen years old ("chigo" literally means "young child"). Jesuit missionaries arriving in Japan in 1549 were aghast at the open display of these relationships in the monasteries, which they found equally widespread among the samurai. The Jesuit denunciation of homosexuality was undoubtedly a factor in their later slaughter and expulsion from Japan.

source: Article 'Book Details Japan's Rich History of Man/Boy Love' by Patrick Anthony; NAMBLA Bulletin, vol. 11, n. 4; May 1990