Gengoroh Tagame shibari
4 min

Gengoroh Tagame, Marquise De Sade Of Japanese Gay Art

4 min

Gengoroh Tagame (b. 1964) is a prominent artist of the gay manga genre. Being influenced by masochistic and sadistic homoeroticism richly manifested in different periods of human culture, Tagame has produced more than 20 books since the 1980s.

 Gengoroh Tagame

Fig. 1. Gengoroh Tagame (

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 Gengoroh Tagame homoerotic art

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Fascinated By Prometheus

Tagame was born in Kamakura (Kanagawa Prefecture) in a family of samurai descendants. As a child, the artist wasn't allowed to read manga, yet he read boys' comics or shōnen manga in barber shop waiting rooms. Speaking of his personal life, Tagame recalls the time in kindergarten when he was given a sketchbook and crayons. It happened in 1967 when the artist was only three years old. "When I drew, adults called me good boy, so it motivated me to go on" ( In the 1970s, Tagame was fascinated by macho-type characters like Tarzan. It was a jackpot when he discovered Greek mythology with scenes of tortured Prometheus or Marsyas skinned alive, dying Heracles, or sadistic Procrustes. Archetypically, bearded and muscled heroes of Tagame's manga trace back to these classic characters. What's more, Greek legends, full of centaurs and fauns, developed in the young boy a curious half beasts fetish. The artist was also driven by Renaissance masters and romantic painters he found in his parents' art book.

Gengoroh Tagame shibari

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Gengoroh Tagame kinbaku

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Gengoroh Tagame homoerotica

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Gengoroh Tagame bondage art

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 Gengoroh Tagame  manga

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De Sade As A Christmas Present

As Tagame once said, he realized his interest in BDSM earlier than his homosexuality. In the late 1970s, he discovered the works of de Sade, which felt like another wondrous revelation. Curiously, the thing that led to this discovery was the advertising picture of Pasolini's 120 Days of Sodom (1975). Later he would say, "Knowing that my favorite Jean Cocteau and Pier Paolo Pasolini are homosexuals makes me happy." After seeing the ...

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