Japan’s Sexual Gods

Shrines, Roles and Rituals of Procreation and Protection


Japan’s Sexual Gods is an authoritative and original work that describes the unique deities represented by sexual objects in certain Japanese shrines and temples. Hundreds of sexual shrines still exist in spite of previous repression and range from the Tagata Shrine with its well-known giant festival phallus to small obscure places. Many also contain female sexual imagery and some phalluses act in a protective role. The study is based on observations of over 500 sexual sites including phallic festivals, many of which are modern inventions created purely for commercial reasons. The study makes an assessment of the place of sexual beliefs in modern Japan and includes almost 300 stunning original photographs, a glossary and a highly detailed map.

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Stephen Turnbull took his first degree at Cambridge and has MAs in Theology and Military History. His published PhD about Japan’s Kakure Kirishitan received the 1998 Japan Festival Literary Award. He is Visiting Professor at Akita International University.
Specialists and those with an interest in Japanese religion and folklore; comparative studies of sexuality, human sexuality and erotica, folk beliefs in healing; histories of sexuality, ethnography of sex, sociology, social studies and anyone fascinated by sex.
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