Weird History

Classical Japan’s Epic Fart Battles Will Blow You Away  

Genevieve Carlton
7.4k views 21 items

Known throughout the art world as the 'fart scroll,' this 19th-century classical Japanese work depicts warriors training for a "fart battle," or He-Gassen. The scroll depicts warriors training their bodies to release powerful clouds of gas that could uproot trees and send cats shooting across the room. The warriors even learned how to capture their gas in bags to release them later, terrorizing opponents with a new form of biological siege. That's right, add farting to your list of little-known samurai traditions.

While the epic images show men and women farting their way to battle glory, the scroll probably doesn't depict actual battles. Instead, the farts served as a metaphor, most likely for the arrival of Westerners in Japan. Another theory claims the farts represent the decline of the samurai. As the Japanese dealt with increasing external pressure and argued over the loss of traditional ways, one artist decided to memorialize the struggle in the form of He-Gassen, an epic fart battle that goes down as one of history's weirdest pieces of art. 

Rival Warriors Faced Off Durin... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Classical Japan’s Epic Fart Battles Will Blow You Away
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Rival Warriors Faced Off During The Fart Battles
The Fart Warriors Could Destro... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Classical Japan’s Epic Fart Battles Will Blow You Away
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
The Fart Warriors Could Destroy Anything With Their Precision Strikes
Not Even Cats Were Safe is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Classical Japan’s Epic Fart Battles Will Blow You Away
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Not Even Cats Were Safe
Female Warriors Also Participa... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Classical Japan’s Epic Fart Battles Will Blow You Away
Photo: Unknown/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Female Warriors Also Participated In The Battles