Sex museums can be found all over the world exhibiting various kinky items. Japan alone has quite a few. According to Wikipedia Japan, there are six sex museums or hihokan in Gunma Prefecture.
This is much to the chagrin of the Life and Sex Museum who are listed among them, but don’t consider themselves a sex museum at all.
Thanks to Shigenobu Matsuzawa, the blogger scouring the heartlands of Japan for the oddest attractions like the bicycle theme park, we can take a virtual tour of this tribute to the miracles of life and sex and see what it has to offer.
But remember – It’s not a sex museum!
**That being said, a lot of it is probably not safe for work.**
Walking up to the Life and Sex Museum, one is struck with how much it resembles a furniture shop, aside from the cartoon sperm and egg on the front window.
Upon entering Shigenobu was pleasantly greeted by a plump older lady and a rather stoic looking older gentleman. The woman explained that she was the owner of the museum which in fact used to be a furniture shop.
After getting out of the furnishings racket, she decided to open this museum and enlisted the help of her partner to be the curator of this museum. Together the two made most of the exhibits themselves out of material bought from the local hardware store.
From this explanation, you might get the impression that this is a mom and pop operation. However, these two aren’t married, just “friends.”
First stop: Handmade Art!
After paying the admission, Shigenobu came across a lovely handmade tapestry. The collage of fabrics creates the beauty of the female figure outlined in ivy. Inside are a variety of floral patterns giving a natural feeling to the work along with animals like dolphins, Hindu gods, the Seven Lucky Gods, dinosaurs, and of course, Doraemon.
He was given a pamphlet which declares “this is not a sex museum” and the plaques all had an academic feel to them outlining the themes like “birth” and “birth control.” So maybe this wasn’t a hihokan after all.
The Miracle of Birth!
After feeling the warmth of those pretty tapestries, it’s a little jarring to come up on this interpretation of childbirth. Again the floral arrangements do a lot to take the edge off but where’s her head?!
Considering it was handmade, it’s not a bad job. But with no doctor present, I wonder if the baby is okay. Let’s look more closely…
Oh, he’s giving the thumbs up! Looks like he’ll be alright, folks.
Also note the detailed hair drawn in with pen on both baby and woman. And look! They both have the same hairline.
Mother with Child!
There are also hand crafted exhibits demonstrating how women carry the fetuses to term in their wombs. Very educational but doesn’t that lady kind of look like Academy Award winning actor Tim Robbins? You know, if he had giant eyes and no pupils.
There’s also a nice stained glass image of a pregnant woman . Why do all these expecting mothers have soulless vacant blue eyes? At least this one has pupils, even though they’re orange.
Well, the baby looks happy and that’s what’s important, right?
This statue is entitled “Hito-tsu” with is kind of a play on words of “one” and “person.” It’s a giant pillar of naked humans tangled together into some kind of nightmare pillar. Its craftsmanship is a step up from previous handmade exhibits, but it’s creepy as all hell.
This figure is titled Shinobu (Commemorate) and depicts a widow taking a huge dump on the photo of her deceased husband. The woman can be seen (partially) wearing traditional mourning attire. When Shigenobu asked the owner about this she said sullenly “someone made this but there are no other places that will display it.”
Next to Shinobu was another figure named Hana (Flowers). Here we can see a young woman trying to crap out a kanji character onto a sheet of paper. Beside her some milk and an enema kit to aid her in her mission.
At this point Shigenobu had thought that, this is definitely a sex museum.
However, it soon dawned on him. Death, art, and pooping; these are the fundamental parts of life! This is some high concept stuff.
These sketches display some anthropomorphic genitalia in a fashion that reminded Shigenobu of Yoshitaka Amano on the Final Fantasy Series.
This section allows you wear a pregnancy sympathy suit so you can feel the weight of a fetus in your womb. Here we can see Shigenobu try on a suit while sitting, lying, and standing. He said you could feel the weight throughout your whole body and it’s difficult to stand.
Tired of photoshopping your friends’ faces onto porno models? Well, just invite them to the Life and Sex Museum and get them into the specially designed cardboard cutout for some easy photo fun!
A climb up this ladder reveals a hidden room with a double bed and box of tissues. The plaque explains its purpose.
“The birthrate in Japan is falling and the strength of the country is declining.
Why not commemorate your visit by making a baby?”
So you’re free to have sex in this museum… but it’s not a sex museum.
All throughout the museum you’ll see love dolls. These seemed like the real deal too. The ones that run around 300,000 yen (US$3,500). You can spot the difference pretty easy. It’s a cost effective way to check one out if you’re curious.
There’s also one set up in the bathroom. However, this one has a sign that reads “hands off please” in case you get any ideas. Remember; this is not a sex museum.
I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t a porno movie. This isn’t a sex museum, remember? This theatre shows a medical training video that illustrates how a Caesarean section is performed.
According to Shigenobu it’s pretty intense. You see the belly get cut open and the baby emerges like Kuato in Total Recall with arms-a-flailing. Then the blood and entrails is cleaned off and the baby is born. Most people can’t stand watching it for a moment. Shigenobu says it’s a must see.
Adults Only Section!
So far this has all been pretty family-friendly fare, I think we can all agree. But if you want to venture to the second floor of the Life and Sex Museum then you’ll have to leave little Bobby and Suzie behind. Only those over 18 years old may go up.
Up here the floor is littered with sex chairs, a rotating bed, and shackles galore.
There are also lockers for ten people and enough floor space to hold an orgy. The owner says that this space is available for rent. Shigenobu sensed that some people (or production companies) had taken her up on that offer.
Nevertheless, he tried out the facilities taking a spin on the rotating bed and a swing on the sex chair. In the end he received a special foot massage from the owner herself. Using her foot she massaged his entire body squeezing the air out of him with her tiny toes. The massage ended happily with a step on his crotch.
So, I think it’s clear that the Life and Sex Museum is not a sex museum like all the others. It’s the greatest sex museum of all with conceptual art, handicrafts, and a two sex chambers. So if you’re ever in the Gunma area stop by and make a baby – for Japan!
Address: 1256-72 Kaminoda, Yoshioka Town, Kitagunma County, Gunma Prefecture
Business Hours: 9:30-17:30
Fee: 900 yen (US$10)