Ero Guro (エ ロ グ ロ) is an aesthetic movement or sub-genre, still poorly defined, that has emerged in many schools of Japanese art and music over the past decades.

What is ero guro

The terms “ero guro” and “ero guro nansensu” are gairaigo (“borrowed words”) from English for “erotic grotesque nonsense”. Beyond the nomenclature, the terms guro and ero guro are widely recognized as code words for works that represent extreme / bizarre violence (mutilation, dismemberment, scatology, etc.) in an erotic manner. It is about a type of fetish pleasure that has similarities to extreme bondage and hardcore sex.

Ero Guro should not to be confused with simple “guro” (gore), because the themes explored are different and go beyond visual splatter. Ero Guro was born from a deep sense of decadence, deep exploration of mental deviations, the surreal and the ridiculous. It is a movement inspired by ancient Shunga illustrations, the well-known Japanese woodblock prints depicting erotic scenes from the Edo period. Shunga was an extremely nihilistic movement, whose exponents reflected in their works the brutal decadentism that their country was facing – rape, mutilations and crucifixion were recurring themes.

The purpose of the Ero Guro illustrations is to symbolically represent revolutionary socio-political ideas. In a nation where militarization was spreading wildly, the pairing of sexuality and death was the inevitable response of a people who were preparing for a huge change, not only political but above all social, which led to the birth of new thoughts, new ideas and new desires. In this world where oddities reign, the more bizarre and violent an image, the more it gets appreciated.

Within the Ero Guro three subgenres can be distinguished: the “classic” Ero Guro, that is the one that encompasses literature and filmography, the Guro as a subgenre of Hentai (see GENRES GURO HENTAI) and the Ero Guro as a musical genre .

Classic Ero Guro

Classic ero guro describes a literary and artistic movement from the 1920-30s in Japan. This type of ero guro has a focus on eroticism, corruption and sexual decay. The term “ero guro” is often mistakenly confused by Western audiences with “gore” – images of horror, blood and guts. In fact the term “grotesque” implies “malformed, unnatural or terrible”. While ero guro is a specific movement, many of its components can be found throughout Japanese history and culture. Pornographic and bloody works (such as SNUFF movies) are not necessarily ero guro.

Ero Guro Artists

History

Erotic groctesque nonsense, described as a “prewar bourgeois cultural phenomenon dedicated to exploring the deviant, bizarre, and ridiculous”, manifests itself in the popular culture of Taishō Tokyo during the 1920s. Writer Ian Buruma describes the atmosphere social of the time as “a nervous (skittish), sometimes nihilistic hedonism that brings to mind Weimar Berlin”. Its origins date back to shunga artists (such as Yoshitoshi), of which he has shown woodblock prints from the mid-1860s concerning beheadings and acts of violence from Japanese history. Ukiyo-e artists such as Utagawa Kuniyoshi presented similar themes with bondage, rape, and erotic crucifixion.

The first definite appearance begins in Japanese literature of 1920-1930. The Sada Abe incident of 1936, where a woman asphyxiated and castrated her lover, was a point of contact with the ero guro movement. This, other activities and movements were typically suppressed in Japan during World War II, but reappeared after the war, particularly in manga culture and music.

Over time, the hero has expanded the movement’s influence partly into Japanese theater, art, manga, and ultimately film and music.

Later influences

Ero guro is also an element of many Japanese horror films and pinku eiga (erotic movies), notably the 1960s and 1970s. Examples include Teruo Ishii’s Shogun’s Joys of Torture (1968) and Horrors of Malformed Men (1969) and Blind Beast (盲 獣, 1969). ) by Yasuzo Masumura, the latter based on two works by Edogawa Rampo. More recent examples of heroes in cinema are Stop the Bitch Campaign, directed by Kôsuke Suzuki in 2001, and Strange Circus directed by Sion Sono in 2005.

There are modern artists who cite the Erotic Grotesque Nonsense as a factor affecting their work. These artists explore the macabre mediated by sexual overtones. Often the erotic element, even if not explicit, is fused with grotesque themes and characteristics similar to those of HR Giger’s works. Other ero guro products are found in Japanese hentai ponography. The modern genre of the tentacle rape started under the category of ero guro (in a broad sense) but has been so popular that it is now generally considered separately.

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Ero Guro – The Japanese “Horror Gore” Aesthetic
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