April 13, 2017 | Posted in Editorial Features by
A “hihokan” or “treasure palaces" used to be big in Japanese culture, but their time has come and gone (sadly). Now all that remains of most of these sex museums are old, dusty penis statues. Photographer Florian Seidel took his camera inside two of the now abandoned sex museums, the Japanese Sex Museum in Yamaguchi and at the Hokkaido House of Hidden Treasures near Sapporo.
These sex museums saw a boom in the 1970s through most of the 1980s. Filled with theaters for both live shows and movies, mannequins in risque positions, interactive sex games, educational information, and for some reason, taxidermy, these small towns hoped to bring tourist in to visit some areas that people might call boring. As Florian Seidel puts it:
“The hihokan were very individual places that said a lot more about their owners than the Japanese society in general. Most of them were located in spa towns, and there is little to do after sundown, except for getting drunk singing karaoke. The Hokkaido House of Hidden Treasures in Jozankei Onsen, a spa town just 45 minutes outside of Sapporo, looked more like a rundown two-storey restaurant – probably because the top floor actually was a BBQ joint. It was a lot less classy than other museums – most of the upper floor was occupied by taxidermy animals doing it.”
“The abandoned sex museum in Yamaguchi was located in what looked like an annex of a Japanese castle. The content of the museum was rather classy and artsy – it featured lots of sculptures, classic drawings, black light paintings, a shrine replica and some of the weirdest mannequins. Those museums were a frivolous entertainment alternative in the pre-internet era, not to be taken too seriously. They were a product of their time and were made obsolete by the internet, a source of more weird stuff and sexual content than anybody can consume.”
I have to be honest - I'm surprised this idea of "treasure palaces" didn't take hold over here in the states. In seems like someone in the adult entertainment industry would have jumped all over this idea back in the day. Oh well, I guess one should never say never. I mean, who doesn't want to visit a place where they can watch some porn, get some BBQ, learn something, and see two taxidermied animals doing it?
Via The Sun