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Vita Sexualis

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  281 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Though banned three weeks after its publication in 1909, Vita Sexualis is far more than a prurient erotic novel. The narrator, a professor of philosophy, wrestles with issues of sexual desire, sex education, and the proper place of sensuality. He tells the story of his own journey into sexual awareness, spanning fifteen years, from his first exposure to erotic woodcuts at ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 15th 1989 by Tuttle Publishing (first published 1909)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 09, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: big-red-circle

Writer explores his fairly aloof sexuality.

When he was six ... he glimpsed a naughty book over the shoulder of a young virgin.
When he was seven ... a local rustic made shouty reference to his parents' bedroom activities.
When he was ten ... he found some more porn. Started to think about genitals.
Autumn of that year ... overheard local toughs at a festival.
When he was eleven ... moved to Tokyo! Retainer takes him to Yoshiwara for tea (just tea) with a prostitute. Catches a naughty play. Hears ser
Sep 07, 2013 Anita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-jap
Despite what the title seems to promise, the book itself is mainly a reflection on life, its driving forces and to what degree can sexuality be counted among them.
The body of the novel is short, to the point, and throughout its entirety there are numerous hints that the author questions the validity of several literary trends and social mores of his time. In the very beginning of the book he writes that either the Japanese have lost their minds from all the sex found in contemporary novels or hi
Gardy (Elisa G)
Mi fa sempre sorridere e riflettere sullo straordinario potere dell'erotismo il fatto che questo romanzo breve di Mori Ogai - concepito come ironica condanna degli allora dilaganti shishosetsu (romanzi verità) in cui gli autori giapponesi scandalizzavano il pubblico con i racconti più intimi e spinti del loro coming of age - sia pubblicato da ES nella collana "biblioteca dell'eros".
Ai tempi (1909) il diario dei primi turbamenti amorosi del giovane Kanai fece scalpore, ma oggigiorno è davvero di
Jul 13, 2007 aya rated it really liked it
An interesting fictional record of the sexual (or non-sexual) life of a young Japanese philosopher in the Meiji era. Ogai was opposed to the Japanese naturalist movement, which he believed put sex and sexuality at the root of all actions. He uses this account to refute this idea- sexuality is portrayed as neither the motivating force in life nor something that one slips into organically.
Although the basic premise of the novel seemed to me both truthful and innovative for its time (1909), I thou
Mar 28, 2011 Robert rated it it was amazing
Fascinating! What was controversial then is tame by today's standards, but that's partly what makes it fascinating: to draw contemporary parallels while reading it. You have to stick with this book til the end. It's the third-person wrap-up at the end that makes it extraordinary.
Oct 13, 2015 d rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, novela, l-japonesa
Ōgai Mori fue un tipo extraño. Tenía el más alto cargo para un médico militar en el gobierno imperial japonés, y sin embargo, también se dedicaba a traducir del francés, del inglés y del alemán. O sea, dedicó su vida a dos de las ocupaciones humanistas más respetadas de Japón: la medicina y la educación. No recuerdo donde leí que está considerado como el padre de la literatura moderna japonesa, junto con Soseki. Efectivamente tiene un estilo sobrio,... viril pero nunca abandona la poesía y ciert ...more
Gertrude & Victoria
Jan 26, 2009 Gertrude & Victoria rated it it was ok
Shelves: japanese-library
Vita Sexualis is a diary of one man's sexual awakening: from awareness, to growing understanding, to consuming desire, and finally, to swift action. These accounts begin at the age of six and end at twenty-one. It is an interesting read, but not essential reading. If you only read one Mori Ogai work, read his popular The Wild Geese. However, if you have a fancy for this kind of thing, then by all means, go for it.
Alice Jennings
Jul 05, 2013 Alice Jennings rated it it was amazing
The best thing Mori has written. Very easy to read, reads like a autobiography of growing up in changing Japan when homosexuality became questionable rather than honourable- ahead of its time. Considering the significance of the book in Japanese literature and how quick it is too read, its an excellent book to add to the 'read' list
Mar 13, 2017 Anurati rated it liked it
The book, which is a collection of scenes from the author's encounters with sexuality over the ages, pulls you in with the information that this was one of Japan's first erotica novel that was banned within a month of its release. On the sexuality front, the book shows fleeting glimpses of what sex translates to the mind without the mode of a translator, and digs into deeper philosophical stances. Loved the ending of the book, the way the author turns it into a diary of sorts. Overall the middle ...more
Mar 18, 2017 Arte rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star, 2017, translations
Surprisingly interesting
Jan 02, 2017 Rapha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
meh chato bra garaio
Meghan Fidler
Mar 24, 2012 Meghan Fidler rated it liked it
I admire Mori Ōgai for writing ヰタ セクスアリス at a time when the Meiji government was suppressing any literature they believed to contain pornographic materials.
Why they choose to suppress this book, however, escapes my grasp. Perhaps it's just because of the time period I have been steeped in. In my opinion, however, this book has no sex. Even when he has sex (finally, somewhere near the last 20 or so pages), there is no description besides him being carefully led to lay down by a high-class geisha
Roxana-Mălina Chirilă
O carte ceva mai interesantă decât m-am așteptat - chiar dacă nu mă așteptam să fie foarte interesantă.

Filozoful Kanei citește al n-lea volum care tratează sexualitatea ca fiind un subiect de bază al oamenilor, deși lui nu i s-a părut niciodată că ar fi cu adevărat un subiect atât de important. Se apucă și el să-și scrie experiențele legate de sexualitate, începând cu primele momente în care a fost conștient că exista un „ceva” acolo, până la maturitate, la început în ideea de a-i da manuscrisu
Aug 27, 2007 kyle added it
Fascinating little novel. Mori was a member of the so-called
Romantic school at that time and reacting against the interest in naturalism, a la Zola, and specifically the overwhelming interest in sexuality as a motive behind human action. The novel is a series ofreflections by a philosophy professor trying to relate all of hismemories of his developing sexuality in order to share with his son, who is at this point very young. The idea of sexual education wasnew at the time and it is this man's wa
May 15, 2015 Ben rated it it was ok
In 1909 Mori Ogai, writer of the great Gan (Wild Geese), released this 'erotic novel'. It's basically a kind of CV of the sexual experiences of a man who considers himself frigid. I picked it up because I loved Gan and had paid a visit to Ogai's old house, which still stands, in Kokura. I couldn't find much to like about it.
Francesco D'Isa
Nov 29, 2014 Francesco D'Isa rated it liked it
An erotic autobiography that ends (almost) before sex. The sexual education of a Japanese man of the early twentieth century holds the secret of the sexual behavior of a contemporary Japanese man.
Plot: The sexual life of a man who have not sex.
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Lo de "Vita Sexualis" es muy relativo, o el tratamiento que se le da a la vida sexual del protagonista es muy sutil. Esta muy bueno para conocer los usos y costumbres de los jovenes estudiantes de buena posición en el Tokio de las últimas decadas del siglo XIX.
Aug 18, 2016 flum rated it it was ok
likely has historical value as to how subject matter was handled and expressed during the time, but has none for me.
i just cannot empathize with the mentality of the protagonist, but this is also why i can't be fucked with period romances and the like.
The sexual history of a very sexually-disinterested man. Historical value aside, this was very boring.
Stephen Douglas Rowland
Brief, but relatively dull and pointless, and not due to its lack of spicy material. A disappointment.
Mar 03, 2009 Kelly rated it liked it
A very important book in the evolution of Japanese literature. It might, however, strike the casual reader as a minor novel.
Manheim Wagner
Apr 07, 2015 Manheim Wagner rated it really liked it
Short to the point, Vita Sexualis is a reflection on the formative years of life, in particular the role sex has in it.
Interesting historical view of an author looking at the concept of sexual desire in his main character in the late 19th century. Very Japanese!
Miruni rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2013
Penneym rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2013
Samantha Adams
Samantha Adams rated it liked it
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G.G. rated it liked it
Nov 04, 2013
Ophion rated it liked it
May 17, 2012
Starlon rated it really liked it
Jul 13, 2015
Fabio Saldanha
Fabio Saldanha rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2016
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Mori Ōgai, pseudonym of Mori Rintarō (born February 17, 1862, Tsuwano, Japan—died July 9, 1922, Tokyo), one of the creators of modern Japanese literature.

The son of a physician of the aristocratic warrior (samurai) class, Mori Ōgai studied medicine, at first in Tokyo and from 1884 to 1888 in Germany. In 1890 he published the story “Maihime” (“The Dancing Girl”), an account closely based on his own
More about Ōgai Mori...

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