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Friday 26 May 2017

A-Z of Fetish Artists - Yamato

Also known as Yamato Saimon but I've listed him under Y because he signs his pictures as Yamato
He's also known under the name Fuwa

Yamato - Copulation

 We're in the realm of bondage here but not Yamato shows it in public places (a building site in this case) not hidden away in dungeons. The participants are muscular but with fleshy, chunky builds. Yamato's Japanese background comes through strongly in the facial features and clothing. In this picture there's also some striking similarities with the style of Hasegawa, in the strong diagonal line of the composition for example and the sensual shading technique (which ultimately descends from Tom of Finland). The foreground face is delicious for lovers of chunkies. The half-hidden character at the back, with his drooping cigarette and slightly angular features could have been transplanted directly from one of Hasegawa's works.

Yamato - He was the Object of Everyone's Anger

 You can tell from the title that Yamato is trying to tell a story in his pictures and it's a tale of the humiliation of a strong man, symbolised by the judo outfit which ties him into strong Japanese traditions of warrior manliness. The colouring of the dildo on the other hand suggests links to the theatrical imagery, which we also find in Hasegawa's work - masks, batons etc. I imagine that also brings specific meanings and flavours into this situation which a Japanese person would recognise but I'm afraid I'm not knowledgeable enough to pronounce on it here (information welcome from readers).

Yamato - Laying Eggs
 Yamato is flirting with niche fetishes here but keeping it clean I'm glad to say and it's a nicely balanced composition. Body tattoos are another typical feature of Japanese homoerotic imagery and I believe that it signifies a sort of rough masculinity (but not necessarily connected to social class). So in this picture there's a sense of self-abasement in front of un-tattooed, ordinary guys.

Yamato - The Light Through The Darkness

The influence of Tom of Finland is quite explicit in this work, not only are the trees and park bench a sterotypical Tom cruising location, Yamato has drawn them exactly as Tom would have done and indeed there's a very similar scene in Kake 5 (Nasty Nature Trail) reviewed here. In Tom's version a cop is seen approaching the helpless captive, whereas here we just see a light through the trees, someone drawn to the beacon provided by the burning candles. The symbolism of this scenario, like fireflies finding each other in order to mate, is rather more sophisticated, deep even, than Tom's work and very Japanese. Also while Tom did depict encounters between strangers with the possibility of unpredictable outcomes, they usually turned out to be very predictable, i.e. wham, bang, thank you mam. He rarely showed anything as explicit as this situation, where the S&M bondage adds rather intense possibilities to the forthcoming encounter with a person whose proclivities and limits are completely unknown. We can only speculate whether he will leave the victim to his fate with the burning candles or substitute something more personal for them or even assume more extreme trials are in order for the helpless man he finds.

You might like to look back at the second picture at this point and see a similar scenario which you might have missed first time round.

I haven't found a website for Yamato's work but there must be more around for an artist of this calibre. Unfortunately Yamato is a common name in Japan.

For more articles in this series click on the A-Z label below or search for specific artists using the index page or search boxes (top right)

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