From BoyWiki
Buddhist monk having anal intercourse with boy while masturbating him. Double-page Japanese woodblock-printed illustration by Tsukioka Settei, from Womanly Virtue and a Library on the Private Parts (女貞訓下所文庫 Onna Teikin Gejo Bunko, circa 1768).

In premodern Japan, a chigo (稚児) was a boy novice of about seven to fourteen years of age in training at a Buddhist monastery.

This word can have a second meaning derived from the first: it denotes a young boy loved by a monk in the context of a relationship that was both initiatory, emotional and frequently sexual.


The word chigo 稚児 (approximate pronunciation: /tʃi.go/) consists of two characters:

  • chi = child
  • ko = child, boy


A particular literary genre is chigo monogatari, which consists in love stories between monks and novices. For example in Long Story for an Autumn Night (秋夜長物語 Aki no yo nagamonogatari), the anonymous author recounts the linking Keikai and young Umewaka.


A popular saying clearly expressed the priority given by the monks to their young companions:

Ichi chigo nor Sanno.

First the chigo, then the god of the mountain.

  • Tôzô Suzuki, Koji Kitowaza Jiten, Tokyodo Shuppan, 1956, p. 59 (trans. BoyWiki)

See as well

Related articles

Notes and references

  1. Japanese transcript and English translation by Margaret H. Childs in " Chigo Monogatari, love stories or Buddhist sermons? "p. 1. [[Downloadable article)]]