He-gassen as it's known in Japan, literally means Fart Battle, and is represented on a famous Edo Period scroll. The scroll created by artists unknown, around 200 to 400 years ago, depicts a battle of epic proportions. Believed to have been created during a period of political unheavel, it's likely that the scroll is a satirical comment on society at the time. Showing toilet humour isn't a modern thing.
This was the era in Japan of the Tokugawa shogunate, which was known for its deep-rooted suspicion of foreigners and mistrust of Christians. Japan was pretty much a closed country and culture. During the 17th century the only people allowed into the country were the Chinese, traders from the Dutch East India Company and a few English traders. Even they were restricted as to were in the country they could travel.