Masami Teraoka And His Controversial Tentacle Erotica
17 september 2017 
9 min. read

Masami Teraoka And His Controversial Tentacle Erotica

Masami Teraoka is a Japanese-American artist who was born Onomichi, Hiroshima, Japan in 1936. Like Hiroshi Hirakawa he assimilated the two-dimensional drawing style of the ukiyo-e tradition and adds modern day items and references. On the eye his images look uncomplicated and direct but when you study his watercolor paintings closer a complex multi-layered worldview emerges.

pearl diver and octopus

Pearl Diver and Octopus‘ (1986) from the ‘Waves’ series, watercolor on paper, 32.5” x 80” by Masami Teraoka

Sarah and Dream Octopus

Sarah and Dream Octopus‘ (1992) from the ‘New Wave’ series watercolor on paper, 20” x 30”

Abuse By Catholic Priests

This can also be noticed in the meaningful titles of the series of paintings such as McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan. Subjects as AIDS (in the eighties), sexual abuse by Catholic priests, equal rights for gays and similar issues are part of Masami Teraoka’s engagement.

Hawai snorkel - swimmers on the beach

From the Hawai Snorkel series

hawai snorkel - swimmers in the sea

From the Hawai Snorkel series

Hieronymous Bosch

Later in his career Masami moved from the flat imagery of ukiyo-e to the sumptuous and large surface. These giant triptychs, inspired on Hieronymous Bosch’ (1450-1516) paintings, portray the Catholic Church as the sinner. This because they swept the child abuse in their institution under the carpet.

Loyal to Ukiyo-e

His large-scale painting may be inspired on famous Renaissance paintings but Masami remains loyal to the narrative quality of ukiyo-e.

ghost in the sea with fox fires (kitsune)

American Kabuki (Oishiiwa)‘ (1986)

Female tattooed diver and octopus

catfish envy - masami teraoka

Catfish Envy‘ (1993) (Photograph from

masami teraoka self-portrait

Self-portrait‘ from the ‘McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan‘ series

Namiyo At Hanauma Bay

Namiyo At Hanauma Bay

Masami Teroaka: ghost and rokurokubi yokai on a boat

The following video features 10 other works (including some of his triptychs) by Masami Teraoka…

beauty with harigata dildo - masturbation

Untitled‘ (1973) from the ‘Masturbation series

Masami Teraoka: Orgasm contest

‘Orgasm contest’ (1971) from the ‘Masturbation’ series (Source: Frazer Fine Art)

masturbating woman - Masami teraoka

Masturbating woman‘ (1973) from the ‘Masturbation‘ series

masturbating females - masami teraoka

Untitled‘ (1973) from the ‘Masturbation‘ series

Spring Women I‘ (1978) (Picture by Iris Project)

print by Masami Teraoka inspired by shunga art

Spring Women II‘ (1978) (Picture by Iris project)

Click HERE for more exciting modern shunga art…!!!

About the author
Marijn is the founder of With more than 20 years of experience within the sensual and erotic art of shunga he is an authority in the genre. During this time he served many customers with complementing their art collection.
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