Erotic Engineer

Sex, violence and demons of Toshio Saeki.

Erotic Engineer

Toshio Saeki: I did some fantasy erotic drawings and put to paper some scary dreams I remembered from my childhood. The images just flowed. During my teenage years at the art high school, many of the boys had an interest in erotic art. I was good at copying shunga*, and the other boys would ask me to draw dirty pictures. I became quite popular because of it. When I was a teenager, there were boys who noticed when the wind blew girls' skirts up and those who didn't notice at all. Well, I was a boy who noticed. […] Why do I always paint and draw images filled with sex and death? I've never really thought about it. I guess I'm just mischievous and like to surprise people. I don't really do art for self-expression. I'm more conscious of the people who see my work. I see it as a form of entertainment. It can't be boring; it must be entertaining. The more I produce the work, the more I want to top myself each time, to shock people even more. I'm not a violent person myself. I don't engage in the morbid acts I depict.  […] My books have received cautions from the local government agency that monitors such things. If you receive three cautions in a year, your book is prohibited from being sold in a bookstore. Of course, my publications have been unpopular with the police, but not enough to be banned. At one time, in the late '70s to early '80s, I couldn't draw the schoolgirl images that are so popular now. Publishers were afraid to publish them. The media had labeled me «schoolgirl Saeki». Today, such images are much more accepted.

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Saeki (b.1945) grew up mostly in Osaka. He studied art in high school, and after graduating pursued graphic design. He worked briefly for an advertising company, but disliked the job. At 24, he took off for Tokyo to try his hand at freelance illustration. With money he had saved, he holed up in a small apartment to develop his portfolio. It was then that he seriously began to create erotica. During the 1960s and 1970s, Saeki did illustrations for a then popular Japanese youth magazine, Heibon Punch, and from there his career took off. Galleries started showing his work, and he published his first books. Underground writers and artists hailed his outlandish creations, and to this day he retains the fanatical devotion of erotic art aficionados.

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art, sex