My neighborhood spot is a small, but, a friendly place, where the Kyoto-born owner dons a kimono every day, and plucks her genki staff from nearby universities. They offer a selection of hard to get shochu and nihonshu, and is perfect for sampling a wide range of the clear concoctions. Some of the large bottles are lined up on the bar, just below eye-level to the customers.
One day, I plopped down at the counter, and after ordering and taking the first hit from my beer, I gazed straight ahed into a label with an erotic illustration of a bound schoolgirl being ravaged by an several octopii, while the supposed fisherman leers at the scene while munching on an octopus leg… I had seen this illustrator's work before, but never on a product label. I stared at it for a while, and decided I had to have some. I asked about this particular acquisition, I nodded while studying the label, but wasn't really paying attention to what she was saying. After five or six shochu rocks, I swear the freaking label started to move like an anime. Slithering tentacles, undulating waves, smacking of lips…. but that what happens when alcohol and an overactive imagination meet. I begged the owner to let me have the bottle after it was done, so she saved me that one, plus additional bottles in the series. I am grateful to her, and to the shochu brewery that had the cojones and good artistic sense to produce this line. The so-called big companies would be wringing their scrawny hands over putting out something like this!
Thanks to Japanese efficiency, you don't need to buy a 12-pack AND a porno mag, it's all in one package!
My half-assed research produced only this: These series of labels were commissioned to naughty boy illustrator Saeki Toshio by a Shochu maker called Heisei Roman Sake Kobo around 2002. The illustrator has a website with his portfolio, but these labels do not appear. I could not find the sake company website, either, but perhaps a lot more exists in Japanese language searches.
Octopussy all-you-can-eat. タコ／マンコ食べ放題。
Showa pole dancer. 昭和ポールダンサー。
I should have become a locksmith dammit! 錠前師になればよかった！
Kid…what ever you do DON'T look around the corner! As Muddy Mud says, "Some things can't be unseen."
Tags: Gotfadedjapan, Muddy Mud, Saeki Toshio, Shochu