31 Flavors Invading Japan / Today’s Special (三十一種類のアイスクリイム日本に上陸: 本日のお味)

Masami Teraoka (寺岡政美) (artist 1936)

31 Flavors Invading Japan / Today’s Special (三十一種類のアイスクリイム日本に上陸: 本日のお味)


11.125 in x 16.5 in (Overall dimensions) color woodblock print
Signed: Teraoka Masami hitsu (寺岡政美筆)
Fake seal: kiwame
Asian Art Museum
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
Achenbach Foundation
Minneapolis Museum of Art
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Oakland Museum of California
Crocker Museum of Art
Denver Art Museum

35 color woodcut with additional hand-coloring on Hosho paper.

Recent Work 1994 - 2004

In my career I have painted about issues from gay marriage, American style confessions on TV talk shows, recent priests' confessions, politics, international affairs, censorship, invasion of privacy, gender, sexual preference, religious discrimination, the Impeachment Trial, Viagra, and AIDS to air and water pollution, toxic shock syndrome, American fast food and culture invading the world (McDonald's Hamburgers Invading Japan, 31 Flavors Invading Japan), international tourism and terrorism, and culture clash and beyond to current series on today's mass media, cloning and internet culture (often as seen through the eyes of an up-to-date Adam and Eve).

Weaving news media, reality, fantasy, visionary, imaginary and otherworldly reality with humor, line, form and color, commentary, topicality, and a high level of aesthetics is a challenge. I try to focus on current issues articulated on a metaphorical level rather than recreating a mere copy of reality. Each narrative creates a fantastical aesthetic world where human folly and dilemma are expressed in such a way that the beauty and ugliness of human activity and psyche thrive in a complex pictorial recipe.

In order to articulate these varied issues my work has evolved from Japanese-based watercolor paintings to Western-based oil painting. What is consistent about these two obviously different styles is the conceptual aspect of narrative painting.

Ironically, to tackle contemporary issues, I reach into the past, basing my early paintings on Japanese Ukiyo-e or wood block prints. My current work has taken another direction, melding western aesthetics, religious and iconic themes from Renaissance that I update as if continuing a cross-epoch conversation. What determines which of the media I work with is the content of the statement I want to address. I use two different visual vocabularies- one for each media- which like any language, encapsulate different outlooks and implications and are applicable in different contexts. This web site is arranged in reverse chronological order so that you will always see my latest work at the top. Please enjoy!

--Masami Teraoka


The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco notes: "The late 1960s and the early 1970s represent the turning point in Teraoka's development; at this time he hit upon the idea of combining elements of woodblock tradition with his knowledge of American popular culture to make satirical statements. The woodblock tradition proved well suited to his lighthearted satires, and it resulted in major series of paintings and silk screen prints in the 1970s and 1980s, entitled McDonald's Hamburgers Invading Japan and 31 Flavors Invading Japan."


Right side: A Scene from Today’ s Life
Lower right: Teraoka Family seal
Center: "She is about to lick"
Lower left: Masami Teraoka
modern prints (shin hanga - 新版画) (genre)
beautiful women (bijin-ga - 美人画) (genre)