japanese culture link of the day
Some time back, I mentioned an antique Japanese ivory carving that suggested the cultural roots of the tentacle, er, entanglements you sometimes get in hentai anime. Since then, several people have found this site via searches for something like "pearl diver octopus," and the referral logs led me to find this other example of such a netsuke carving that was recently part of an auction lot.
Another auction house recently offered this netsuke, which also depicts a female diver, um, intertwined with an octopus.
Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai (1759-1849) apparently had a well-known ukiyo-e painting called "Pearl Diver and Two Octopuses," which supposedly represented "blissful union with nature."