The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999


(No title) from Sadao Hasegawa 01 (1990).

It’s good to be able to finish the year with another artistic discovery. I’d not come across Sadao Hasegawa’s work before but this page has an extensive (complete?) selection of his paintings and drawings. This is gay erotica with a twist, being Japanese in origin yet incorporating figures and symbolism derived from Indian or Thai mythology, detailed psychotropic invention and the kind of angular motifs common in much illustration and design of the 1980s. A heady brew, in other words, and quite unique as a result, which makes it all the more tragic that he committed suicide in 1999. At least one of his books, Paradise Visions, is still available in Japan but a decent collection of his work for a western audience is obviously long overdue.


Paradise Visions (1996).


Dragon God (1981).


Secret Ritual (1987).


Mandi (1989).


Distintegration (1996).


Paradise Visions (1996).


Paradise Visions (1996).

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12 thoughts on “The art of Sadao Hasegawa, 1945–1999”

  1. I’ve been a fan of his work for years, but have never seen this much at one place. Thanks for the link!

    Some of it reminds me a bit of the work of my friend Philip Shadbolt, who no doubt is familiar with Hasegawa.

  2. He gets a mention in The Queer Encyclopedia of the Visual Arts but that book is woefully lacking in pictures and rather slights him as a Tom of Finland imitator when he’s far more than that.

    Philip Shadbolt was the artist who came to mind for me as well, and that reminds me that I ought to feature some of his work here.

  3. Hasegawa was one of the first homoerotic oeuvre’s I came across on the internet. Now that ‘The Other Andrew’ mentions it, I’m fairly sure I remember his work being on, if not the cover, then some fairly prominent pages of Gay Times in the 80s. I particularly love the last one on your post here – there’s something about intricacy in art which I really enjoy! And obvioiusly, a bit of cock helps too!

  4. Beautiful! Male Erotic Blossom! I’ve got so enlightened by art of Hasegawa. Joy for eyes and mind!
    Thank you much.

  5. I like Sadao. His works are very nice and impressive. And his erected penises are so masculine.

    but most pics in Internet I found are sencored. The penises are in siluetes only. It’s pity.

  6. Sadao Hasegawa was one of the best artists in modern gay arts.
    I love his works because they remind me of my own phantasies.

  7. This is really fantastic oriental homoerotic art of the highest standard. What i find astonishing is the total lack of stylised western motifs and imaginary here and an effort to eroticise the indic heritage of male eroticism.. Hope to get some of these full length posters to frame in my home. Hope some kind soul can direct me to where to get them

  8. Hi Ashok. I’ve never seen any mention of recent reproductions. Some of the books featuring his work may be available from used book dealers if you search around. is the best place to start.

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