1980s Japanese commercial for anti-itch remedy

A Japanese okusan relieves her pet octopus' maddeningly itchy tentacles in this "Dream of the Fisherman's Wife" inspired TV commercial for and anti-itch remedy. Link


  1. That’s pretty funny even without understanding the dialog.

    Personally I have always been facinated by Japanese culture.

    Earlier this week I posted an article on jcyreus dot Com in response to a news story I heard on NPR about how Japanese businesses are offering people over 65 special discounts and services for surrendering their driver’s licenses. Interesting stuff, if you’re interested…


  2. I’ve seen Asian paintings with this thing, but they’re a great deal more graphic. Still, it’s hard to believe that the Japanese wouldn’t have the darker side of tentacles in mind as they watched this ad. . .

  3. My brain just exploded. Thanks a LOT Antinous. Weird stranger.

    Some octopus tentacle-images have nine tentacles (or scupture, in netsuke). Guess what the ninth symbolizes.


    OF COURSE they had the darker side in mind. Japan is responsible for all dark sides of innocent things. Seriously.

  4. Just a quick note…what they’re hawking in this commercial is actually athlete’s foot (水虫/mizumushi) medicine, which now that I think about it, makes a lot more sense than regular old anti-itch cream for giant tentacle porn.

    (yes, my brain is a bit addled from living here for the last 8 years)

  5. @Hokkaido Hillbilly: thanks for the explanation, But since you live in Hokkaido, don’t you think she should have used Mr. Sparkle instead? If he’s disrespectful to dirt and can disintegrate two-headed cows, most likely he would be able to banish athlete’s foot to the land of wind and ghosts also. Can you see that he is serious?

    Also, have you ever eaten ice cream ramen? http://www.boingboing.net/2007/10/23/ice-cream-ramen.html

  6. So is all the initial dialogue him trying to tell her exactly which, er, sucker cup is itching?

  7. Yeah, the dialogue is the octopus trying to tell the woman which sucker it is that needs the ointment.

  8. Most advertising seems very weird when you don’t understand the language or aren’t familiar with the culture.

    I used to think French advertising was so risqué until I realized that it wasn’t French perversion so much as it was my conservative American upbringing.

    And of course, different responses to different countries’ ads. But you know what I mean.

  9. Yeah, finding the the application of athlete’s foot ointment to quivering, groping octopus tentacles strange is just typical American cultural imperialism. Or, um, maybe not.

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