Hajime Sorayama

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Hajime Sorayama
Born (1947-02-22)22 February 1947
Imabari, Ehime prefecture, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Education Chuo Art School
Known for Erotic illustration/Robot art

Hajime Sorayama (空山 基 Sorayama Hajime?, born February 22, 1947) is a Japanese illustrator, known for his precisely detailed, erotic hand painted portrayals of women and feminine robots.

Early life[edit]

Hajime Sorayama was born in 1947 in Imabari, Ehime prefecture, Japan.[1] He received his basic education at Imabari Kita High School. In High School he starts drawing Playboy inspired pin-ups.[2] 1965, influenced by Makoto Oda's book, Nandemo Mite yaro ("I'll go and see everything") about his travels through Europe and Asia, he took interest in Greece and decided to enter Christian Shikoku Gakuin University, to study English literature and Ancient Greek. [2] He could not learn Greek, because the teacher had left, shortly before he arrived; when the school magazine he founded, the "Pink Journal", was heavily criticized by teachers as well as students, he left and transferred to Tokyo's Chuo Art School in 1967, to study art. [1] [3] [2]

Sorayama graduated in 1968 at the age of 21, and gained an appointment in an advertising agency. He became a freelance illustrator in 1972.[1] In 1978 he drew his first robot. He resides in Tokyo.[3]


Sorayama's work Sexy Robot, published by Genko-sha in 1983,[4] made his organic robotic forms famous around the world. For the work, he used ideas from pin-up art, which in the book then appear as chrome-plated gynoids in suggestive poses. His next book, Pin-up (Graphic-sha, 1984), continue in the same line. A number of his other works similarly revolve around figures in suggestive poses, including highly realistic depictions in latex and leather. His pinups appeared monthly for in the pages of Penthouse magazine and Playboy TV made a special show on Soryama arts. The period from 2000 to 2012 has included Sorayama's organic design of Sony AIBO robotic pet dog co-winning (with Sony) Japan's Grand Prize of best design awards (the highest design award conferred by Japan); Sorayama's Sony AIBO robotic pet design was placed into the permanent collections of MOMA and the Smithsonian Institution; MOMA's published book Objects of Design by Paola Antonelli included Sorayama's and Sony's AIBO along with other noteworthy designs where form and function combine in harmony. AIBO is the first ever artificially intelligent robot pet and is watershed project of Sony's Dr. Doi that features Sorayama creativity and is part of special studies at Carnegie Mellon University and other academic institutions. AIBO is the first artificial intelligent ("AI") being/pet and robot for people's companionship. The NIKE "White Dunk Project" included Sorayama arts within 25 most inspiring Japanese artists.

In 1985 Sorayama published the video Illustration Video,[4] his first work apart from the books of illustrations. This includes works in the movies Brain Dead (1992), Timecop (1994) and Space Trucker (1995), design of trading cards, limited edition prints, CD Roms, art exhibitions and the initial industrial design for Sony's AIBO robotic pet,[5] as well as the cover art for Aerosmith's 2001 album Just Push Play.

Sorayama released his new book Master Works in early 2010, followed by another erotica book, "Vibrant Vixens" in May 2013. He worked with movie makers in Hollywood on fantasy science fiction projects, including a movie about Penthouse. During 2012 to 2013 Sorayama worked on 3 notable new projects with American fashion designer Marc Ecko. In 2013 to 2014 a tribute art book entitled "Star Wars Art Concept" found famous moviemaker George Lucas engaging Sorayama to create a spread of Twi'lek and droid fantasy Star Wars figures at about the time Lucas' firm LucasFilm was sold to Disney.


  • Pink Journal (1967)
  • Sexy Robot (1983, Genko-sha)
  • Pin-up (1984, Graphic-sha)
  • Venus Odyssey (1985, Ed. Tokuma communications)
  • Hajime Sorayama (1989, Taco, Berlín)
  • Sorayama Hyper Illustrations (1 & 2) (1989, Bijutsu Shuppan-sha)
  • The Gynoids (1993, Edition Treville)
  • Naga (1997, Sakuhin-sha)
  • Torquere (1998, Sakuhin-sha)
  • Sorayama 1964-99. The Complete Works (1999, Sakuhin-sha)
  • The Gynoids genetically manipulated (2000, Edition Treville)
  • Gynoids reborn (2000, Edition Treville)
  • Sorayamart (2000, Ed. Soleil)
  • Moira (2000, Edition Kunst der Comics)
  • Metallicon (2001, Sakuhin-sha)
  • The Gynoids. The Storage Box (2002, Edition Treville)
  • Venom (2002, Graphic-sha)
  • Latex Galatea (2003, Editions Treville)
  • Relativision (2006)[6][7]
  • "Sorayama's Master Works", (late spring 2010 release) [8]


"By contrast, superrealism deals with the technical issue of how close one can get to one's object."

"Unlike art, illustration is not a matter of emotion or hatreds, but an experience that comes naturally through logical thinking."[3]

"Q: What prompted you to draw robots? A: A friend of mine, the designer Hara Koichi, wanted to use C3PO from Star Wars for a Suntory poster presentation. But time was short and there were problems with copyright fee, so I was asked to come up with something." [2]

"Q: How did you come to draw the pin-ups? A: That’s my mania. I’ve been drawing them since high school. Back then, there was this thing for the Playboy and Penthouse playmates. Now, it’s the girl-next-door, idol type, but in our day, these pin-ups were like goddesses. I guess I could describe it as my own goddess cult." [2]