words you shouldn't search for

Words You Shouldn’t Search For: Nozaki Corned Beef

Nozaki Corned Beef is a bit of a strange term, as are the reasons it made it to the “words you shouldn’t search for” list. In short, it refers to a creepy style of painting done by a particular artist in the early to mid-2000s, and over time, grew to include other pictures done in that same creepy style.

First things first. Nozaki’s Corned Beef is a real product sold by Kawasho Foods in Japan, but that’s not what this particular search term refers to, so it’s best not to get them confused. It’s actually unknown how this particular artist’s work came to be called after an unrelated corned beef product, but perhaps the style reminded people of the art used on the tins. To this day, that part remains unknown.

Either way, the artist in question has since been identified as Kajitani Ryo (who is still active online today). Back when this term originated, they ran a website called “MIDTOWN MADNESS” where they posted their artwork, and some (although not all of it) was creepy. Over the years, Kajitani has posted their artwork on numerous websites and profiles, many of which have since been deleted, and they often change names when they start a new profile as well. You can, however, find some of their older works still available on their current website today.

When this term first started picking up steam, people were unaware of who the artist was, and there was some crossover with “Atashi wa Mou Oyome niwa Ikemasen” due to their creepy similarities. Some people theorised the works came from a mentally ill patient, others assumed it was the work of a 2channeller. However, it later came to light that they were Kajitani’s works, and Kajitani paints a wide variety of images, not just creepy ones.

In fact, Kajitani reportedly mentioned how uncomfortable they were with the search term and people using their images in such a way (they were even reprinted without permission in horror magazines), although they have since started using the term themselves when tagging their work (and even added it to their profile on art websites), so it appears that stance may have changed somewhat.

At any rate, while it remains unclear why this particular term came to be used to represent Kajitani’s work, the particular images in that style, back before people were aware of where they came from, came to collectively be called “Nozaki Corned Beef.” A term still used today for images not just by Kajitani, but by anyone done in that particular style as well.

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