Tereyama’s great satire on the various, then current, violent revolutionary tendencies in Japan, Emperor Tomato Ketchup shows a world where children have staged a violent coup and conduct ongoing war with the adults , who, up until then, have subjugated them. The film is remembered by many for its depiction of preadolescent sexuality. It needs to be stressed, however, that the children enact everything in this movie with a serious sense of play.
The children were not overly directed by Tereyama for the film, unlike the members of his theater company who play the adults. The scenes that are meant to depict sex play between the child soldiers and adult prostitutes are performed in a casually ritualistic manner. The boys don't get visible erections, there is no penetration. Humiliation of the adults is more the order of the day.