Shinoyama indicted over outdoor nude photo session

photography news, photo news, Diana Topan, Kishin Shinoyama, freedom of photographers, nude photographyTOKYO, May 23, 2010 /PN/ Prosecutors on Thursday filed a summary indictment against photographer Kishin Shinoyama on charges of public indecency and blasphemy for shooting nude photos in a Tokyo cemetery.

Shinoyama, 69, released a statement following the summary indictment, saying he is concerned that his case could lead to ''restraining (people's) creative energy and expression.''

In January, police sent papers on Shinoyama and two female models to the prosecutors on suspicion of public indecency for taking nude photos at 12 locations, including a wedding hall and a department store, for his book ''20XX TOKYO'' but the prosecutors have built their case on the cemetery photo session only.

It is quite rare for a charge of blasphemy, which carries a penalty of up to six months in prison or up to 100,000 yen in fines, to be applied to a case involving obscenity.

According to the indictment, Shinoyama took obscene photographs at Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo's Minato Ward on the night of Oct. 15, 2008 and thus disrespected the sanctity of the site.

The move by the police stirred debate over the issue of freedom of expression versus public indecency.

Photo: Japanese photographer Kishin Shinoyama and two female models, Southern France, 1975. Image credit: Wolfgang H. Wögerer


  1. Anonymous says

    my brother is a photographer and also took erotic photos in a cemetary!

    sean says

    i thought these things happen only in america

    Jessica says

    Strangely how freedom of expression is often mistaken for freedom to offend when church interferes...

    Anonymous says

    what's wrong with us humans?

    Anonymous says

    What's wrong with us humans? Broadly speaking, much as they say of places like Afganistan, 12th century minds stuck in the 21st century.

    Anonymous says

    Shinoyama is getting far more attention from this publicity (stunt)?, than from just nude photos taken in this well known, centrally located cemetery. Sounds calculated.

    Philip says

    Jessica, you remind me of Salman Rushdie when he said “What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist”. So true!

    BLU says


    Anonymous says

    Amen to that brother!

    Anonymous says

    if the top pic is anything to go by, Pretty ordinary work at best..It needs some controversy/infamy to kick it along.

    Anonymous says

    The top pic shows Shinoyama and 2 of his models. It was taken by Wolfgang H. Wögerer. Some of Shinoyama's photos can be seen here:
    No recent work though...

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