Shinoyama indicted over outdoor nude photo session
TOKYO, 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