NOBUYOSHI ARAKI – Elevating the Obscene

by Red Cell

Editor’s Note: This article is attributed to an anonymous source.

Nobuyoshi Araki is Japan’s best-known photographer and its most controversial cultural export. Documenting Tokyo he captures its obscene energy and inhuman emptiness in the sex clubs and entertainment district, crowded streets, buildings and skies.

His work is infused with an intense sexuality.He has been widely accused by feminist groups of being a misogynist because of the content of many of his photographs. He is probably best known for his photos documenting the Japanese sex industry, focusing on the Kabukicho district of Shinjuku in Tokyo in the 1980s. These were later published in his book titled “Tokyo Lucky Hole”.

Having published over 350 books (and still more every year) Araki is considered one of the most prolific artists alive or dead in Japan and around the world. Some of his most popular photography books are “Sentimental Journey”, “Tokyo Lucky Hole” and “Shino”. He has also photographed for many pornographic magazines such as Playboy, DejA-Vu, and Erotic Housewives.

He has been arrested several times for breaking Japanese obscenity laws, and the curator of a museum was once arrested for displaying Araki’s work.

Araki was famously quoted as saying “I would say my sex drive is weaker than most. However, my lens has a permanent erection.”

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