Art + Culture

SHINOYAMA Kishin passed away with 83. R.I.P. 篠山紀信 急死 83歳 R.I.P.

篠山紀信 by 亜 真里男 2011年
篠山紀信 by 亜 真里男 2011年

Kishin is dead.
He had a happy, fulfilled life.

There was a short period in the so-called “Bubble-era”, in which I was regarded in Japan as the No.1 in artistic photography. My works were more expensive than Araki’s, Moriyama’s or Sugimoto’s. I could afford to rent a 100 sqm apartment in posh Minami-Aoyama. Enjoying a talk with KAWAKUBO Rei on the way home or chatting with MURAKAMI Haruki in the Kinokuniya-Store. Receiving respect and recognition from Araki, Moriyama and SHINOYAMA Kishin.

One more chapter is being closed now, as Kishin passed away yesterday. Araki is still alive.
世界で一番の日本美術家 天才荒木経惟! (1)
World’s No.1 Japanese Artist ‘Genius’ Nobuyoshi Araki! (1)

In today’s context, let my dear ART+CULTURE readers allow me to exclusively focus on the famous, notorious “Araki vs. Kishin” rivalry.

Leica against Minolta (even with 3 separately installed lenses). Or, the bigger Kishin’s camera became, the smaller were Araki’s.

篠山紀信 SHINOYAMA Kishin with Minolta
篠山紀信 SHINOYAMA Kishin with Minolta
Kishin vs. Araki 1983. From ライブ荒木経惟 写真時代創刊2周年記念増刊 白夜書房 1983
Kishin vs. Araki in 1983. From: ライブ荒木経惟 写真時代創刊2周年記念増刊, Publishing House: 白夜書房 1983

Both are born in the same year of, Japanese Emperor related, Showa 15 昭和15年, means, during wartime in 1940. Both exist as a national phenomenon, regarded as 国民的な存在 (kokumin-teki na sonzai) being popular on a national level.
However, Araki and Shinoyama didn’t receive any recognition from the fucked-up, conservative “Japanese Cultural Pussy Elite” by not being awarded with the “Order of Culture” 文化勲章 (Bunka-kunsho), via the Japanese Emperor 天皇 (Tenno).
For the First Time in Japan, Wife and Husband Received the Order of Culture. Congratulations to Chief Director of NITTEN: Maestra OKUDA Sayume日展-文化勲章/

我が国にっぽんの恥「日展」”Nitten”, the Shame of our Nation Nippon

A serious problem, indeed. Unthinkable in any other civilized country.
Illogical decisions by the “Japanese Cultural Pussy Elite”, as they had chosen KUSAMA Yayoi 草間彌生, a “sex-loaded” POC artist and having herself discriminating Black people, for the “Order of Culture” 文化勲章 (Bunka-kunsho) in 2016.
私 (亜 真里男) と草間彌生、長い芸術の旅、アンプラグド
I (Mario A) and KUSAMA Yayoi, a long artistic journey, unplugged草間彌生-亜真里男/

草間彌生ブティック ニューヨーク 1968年
草間彌生ブティック、 ニューヨーク 1968年
天皇陛下と草間彌生、文化勲章の親授式 2016年
天皇陛下と草間彌生、文化勲章の親授式 2016年 KUSAMA Yayoi receiving the Order of Culture from His Majesty the Emperor in 2016

The reason why I’m posting a Kusama’s “nude picture” from the 70’s has to be understood in the context of the laughable, ridiculous Japanese “Hair-nude” ヘアヌード (Hea-nudo) phenomena.
At wikipedia exists only the Japanese version:ヘアヌード

Before the “Hair-nude” era, video-masking mosaics or shaving the pubic region was the norm in Japan. With the appearance of Robert Mapplethorpe’s artistic photo works, the atmosphere slowly changed, meant, Araki and Kishin vehemently fought with “nude-photography” against the censorship practice by the Japanese government.
I would call it even a “Hair-nude battle” between Kishin and Araki.

Myself played a pioneer role, too. For the first time in Japan, via my column “sono toki” その時, a (my) photograph with pubic hair appeared in a Japanese newspaper, here: Asahi Shimbun (17th of October 1992).
The pressure on the “censorship-moral-guardians” escalated, as a huge amount of photo books with “Hair-nude” models piled up in the bookstores. Magazines competed with “Hair-nude” specials. At that time I told my former wife: “The “ultimate” person who should now do a “Hair-nude-thing” should be extremely popular MIYAZAWA Rie 宮沢りえ.” A view months later, my private comment became reality.
Miyazawa’s book “Santa Fe”, with photographs by Kishin and called “Hair-nude photo book” ヘアヌード写真集 (Hea-nudo-shashin-shu), sold 1.65 million copies. (…whilst the bachelors doing their naughty stuff, even…)

宮沢りえ・篠山紀信 // ここに載せた写真とスクリーンショットは、すべて「好意によりクリエーティブ・コモン・センス」の文脈で、日本美術史の記録の為に発表致します。
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-NoDerivative Works
photos: cccs courtesy creative common sense
宮沢りえ・篠山紀信 // ここに載せた写真とスクリーンショットは、すべて「好意によりクリエーティブ・コモン・センス」の文脈で、日本美術史の記録の為に発表致します。
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-NoDerivative Works
photos: cccs courtesy creative common sense
宮沢りえ・篠山紀信 // ここに載せた写真とスクリーンショットは、すべて「好意によりクリエーティブ・コモン・センス」の文脈で、日本美術史の記録の為に発表致します。
Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-NoDerivative Works
photos: cccs courtesy creative common sense

The most important dialogue between Kishin and Araki, I can remember, occurred in 1991.
Kishin vehemently chastised Araki for the death of his wife ARAKI Yoko 荒木陽子 and the photograph of Yoko in her coffin that had been included in the book “Sentimental Journey / Winter Journey” センチメンタルな旅 冬の旅 (1991). Complaining that Araki only wants to impress through the means of grief.

The problematic picture in question.
The problematic picture in question.

Let me publish part of the conversation here on ART+CULTURE in the original language, which first appeared in the literature magazine “Nami” of the publishing house SHINCHO-SHA, February 1991 新潮社の月刊誌「波」(91年2月号).


Araki: “Death is the truth. The way I made it before, it didn’t matter how you looked at it, but this time I’m not going to let you look at it any other way.”
Shinoyama: “I don’t want to see such an irreverent photo book. I think your photographs are interesting because they are not one-sided, or rather, because they are diverse. To tell the truth, I think this is the worst. I wondered how someone as good as Araki could have done this.”
Araki: “That’s what happens when you encounter the death of your wife once.”
Shinoyama: “No, it doesn’t. There are a lot of guys whose wives have died.”
Araki: “But none of them have produced anything.”
Shinoyama: “You don’t even have to put that out there. This is awful, to put it straight.”
Araki: “No, it’s a masterpiece. You may even hear the requiem when you look at the photograph.”
Shinoyama: “That’s why it’s boring. Who would want to look at a photo book in which you can hear the Mass music? Your wife’s death, to put it bluntly, is of no concern to others.”
Araki: “Because this is for myself. After all, the primary reader is myself…”

In my opinion, everything can be pushlished, if the context had been explained in the proper, adequate sentences. In this case, Araki’s book embodied the death of his beloved wife Yoko, means, obviously the viewer had been “warned” beforehand. I find this photograph in question beautifully executed. Beautiful white, pinky, purple flowers, orchids, a beautiful face, many different caressing hands. I can even see the tears, hear the sobbing in this picture of Yoko. A masterpiece of photography, because, after all, you feel true LOVE.

Exactly via the above explained case, the difference between impulsive “genius” Araki 天才アラーキ and “mediocre cameraman” Shinoyama カメラマン・キシン comes to light.

りえ 対 陽子。
Rie vs. Yoko.
Rie (Shinoyama) vs. Yoko (Araki).
This kind of antipode I like to analyse through the “enlightenments” of Rie and Yoko. The two female protagonists strikingly reveal, why Shinoyama is mostly executing the “commands” of an agent, of a production company or of the model’s mother (Rie’s mother), whereas Araki transports vigorously artistic freedom, the independent rebel per se.

Shinoyama, who was obliged to answer the requests of clients via artificial, super-clean, beauty-pictures, mostly in a narrow concept of the boring studio’s flash lights. Pseudo-beauty, questionable aesthetic, fake filter-photography by Kishin.
Araki, who preferred post-existentialism freedom, burlesque sex-revolution, libertinage for Japanese women. This kind of cutting-edge artistic practice, well received and acknowledged in the Global Art World, resulted in creating sometimes “non-pleasing”, radical works. For art’s Sake 酒.

Murakami (Shinoyama) vs. Aida (Araki).
In a similar nuance, the Japanese contemporary art world actually offers similar epitomes of artists. 村上隆 MURAKAMI Takashi-type vs. 会田誠 AIDA Makoto-type. Murakami tends towards the genre American hard working “art worker” whereas Aida personifies the French bohemian-like “savoir-vivre artist”, and calling himself, like Araki, a “genius”. 🤣
Compare with:
戦場のメリークリスマス Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence戦場のメリークリスマス/

Japan’s ‘national’ contemporary artist AIDA Makoto: Simultaneously with the death of Emperor SHOWA, the genre NIHONGA should have had proclaimed its disappearance, nevertheless it actually disappeared.会田誠-aida-makoto-国民的現代美術家/

日本のアート界を駄目にした男? 不幸な村上隆、、、
The Man Who Ruined The Japanese Art World? An Unhappy MURAKAMI Takashi…

There exists a vague trinity among questionable Shinoyama’s aesthetic guiding principle as a commercial photographer, the immortal “kawaii youthfulness” of non-feminist MATSUDA Seiko 松田聖子 and her rebellious daughter KANDA Sayaka 神田沙也加, who ended up committing suicide. I am not talking here about empirical investigations between literal or figurative meanings of the Matsuda-Shinoyama friendship, nevertheless it existed and played a role in cognition whether or not they were mentally stable or intellectually fit to understand their social impact on the Japanese youth because of their unhealthy and wrong, morbid “kawaii-prettiness” practices. Through Shinoyama’s and Matsuda’s expensive, commercial promotion activities, nota bene!! both were manifesting Japanese conservative social norms, especially in the 80’s. A disastrous Duo regarding the future development of Japanese society.


In case of censorship:

松田聖子・篠山紀信 youtube

篠山紀信さんが語る松田聖子 アメリカ進出について聖子ちゃんが語る 松田聖子 Special 完全版「風に向かって歌い続けた40年 2020年

1,293 views Jan 8, 2023

Compare with:
Japan actress KANDA Sayaka 神田沙也加, daughter of famous singer MATSUDA Seiko 松田聖子, dies after apparent fall from hotel room
May You Rest In Peace

松田聖子 MATSUDA Seikoと神田沙也加 KANDA Sayaka
松田聖子 MATSUDA Seikoと神田沙也加 KANDA Sayaka

Based on MATSUDA Seiko’s career and her unnecessary BOTOX + PLASTIC SURGERIES on her body, we may now “thank” Shinoyama-“Sensei” for making a significant contribution to the dumbing down of Japanese society.
Shinoyama proactively
– promoted the trivialization and objectification of Japanese women,
– prevented Japanese women from growing up with a sense of social responsibility,
– let women be incapable of managing one’s affairs (unmündig, immature)
– prevented Japanese women to engage in social activities or
– developing a political consciousness
– and thus instinctively and intentionally helped to shape the image of the “infantile Japanese” (either gender), or better said: Infantile Japan.

My dear ART+CULTURE readers probably noticed my attempts, over the years, in crystallizing vague Japanese unique circumstances into something more concrete. Trying, through my personal experience, to explain you the phenomena like
– Japanese Emperor 天皇 (Tenno) related “Japanese era calendar scheme Gengō 元号” (2024 = 令和 REIWA 6. Actually most young Japanese can’t tell you the exact, globally common, year, when being asked for example 昭和 Showa 34 or 平成 Heisei 9),
New name of era under new Japanese Emperor is REIWA. ‘Rei’ like ‘Meirei’, ‘Gorei’ = Order or Command, ‘Wa’ like ‘Showa’ from the Japanese Emperor Showa新元号令和/
Order of Culture 文化勲章 (Bunka-kunsho),
For the First Time in Japan, Wife and Husband Received the Order of Culture. Congratulations to Chief Director of NITTEN: Maestra OKUDA Sayume日展-文化勲章/
Bottle keep ボトルキープ, Members-only bar 会員制バー (Kai-in-sei-bar), bar or nightclub owner Mama-san ママさん
亜 真里男「風花 wunderBAR」 Mario A “KAZAHANA wunderBAR”
Host and hostess clubs ホストクラブ (Hosto-kurabu) (male and female night clubs)
手塚マキ氏の歌舞伎町の新「クラブ春」 TEZUKA Maki’s New Club “HARU” @ Shinjuku Kabukicho手塚マキ/
Hair nude ヘアヌード (this page)
Nihonga 日本画 (so-called one century old “Japan modernism” related, politically conservatism symbolising painting genre, similar to old Chinese painting)
Japan’s ‘national’ contemporary artist AIDA Makoto: Simultaneously with the death of Emperor SHOWA, the genre NIHONGA should have had proclaimed its disappearance, nevertheless it actually disappeared.会田誠-aida-makoto-国民的現代美術家/
Zainichi 在日 (Foreign citizens residing in Japan, or, Second-, Third-Generation Koreans in Japan)
MINAMI Kaho 南 果歩
Otaku オタク (mostly young, male, immature, weird Japanese), Kawaii 可愛い (mostly sexually attractive cuteness regarding young, immature, female Japanese)
現代日本のオタク文化:名取さな Contemporary Japanese Otaku Culture: SANA NATORI
Buraku Problem 部落問題 (Buraku-mondai, former Japanese outcasts)
亜 真里男「風花 wunderBAR」 Mario A “KAZAHANA wunderBAR”

In today’s context three more Japanese phenomena appeared:
1. Gei-no-kai 芸能界 (Popular entertainment industry, fixed by management agencies)
2. Tarento タレント (Japanese celebrities, with management agencies, who regularly appear in mass media, especially as panelists and comedians on variety shows)
3. Ai-doru アイドル (An idol-singer or idol group with management agencies).

Above mentioned MATSUDA Seiko belongs to the genres Ai-doru / idol アイドル and Gei-no-kai 芸能界.

Regarding the Gei-no-kai, there exists no Wikipedia page. Neither in Japanese. My conclusion of this status quo is, that the “world” should not know about the many Gei-no-kai related scandals.

When I was in the entertainment industry, if a lead actor would invite me to dinner, I would decline. When I met him at the shoot the next day or at the studio years later, he ignored me. If the lead actor ignores you, you will be ignored by the other performers and crew…and there is certainly a chain of events that happens.

The Japanese society is being strongly dominated by the Gei-no-kai, and most people are aware of the strict working conditions, the inhuman atmosphere, which can clearly be named as “power-harassment oriented”. I regard the management agency Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. from the Kansai region as the most influential company on the contemporary culture of Japan.
One actual famous case, and exemplary for the silence in Japanese society, exists with the then leading Tarento-agency Johnny & Associates Inc. (now: SMILE UP.) and two related companies, which were ordered to pay about 40 million yen (US$250,000) in back taxes concerning cash gifts given to TV personalities, according to sources.
This agency has produced dozens of boy bands and male idol groups known collectively as “Janiizu” (Johnny’s), such as SMAP, Shonentai, Arashi and Travis Japan.
It’s now a fact, that the late owner of Johnny & Associates, 喜多川 擴 KITAGAWA Hiromu (Johnny Kitagawa), let’s say it bluntly, fucked many of these little boys in the ass.
Johnny & Associates had long denied the allegations against Kitagawa, which go back decades. An investigation panel set up by the agency released a report in August 2023, confirming the abuse allegations and saying Kitagawa’s victims likely numbered in the hundreds.

As for January 15th 2024, wikipedia states the latest developments as follows:

From 1988 to 2000, Kitagawa was the subject of a number of claims that he had taken advantage of his position to engage in improper sexual relationships with boys under contract to his talent agency, though no criminal charges were ever filed against him. In 2023, four years after his death, his sexual abuse was revealed publicly for the first time after a report concluded that he committed sexual abuse from the early 1970s until the mid-2010s, including the rape of hundreds of boys who were members of Johnny & Associates before their debut.[3][4] As of 2023, a reported number of 478 persons have claimed to have been victimized by Kitagawa, of those, 325 sought compensation, and only 150 have been confirmed to have belonged in the company.[5] Later in the year, it was revealed that Johnny & Associates would be renamed to Smile Up, and that anything bearing the name “Johnny”, such as related companies and performing groups, would undergo changes to remove any trace of Kitagawa’s name.

wikipedia 2024-1-15
screenshot from wikipedia, 15th of January 2024

Among these sex abuse victims, exists the possibility, but no public statement had been offered until today, that members of SMAP had been sexually abused, too. Let’s say it clearly, we do NOT know.
SMAP, a male idol group that was a fixture in Japan’s entertainment industry for decades, broke up on December 31, 2016.
In this context, Kitagawa himself, gives a vague hint, see the following screenshot from X.



Books by the sex abuse victims:


Magazine report on Johnny & Associates

『噂の眞相』 (Uwasa no Shinso) 1983. Johnny Kitagawa’s sexually abusive behaviour
『噂の眞相』 (Uwasa no Shinso) 1983. Johnny Kitagawa’s sexually abusive behaviour

Johnny’s head apologizes for alleged sexual abuse by late Kitagawa
ジャニーズ事務所社長「深くお詫び」 性被害の訴え受け

World famous Beat Takeshi ビートたけし publicly stated in his press conference at the Foreign Correspondent Club 日本外国特派員協会 on the 15th of November 2023, that he and others in the Gei-no-kai somehow had knowledge of Johnny Kitagawa’s rapes.
In this Beat Takeshi’s statement context, I may assume, that Shinoyama knew these stories behind closed doors, too.


Compare with:
Liar KATORI Shingo: “I Have a Solo Exhibition in the Louvre Museum”

Shinoyama’s pictures about the male idol group SMAP are extremely famous.
Being photographed by SHINOYAMA Kishin meant receiving the final accolade and being integrated in the world of Japanese idols and tarentos.
KISHIN succeeded in accumulating influential, decisive power in the Japanese popular entertainment industry. お疲れ様でした.

篠山紀信 by 亜 真里男、2011年
篠山紀信 by 亜 真里男 2011年

Ginza oblige. “Ginza Shiawase” 銀座幸せ on 29th of November 2011.
May you now rest in peace.
Tokyo, 5th〜15th of January 2024
Mario A

篠山紀信 @ 森美術館

Below a worthwhile Japanese text, courtesy NIKKAN Sports.


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時代が平成に変わり、91年には樋口可南子「Water Fruit」で、他に先駆けてヘアヌードを解禁。当時18歳でトップアイドルだった宮沢りえも写真集「Santa Fe」でヘアヌードにした。



Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial-NoDerivative Works
photos: cccs courtesy creative common sense