Japanese Photographer Araki

May 26, 2011 Juju Kurihara Arts, Culture, Entertainment, Japan Tags: 0 Comments

araki 1My first impression of him was, ¨what´s this?¨ He looked to me a some sort of deep sea creature. His name is Nobuyoshi Araki (荒木経惟), rather known as Araaki (アラーキー). He is a Japanese photographer.

He takes nude photos. He is very good at ripping young girls clothes off without touching them. Some how, once standing in front of Araaki´s camera, most of the girls feel like taking clothes off. Why? I didn´t get it.



tie up 1

He likes tying.


He likes kimono and tying up.


He drews womanliness.


araki eye

The look.


Singer Ringo Shina


Diva Björk

For me his eroticism was too raw and twisted, which never had been my favorite photographer. I simply thought Araaki was an ero oyaji (エロオヤジ / pervert). I even wondered how is possible girls and women want to be taken sensual photos by an aged not-handsome man like him. When Björk came to Japan and had a photo session with a magazine, she requested a photographer to be Araaki.

He was like Terry Richardson, selling eroticism and the images are quite raw. When I saw Terry Richardson´s photos for the first time, reminded me a lot of Araaki.

sacchin book


This Araaki phobia continued until I saw one book at a bookshop. The photo on the front cover caught my eyes and I pick it up.

The book was called ¨Sacchin¨ (さっちん)


Sacchin sounded to me a girl´s name but turned out to be a boy´s.

Arraki took a life in Tokyo in late ´50´s through this boy Sacchin. A boy just like any one else.



sacchin sacchin and maa sacchin 3

As a mischievous boy, he does all sort of silly things in front of the camera, or perhaps he wasn´t even so conscious about it. I was with this boy, running around, I could almost hear him laughing. Then, I turned the book over. There, it was the name, Nobuyoshi Araki. I was shocked.

It was full of warmth in the photos, the trust and joyful moment. I saw completely different Araaki there. I almost saw him in Sacchin.

But it was just a beginning of understanding Araaki world.


chiroBy the way, I love cats. Although I have this kindness little dog sleeping under my feet, I love cats.

So it was natural I picked a photo book of cat, called ¨Itoshi no Chiro (愛しのチロ/ my dearest Chiro)¨

Chiro was his cat. He loved it so much that he published various books about her.

In the books, you can also see Araaki´s daily life. Despite of his crazy dynamic appearance, his life seems to be calm and warm.


banzai chiro shadow last of chiro


He love Chiro so much that documented her last few months and published as a book. In his life, Araaki had to send off two most loved ones, first his wife, Yoko and then Chiro.

yoko 3

He met his future wife Yoko when he was still working in a well-known advertisement company. From the day Araaki met Yoko, he took photos of her until the day of her funeral.

They were always together, they travelled and Araaki kept taking photos, he just could not stop taking photos of her.

She says in her book ¨Aijo seikatsu (愛情生活/ Love life)¨ that

¨Living is a sentimental journey and for him (Araaki), taking photos is the sentimental journey¨

love lifeSoon after being published this book, Yoko Araki died at the age 42.

He didn´t stop taking photos, maybe it was because they both knew since they met that they wouldn´t have much time. So they had run through their moment.

I saw her in big prints in Barbican in London. He didn´t even use the frames and most of the photos were put up with pins directly to the wall. It made me smiled. It was something Araaki would do. Yoko was there, she was beautiful. I think she was the most beautiful model between all.

Araaki himself says that he could never be able to take any better portrait than he did with Yoko. 

I agree.

yoko and chiro

Araaki´s most favorite two ladies.


Young Yoko


Honey moon trip


araki and yoko

Even after the cancer advanced in Yoko´s body, this Japanese photographer didn´t stop taking photos, as if he could stop losing his loved one by doing it. 

Only I could see in those photos was his love. Full of feelings, his kindness and appreciation. I was so touched and yet, it was painful to see.


Now I understand why women trust him and he has a facility to have them in naked. He make them believe that they are the only and the most beautiful woman in the world. It maybe a moment but he can make them believe.

Araaki´s sentimental journey continues without any company as his wife Yoko predicted. Nobuyoshi Araki is one of my favorite Japanese photographer and I can strongly recommend to see.

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