Nobuyoshi Araki (荒木 経惟, Araki Nobuyoshi) (born 1940), professionally known as Arākī (アラーキー) is a Japanese photographer and contemporary artist. Known primarily for bondage-related fine art photography, he has published over 500 books. However, it should also be noted that in 2011 he bragged about gaining access to models through sex and in 2018 he was accused of exploitation by a model known as Kaori.
In April 2018, Kaori, a model who posed for Araki from 2001 to 2016, wrote a blog post about her relationship with Araki in which she accused him of financial and artistic exploitation. Kaori stated that “she worked without a contract, was forced to take part in explicit shoots in front of strangers, was not regularly paid and that her nude images were often used without her consent.” In 2017, when she requested that he stop republishing or exhibiting some photographs of her, Araki wrote to Kaori, warning that she had no rights. She states that the experience led to psychological trauma and ill health. Kaori stated that the Me Too movement had encouraged her to speak out. The accusations have raised questions about the power dynamics between a photographer and his subject. In order to raise awareness of Kaori’s claims, the activist group Angry Asian Girls Association protested the opening of an exhibition of photographs by Araki at C/O Berlin December 2018.
In 1981, Araki directed High School Girl Fake Diary (女高生偽日記, Jokōsei nise nikki), a roman porno film, for the studio Nikkatsu. However, the film was a disappointment to Araki’s fans and to fans of the pink film genre.
Araki’s work “Sentimental Journey 1972-1992” is a diary of life with his wife Yōko, who died of ovarian cancer in 1990. The first part of Sentimental Journey shows the couple embarking on married life—their honeymoon and sexual relations.
In 2005, an American director, Travis Klose, recorded a documentary about Araki called Arakimentari, which discusses the artist’s lifestyle and work; Araki himself appears in it.
- 1964: Taiyō Prize for photo reportage, Japan
- 1964: Sun Prize, Japan
- 1990: Shashin-no-kai Prize from the Photographic Society of Japan
- 1991: 7th Higashikawa Prize
- 1994: Japan Inter-Design Forum Grand Prix
- 2008: Austrian Decoration for Science and Art