The Kishin Shinoyama nude-photos-in-Aoyama-Cemetery story which Curzon mentioned earlier this year has finally come to a close, with the photographer ordered to pay “¥300,000 in fines for public indecency and blasphemy.”
Wait a minute… blasphemy? How could that possibly be a crime in such a non-religious country?
Go go gadget Criminal Code!
(Disrespect of Places of Worship and Disturbance of Preaching, Etc.)
Article 188. A person who has committed an open and disrespectful act toward a shrine, temple, graveyard or other place of worship shall be sentenced to imprisonment at labor or confinement for six months or less, or a fine of 100,000 yen or less.
2. A person who has disturbed preaching, worship or a funeral service shall be sentenced to imprisonment at labor or confinement for one year or less, or a fine of 100,000 yen or less.
So there you have it; messing with religion is a crime in Japan. It doesn’t seem to be prosecuted that often, though: the various crimes against religion don’t even merit a line item in the Justice Ministry’s annual prosecution statistics.
8 thoughts on “The crime of “blasphemy””
“Blasphemy” is a very poor translation. “Criminal interference of religious practice” is one translation that would be more accurate.
Oh, and LOL “Go go gadget…!”
20pts awarded for Inspector Gadget reference. Well done. I have the “Smart 六法” app for the iPhone, and I tell ya, blasting that thing open on the fly makes me feel like Penny *and* Brain, put together.
Translation technicality, but “sacrilege” is more accurate than “blasphemy”. Blasphemy implies he committed an act of contempt against God or some religious entity. He just wanted to make his yagai album of naked chicks a tad more pervy.
Footnote on Shinoyama is that he does a fair amount of straight up (read: clothed subjects) stuff. My wife’s company had a photo taken of all the company employees one morning, and although it took her a while to notice, the middle-aged man with the crazy hair standing on the ladder was Kishin Shinoyama.
i get the public indecency, but how did he disturb any religious ceremony? Which is what the law says.
I haven’t seen the thing, dunno, did he put naked chicks in the middle of a graveyard or something?
“did he put naked chicks in the middle of a graveyard or something?”
That would tend to be what “nude-photos-in-Aoyama-Cemetery” or “shooting photos of a naked woman in a Tokyo cemetery” would mean, yes.
damn, I have acute グーグル脳 syndrome. My bad.
Meanwhile in America:
The statute, enacted in 1977, required that no corporate name in Pennsylvania contain “[w]ords that constitute blasphemy, profane cursing or swearing or that profane the Lord’s name,” according to yesterday’s opinion, which suggests the law originated in response to a store colorfully named “The G– D— Gun Shop.”
That law is pretty obviously unconstitutional though, at least the part about blasphemy. I could see the courts upholding restrictions on profanity in corporate names though, on the same logic they use to keep it off FCC controlled airwaves.
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