Publishers around the world know what sells papers and magazines: naked pictures of famous people. But even though these images will bring top dollar, the newsstand peddlers don't always get the shot of Britney Spears' nipple by press time. They usually have two options: 1) go with photos of famous people who aren't completely nude or 2) run nude photos of people who aren't really famous, but at least they're naked.
A Japanese publisher may have come up with a third option: He allegedly digitally grafted the heads of a girl singing group onto the bodies of porn stars, and for his efforts was arrested.
Fabricating nudie celeb shots started among Internet porn sites, and is now drifting over to Japanese print publications. Million Publishing president Akira Hirata noticed the trend, and decided to boost the 170,000 circulation of his modestly titled magazine Hirata's Powers with a series of familiar faces -- the 10 members of the popular band Morning Musume. The girls, ranging in age from 12 to 26, have recorded hit songs including "Renai (Love) Revolution 21," and their presence in a magazine will guarantee an increase in newsstand sales. Unfortunately, the young girls have never posed for pornographic photos. The 53-year-old Hirata said no problem, we'll just fake them.
The members of Morning Musume saw the October Hirata's Powers, including layouts of their young faces attached to lewd shots of gyrating porn stars, and last month complained to police. Tokyo authorities then paid a visit to Million Publishing and arrested Hirata and another executive on charges of defamation.
"The magazine splashed on its cover page, 'Let's completely strip the last and hottest idols of the 20th century,' and featured several pornographic pages of the group," a police spokesman told AFP.
The group's official Web site lists plenty of fan club items for sale, including toys, jewelry and other items but, strangely, no autographed copies of Hirata's Powers magazine.