Barakei (Ordeal by Roses, II). Photographs by Eikoh Hosoe. Preface by Yukio Mishima. Shuei Sha, Tokyo, Japan, 1984 [precedes the Aperture re-issue]. Unpaged. Folio. First edition thus (precedes Aperture reprint by one year). Clothbound with silver oval design. Illustrated dust jacket with original printed obi [bellyband]. Black-and-white reproductions. |
In 1961, inspired by the writing of Japan's great novelist Yukio Mishima, Eikoh Hosoe began this great epic work and portrait using Mishima as his subject. In this series of dramatic photographs, beautifully printed on richly colored pages, with silver-stamped calligraphy, and fine reproductions, Ba.ra.kei becomes an extended portrait of Mishima at the height of his inspiration and at the threshold of a prophetic vision that would be completed ten years later with his ritual suicide.
"I will never admit the decay of the flesh." Yukio Mishima wrote these words in the weeks before his death by seppuku—ritual suicide--in November of 1970. This act, news of which immediately swept the world—was timed to coincide with the publication of the second edition of Ba Ra Kei, Hosoe's masterpiece of surreal photography which uses Mishima as model and subject matter. "It seems to me," he said, "that before the photograph can exist as art it must, by its very nature, choose whether it is to be a record or a testimony."
Fine- in Near Fine dust jacket; Fine- obi; trace of wear to boards; light wear to jacket at extremities; tears at crown of spine (3/4"); light wear to obi; couple of tiny edge tears.