Kamaitachi. Photographs by Eikoh Hoso. Choreography by Tatsumi Hijikata. Introduction by Shuzo Takiguchi. Poem by Toyoichiro Miyoshi. Design by Ikko Tanaka. Gendaishicho-sha, Tokyo, 1969. Limited edition of 1000 copies. Clothbound in illustrated boards and and white card slipcase. 34 black and white gate-fold pages with gravure reproductions + 5 add'l gatedfolded pages with texts & colophon (texts in Japanese and English).
The real-deal FIRST edition of Hosoe's utterly gorgeous--totally unclassifiable--, surreal classic of "butoh-inspired-improvisational-theater-in-the-village-photo-documentary"!! Reprinted by Aperture in 2005 (a re-issue that is itself collectible) and 2009.
"As a young boy in the north [of Japan], Hosoe had heard of the Kamaitachi, a weasel-like demon who purportedly haunted the area’s rice fields and would slash any person he encountered. [Hosoe and Hijikata] came upon a great plain of rice fields that triggered Hosoe’s memory, and he conceived the idea of shooting Hijikata in a series of tableaux that recreated the Kamaitachi legend. The Kamaitachi functions as a wild free spirit in a land restricted by tradition. As such, the demon (Hijikata) is at once beguiling and dangerous, representing such impulses as earthiness and sexuality. He seduces women and carries off small children, like a Pied Piper. Such unruliness is seen throughout the series but most clearly in one of the signature images, of a tiny Hijikata leaping gleefully through a great landscape of paddy fields. That there might be a price to pay for such abandon is abundantly clear in the menacing sky, which hangs over the scene like a shroud." Parr & Badger, The Photobook: A History, vol. 1 pg. 284-5
Fine- with a few spots of foxing; in Near Fine+/Fine- slipcase; a bit of rubbing and scattered foxing; very slight bump at opening; lacking acetate jacket.