Kamaitachi. Photographs by Eikoh Hosoe, Dance by Tatsumi Hijikata, Preface by Shuzo Takiguchi, Poem by Toyoichiro Miyoshi, Book design by Ikko Tanaka. Newly designed for this edition, clamshell case by by Tadanori Yokoo. The reproduction edition was limited to 1000 copies co-published by the Aperture Foundation, New York, and Seigensha Art Publishing, Kyoto, 2005. (The principal difference between the 500 copies of the Japanese edition and the 500 copies of the US edition is the exterior design. For the Aperture edition, the original slipcase designed by Ikko Tanaka was replaced with a deluxe clamshell box newly designed by Tadanori Yokoo and printed in five colors.) Tri-tone, 42 gatefold sheets, Silk-screen cloth cover, with acetate jacket, with exterior case. All copies are signed and numbered by the photographer.
This sumptuous reprint of Hosoe Eikoh's 1966 classic, Kamaitachi, is an exquisite example of the photography book as a malleable form. This new incarnation of Hosoe’s photography has resulted in a fresh creation, directly springing from the original body of work. Fine craftsmanship underscores the entire project. The trickster nature of Hosoe’s photography demands such extremes of printing and bookmaking.
Fans of Japanese culture, for a little more than the cost of the prix-fixe sushi dinner at New York restaurant Masa, you can own one of the classics of Japanese photography. More than 35 years after it first appeared, Kamaitachi, a long out-of-print masterwork by Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe, gets its first publication outside Japan. Not just a reprint but a recreation in collaboration with the photographer and in homage to the innovative original, this limited edition holds 40 black-and-white tritone images, each of which receives the scope of a gatefold. Slipcased and protected by a clamshell box, the book is not just a publication but an objet d’art in itself. Hosoe was known for pushing the boundaries of traditional photography through his interactions with important Japanese artists such as Butoh dancer Tasumi Hijikata and novelist Yukio Mishima. In Kamaitachi, he sought to recapture, with choreographic style, some of the lost landscapes and images of his childhood experience in the closing years of World War II.