Ba-Ra-Kei.
Ordeal by Roses.


Photographs by Eikoh Hosoe. Text by Yukio Mishima and Mark Holborn.
Aperture, New York, 2002. 100 pp., 35 duotone illustrations, 10¼x14¼".

"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. The preface by Mishima, Japan's greatest post-war literary figure, is reason enough to purchase this book, for the clarity of his writing on the nature of photography. "It seems to me 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." This new edition contains an afterword by Hosoe and features a new cover design.

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