Hosoe, Eikoh (Artist/Photographer); Hijikata, Tatsumi (Subject) & Yokoo, Tadanori (Designer). KAMAITACHI: PHOTOGRAPHS BY EIKOH HOSOE. New York City, NY: Aperture Foundation, 2005. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 132 pages. As New/As New Dust Jacket.
New Edition of the artist/photographer's masterpiece. One of the greatest photography books of the 20th century. Limited Edition of 500 numbered and signed copies. An Import title, the clamshell box of many copies was damaged in transit (the edition that was released in Japan does not come in a box but in a slipcase). An exquisite production by Eikoh Hosoe and Ikko Tanaka: Oversize-volume format. Pictorial cloth boards with blue titles on spine, as issued. Photographs by Eikoh Hosoe. Choreography by Tatsumi Hijikata. Introduction by Shuzo Takiguchi. Poem by Toyoichiro Miyoshi. Magnificent clamshell box design by Tadanori Yokoo. In publisher's original shrinkwrap. Printed on thick uncoated stock paper in Tokyo, Japan to absolutely the highest standards. In pristine glassine DJ with blue titles on the cover, as issued. Re-presents the artist/photographer's classic in the most stupendous production imaginable. "Kamaitachi" was originally published in 1969 in an edition of 1000 copies. It has never before been available outside Japan and has been out-of-print for 40 years. Hosoe finally re-created it in a manner worthy of its legend. "Each of the pages is printed as an individual gatefold, each of which opens to reveal a single, stunning black-and-white image. The exterior of each gatefold is printed in a spectacular azure blue. The effect of opening the book is of stepping into an unknown landscape of theater and baroque sensuality. 'Kamaitachi' was originally published as a singular collaboration between Eikoh Hosoe and the founder of Butoh Dance, Tatsumi Hijikata. In 1965, Hosoe and Hijikata visited a small farming village in Northern Japan. Drawing in the villagers as performers and using the rice fields and rural landscape as a theatrical set for an improvisational Butoh performance, Hosoe photographed Hijikata's spontaneous interactions with the landscape and with the people they encountered. Hosoe has called the project 'a subjective documentary', an investigation of tradition and an exploration both personal and symbolic of the convulsions of Japanese society. It was inspired by the legend of the Kamaitachi, a weasel-like demon who haunts the rice fields and slashes those who encounter him" (Publisher's blurb). Hosoe expanded the boundaries of photography through his collaborations with iconic Japanese artists, the most celebrated being Yukio Mishima, the greatest Japanese novelist of the 20th century, in "Ba Ra Kei". He called "Kamaitachi" a subjective documentary because it is his most personal work, a poignant attempt to recapture the lost landscapes of his wartime childhood in an artistic (rather than melodramatic) way, through Hijikata's choreographic flourish and grace. The book-as-beautiful-object, this is a "must-have" title for Eikoh Hosoe and photography book collectors. This copy is one of the Limited Edition, indicated as such on the Front Limitation Page, and is very prominently and beautifully signed in azure-blue fountain pen by Eikoh Hosoe. Hosoe also stamped it with his red "chop". This title sold out shortly after publication and is now very highly collectible. The clamshell box of many copies was badly damaged in transit, with splits at the edges, bumps, and crushed corners. Copies of the 1969 original now command more than $10000. This is an accessible and dazzling alternative whose value will keep going up. A rare signed copy thus. 40 tritone plates. "Ba Ra Kei" and "Kamaitachi" were selected as two of the greatest photography books in "The Photobook". One of the greatest artist/photographers of the 20th century. ISBN 1931788804. ID-13554.