東京 (Tokyo): 集英社 (Shueisha), 1963. Limited First edition. Hardcover. 1/1500. Folio. Original acetate jacket over decorative white and olive cloth, with blue and black lettering to spine. Book housed in its original photo-illustrated cardboard slipcase. Laid in, an explanatory booklet in English, French and German. Tissue-guarded limitation page signed in Japanese caligraphy by Eikoh Hosoe and Yukio Mishima.
“The [ten] photos that make up the body of the book are inky, sometimes high-contrast gravures that bleed right to the edge of the page and often extend across the entire open spread, giving extra impact to images that are already quite arresting. Even if the subject of Hosoe’s photographs weren’t the author Yukio Mishima, the book would be remarkable for its humid mix of eroticism and myth, queer kitsch and high art. But Mishima, Japan’s most celebrated and controversial modern novelist, was also a brilliant provocateur and his presence here turns "Killed By Roses" into a charged collaboration between artists testing one another’s limits… [Hosoe’s] first meeting with Mishima, in September 1961, was at the writer’s house.... That first day, Mishima, already dressed only in a loincloth, ended up wrapped in a garden hose and standing on the marble mosaic zodiac on his lawn. The resulting surreal images are among the book’s most famous; though Hosoe saw them as ‘the destruction of a myth'…
Mishima[’s] ritual suicide in 1970 was seen as his final artistic act” (Andrew Roth: "The Book of 101 Books," page 164).
One of 1500 copies, of which this is No. 1085.
Cardboard slipcase heavily rubbed along edges. 8 1/2" closed tear at back cover of acetate jacket. Text and photographs clean and fine. Explanatory booklet in English, French and German. Slipcase in overall fair, dust-jacket in good- to good, binding and interior in very good condition. f to vg. Item #40704
* Eikoh Hosoe (born in 1933) is a Japanese photographer and filmmaker who emerged in the experimental arts movement of post-World War II Japan. He is known for his psychologically charged images, often exploring subjects such as death, erotic obsession, and irrationality. Through his friendships and artistic collaborations he is linked with the writer Yukio Mishima and 1960s avant-garde artists such as the dancer Tatsumi Hijikata.
** Yukio Mishima, the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka (1925-1970), was a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, and film director. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. He was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968 but the award went to his fellow countryman Yasunari Kawabata. His works include the novels "Confessions of a Mask" and "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion," and the autobiographical essay "Sun and Steel." His avant-garde work displayed a blending of modern and traditional aesthetics that broke cultural boundaries, with a focus on sexuality, death, and political change. Mishima was active as a nationalist and founded his own right-wing militia. He is remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku after a failed coup d'état attempt, known as the "Mishima Incident". The Mishima Prize was established in 1988 to honor his life and works.