[Tokyo]: Shueisha (集英社), 1971. New edition. Hardcover. Large oblong folio. 15x21". Unpaginated. All content housed inside the publisher's original cardboard shipping box, with printed label pasted on the front, and including the brown packing paper. Binding protected in original a white cloth portfolio, with red lettering on the front cover, and lavishly decorated interior flaps. Black suede-covered boards with mutli-colored illustration mounted on the front cover. Decorative endpapers. Engraved stainless-steel plate showing Mishima's face, mounted on black paper, preceding the title page.
The deluxe and lavishly printed new bilingual edition of the acclaimed and eroticly-charged work (also know as "Killed by Roses") by Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe (b.1933). It gained notoriety and elicited controversy when it was originally released in 1963, and won the Japan Photo Critics Association's writer award. The main photographic subject of the book, the acclaimed and controversial writer Yukio Mishima (1925-1970), wrote the preface to the original edition and also writes the preface for this new edition (both are included here). Mishima's acclaimed works include the famous and controversial novels "Confessions of a Mask" (1949) and "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion" (1956). Hosoe's striking high-contrast b/w photographs are all printed in high-quality photogravure, retaining all the power and atmosphere of his original images. In comparison with the first version of the work, this edition features the content having been noticeably re-edited, with one image added, a few others removed. The images have been thematically re-organized into five new chapters with the names "Sea & Eyes", "Eyes & Sins", "Sins & Dreams", "Dreams & Death" and "Death", respectively. Influential artist and graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo (b. 1936) oversaw all of the design and layout aspects of the book and also created its additional illustrated elements, most of which comprise the first chapter of this new edition.
While Hosoe was still completing work to prepare this new edition of "Ordeal by Roses", the notorious "Mishima Incident" occurred (November 25th, 1970), which culminated in the ritual suicide of Yukio Mishima by seppuku. The incident shocked the nation, and in its wake the photographer was quite unsure of how to proceed regarding the publication of the book. Not wanting to seem like an opportunist taking advantage of the controversy and the publicity surround Mishima's death, he contemplated shelving the project, but was later persuaded by Mishima's widow, Yoko, who said that her husband would have wanted it to be released. It was finally release only a few months later, on January 30th, 1971.
Text in Japanese and English throughout.
Portfolio with foxing to the white cloth, including the front cover and the interior (but the illustrations on the flaps are still clean). Suede binding clean and protected in modern mylar. Light foxing to the edges of the book block. Interior with all pages and images clean and vibrant, save for a few sporadic instances of the most minor stains or smudges on the blank versos a few pages. The verso of the final photographic plate and the page opposite have a bit more foxing. Portfolio in very good-, binding and interior in very good+ to near fine condition overall. vg- to near fine. Item #50199
Alternate title: 細江英公写真作品.