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Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Japanese
About the Author
Eikoh Hosoe was born in Japan in 1933. His books Man and Woman and Embrace radically changed the possibilities of nude photography. Hosoe is currently professor at the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics.
Ba-ra-kei is the fierce and lyrical testament of the legendary Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, who shocked the world when he committed ritual suicide in 1970. The year marked Japan's new economic confidence, and Mishima accused the country of being "drunk with prosperity." Many in Japan regarded the suicide as a sensational act. However, with the publication of Mishima's final cycle of novels-conceived eight years prior to his death-it was revealed that his suicide was a carefully considered act, a gesture of historical implication in accord with the morbid and esoteric aesthetic that pervades his writing.
Mishima's elaborate and erotic psyche was captured nine years before his death by master photographer Eikoh Hosoe. This collaboration resulted in surreal photographs of Mishima taken in the baroque interior of his home. The props that surround the writer are the antithesis of the Japanese sensibility of understatement, alluding to Mishima's dark, theatrical imagination. The images in Ba-ra-kei grant us entry into the private world of an extraordinary subject.