Kamaitachi : photographs Eikoh Hosoe, performance Tatsumi Hijikata

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Aperture, 2009 - Photography - 112 pages
An undisputed masterwork among Japanese photobooks, Eikoh Hosoe and Tatsumi Hijikata's "Kamaitachi" was originally released in 1969 as a limited edition of 1,000 copies. Hosoe, the renowned photographer, and Hijikata, the founder of ankoku butoh dance, had visited a farming village in northern Japan, where Hijikata improvised a performance inspired by the legend of a weasel-like demon named Kamaitachi. As Hosoe photographed Hijikata's spontaneous interactions with the landscape and with the people they encountered, the two artists together enacted an intense investigation of tradition and an exploration, both personal and symbolic, of contemporary convulsions in Japanese society. In 2005, Aperture published a limited-edition facsimile in homage to the original, in close consultation with the artist; now, they have made this enchanting body of work available in its first ever affordable trade edition, which was painstakingly reworked by renowned graphic artist Ikko Tanaka--the designer of the original volume--shortly before his death. His reinterpretation of this classic book object, which is truly a paragon of Japanese bookmaking, includes as a special bonus four never-before-published images from the classic Kamaitachi series.
Eikoh Hosoe was born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, in 1933. He is an integral part of the history of modern Japanese photography, and remains a driving force not only for his own work, but also for his efforts as a teacher and ambassador, fostering artistic exchange between Japan and the outside world. Hosoe lives in Tokyo and is represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York.

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Contents

Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Eikoh Hosoe was born in the Yamagata Prefecture of Japan in 1933. Today he remains one of Japan's most important artists, not only for his own work but also as a teacher and as an ambassador fostering artistic exchange between Japan and the outside world. He is the founder and director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts and professor of photography at the Tokyo Institute of Polytechnics. Hosoe lives in Tokyo and is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York.

Donald Keene was born in Brooklyn, New York on June 18, 1922. He received a bachelor's degree in 1942, a master's degree in 1947, and a doctoral degree in 1951 from Columbia University. During World War II, he served as an intelligence officer in the Navy and worked translating for Japanese prisoners. He taught at Columbia University for 56 years and was named the Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature in 1986 and University Professor Emeritus. Keene is considered to be a "Japanologist". He has written, translated, or edited numerous books in both Japanese and English on Japanese literature and culture including The Pleasures of Japanese Literature, Essays in Idleness, So Lovely a Country Will Never Perish: Wartime Diaries of Japanese Writers, Three Plays of Kobo Abe, Twenty Plays of the No Theater, and The Breaking Jewel. His awards include the Kikuchi Kan Prize of the Society for the Advancement of Japanese Culture, the Japan Foundation Prize and the Tokyo Metropolitan Prize. Soon after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, Keene retired and moved to Japan with the intention of living out the remainder of his life there. He acquired Japanese citizenship, and adopted a Japanese legal name. This required him to relinquish his American citizenship, as Japan does not permit dual citizenship.

Shuzo Takiguchi was a poet and art critic, credited for having introduced Surrealism to Japan at the end of the 1920s.

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