Hosoe Eikoh exhibition

Something special to announce today. The June exhibition at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan is no less than THREE sets of photos by world-renowned photographer Hosoe Eikoh. (It runs from 30 May to 27 June. Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert blogged on Saturday’s opening party over at Tokyoland.)

One important thing to mention is that the exhibition would not have happened without FCCJ member Henry Scott-Stokes, who wrote a wonderful biography of Mishima Yukio and introduced Hosoe-san to the club.

I’ve already met some fantastic photographers through organizing the FCCJ exhibitions, but Hosoe-san is one of the leading figures of post-war Japanese photography. I feel privileged to be involved, and thoroughly inspired.

The Ordeal by Roses prints were produced by Hosoe’s son Kenji, who is an expert in platinum printing. Hosoe told me that Mishima never blinked during the photoshoot.

Here is a short text I wrote for the exhibition.  Please check out the photos  if you can.

Ordeal by Roses (Barakei)

“Between 1961 and 1962 Eikoh Hosoe took a series of portraits of Yukio Mishima at the novelist’s Tokyo home. In the most famous the novelist clutches a rose in his teeth. The dramatic tone of this series perfectly captures the author’s menacing theatricality. Yukio Mishima eventually committed suicide by seppuku in 1970.”

(images ©Eikoh Hosoe)



“In Hosoe’s 1969 to 1970 series of black and white nudes, “Embrace”, the very light and dark of the photographic print becomes a metaphor for the joining of male and female bodies. With an unflinching attention to the raw physicality of human flesh, Hosoe presents a work of rare erotic force. The introduction to the work’s first appearance in book form was written by Yukio Mishima.”


A Women’s Half Life Seen in Kimono

“The photographer presents six photographs of a kimono-clad woman at different stages of her life. The photographs, from Hosoe’s 1963 book “Kimono”, have been newly printed on exquisite silk hanging scrolls.”


Incidentally . . .

Hosoe has another exhibition running this month at moriokashoten a small gallery in Nihombashi. The exhibition is called “la marionette de paris”. I only know what Hosoe-san told me on Saturday, but the photos are of a French woman who wrote him (and  many other world-famous photographers) letter after letter asking to be photographed.

On one trip to Paris, Hosoe looked her up, and took a series of photos which are exhibited for the first time this week. The postcard I have here shows her smiling as her dark-skinned boyfriend wraps his arms around her head and she cups her breasts in her hands.

(about exhibiting at the FCCJ)

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