10 April 2008
Barakei -- Killed by Roses. Tokyo: Shuei-sha, 1963.
Folio (422 x 270 mm). 43 black and white photographs, 4 color illustrations on rice paper, 2 gatefolds. Original illustrated cloth (some minor rubbing); acetate dustjacket (a few chips along ends of spine panel and at corners); original printed cardboard slipcase (some rubbing); black cloth folding case. Provenance: Yukio Mishima (presentation inscription to:) -- Walter Harding, scholar of American literature (provenance letter laid-in).
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY MISHIMA TO WALTER HARDING "with the model's best wishes. Yukio Mishima." An excellent copy of one of the most striking and best designed Japanese photobooks. Barakei consists of "a series of extraordinary theatrical tableaux -- Japanese surrealism meets Italian mannerism... it has its imitators, but most of them are pale shadows of the original" (The Photobook). With a letter, dated 1968, recording the transmission of this copy to Harding via Mishima's wife and an associate of Harding's ("second hand copies, which are very scarce, are being sold at a fabulous price. I'm sure you'll be proud of having Mishima's autograph copy. I am glad that he showed this much of friendship to you"). Number 36 of 1500 copies signed by Hosoe and Mishima. 101 Books, pp.164-5; The Open Book, pp.194-5; The Photobook, vol. I, pp. 280-1.
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