Ba-ra-kei: Ordeal by Roses is a rare glimpse into the life of the great modern Japanese writer, Yukio Mishima, who ended his life in 1970 by ritual suicide. Many in Japan regarded the suicide as a sensational act. However, the publication of Mishima's final cycle of novels, which had been conceived eight years prior to his death, revealed that his death was carefully considered--a gesture of historical import in perfect accord with the morbid and esoteric aesthetic that pervades his writing. In 1961 Mishima asked Eikoh Hosoe to photograph him, giving him full artistic direction in making these surreal and alluring photographs. The props that surround the writer and the baroque interior of his home are antithetical to the pure Japanese sensibility of understatement and reveal Mishima's dark, theatrical imagination.
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.