Image: Kamaitachi #36
(Yonezawa, Yamagata, 1933 - )

Kamaitachi #36 , 1968 (printed 2006)

Selenium toned gelatin silver print
12 in. x 8 in. (30.48 cm x 20.32 cm)
Gift of the artist
Hosoe’s Kamaitachi series responds to his childhood memories of being evacuated from Tokyo during World War II. Also collected as a book, the series of photographs resulted from Hosoe’s collaboration with Tatsumi Hijikata, an originator of Japanese ankoku butoh dance, or “dance of darkness.” Hijikata performed the character of kamaitachi, a legendary weasel-like demon, in rural landscapes and villages outside of Tokyo, while Hosoe directed and documented the dancer’s movements. The photographer heavily retouched his negatives and prints in the darkroom, dramatizing the effects of light and shadow.
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