Tatsumi Hijikata & Eikoh Hosoe: Collaborations With Tatsumi Hijikata @ Nonaka-Hill In Los Angeles

As Japan urbanized in the economic boom period in the decades following WWII, Hosoe felt a growing sense of urgency to revisit the rural Tohoku region where he had been evacuated as a child to escape Tokyo air-raids.  The photographer enlisted dancer Tatsumi Hijikata, who is from the same Tohoku region, to enact the "sickle-toothed weasel", a vicious god of local folklore and a threat that terrorized the young displaced Hosoe, who also associates his time in that region with an innocent happiness within an otherwise dark period.  Hosoe said:

“In the village, he played with children, was laughed at by farmers along the roadside, shat in the middle of a field, attacked a bride, kidnapped a baby, and ran through the rural landscape. Almost all the shooting was done guerrilla style in a flash. This was something that could only be achieved through photography. No other medium — film, television, painting, or novel — could have been used in its place. At that moment, I was certain of the superiority of photography.” - Eikoh Hosoe, “Foreword” in Kamaitachi 1. Eikoh Hosoe: Collaborations With Tatsumi Hijikata is on view through November 30 at Nonaka-Hill 720 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles