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Yasuhiro YOSHIOKA "Garden of Sodom" 1971 Photobook

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Yasuhiro YOSHIOKA, photographer. "Sodomu no rakuen" - "The Garden of Sodom" or "Sodom's Paradise". Japan: Haga Shoten, 1971, First Edition, PB, dj, 26 cm x 18 cm, 178 pp, 114 b/w & color images.

Reference: Bertolotti, Books of Nudes, p. 172-3.

"In The Garden of Sodom, Yoshioka pushes the process of demolishing the concept of harmony to the extreme. Here nude women are shown tied up, assaulted, entangled in tortuous and confused embraces with men and other women of all ages. These women display a varying - but always indecipherable - range of emotions; none appears, not surprisingly, in a morally positive light. The feeling one has when leafing through the book is of seeing Japanese society presented as a new Sodom. The photographer seems to have taken some pleasure in being an artist disapproved of by the establishment. As the film director Oshima said, in the eyes of society, making art had become a criminal act." --Bertolotti.

The late 1960's and early 1970's were a fertile time for Yoshioka's artistry, publishing this book and another famous book from the same year, "Jyuai" (also cited in Bertolotti). In addition to his important photography contributions, Yoshioka was the cinematographer for a number of films, including at least seven films betwenn 1967 and 1972 directed by the controversial Nagisa Oshima. A couple of them can be found in the Criterion release "Oshima's Outlaw '60's" - "Japanese Summer - Double Suicide" and "Sinner in Paradise." Yoshioka's first photo book, Yoshioka Yasuhiro Sakuhinshu," from 1963, came from a time in which he was the still photographer for two of Hiroshi Teshigahara's cinematic masterpieces, "Face of Another" and "Woman in the Dunes." This first photo book is one of the select 40 cited in Kaneko & Vartanian's "Japanese Photo Books of the '60s & '70s". So, though Yoshioka produced only three original photo books, his batting average, so to speak, is a thousand - it couldn't have hurt that he was spending all of his time with geniuses of cinema.

Condition: Very Good, with obi - probably as close to excellent as one will find for this fragile publication - the best copy I have seen.

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