Eikoh Hosoe

Eikoh Hosoe (1933-)


Eikoh Hosoe is one of Japan's most iconic post-war photographers and filmmakers, recognized for his impeccable aesthetics and his legendary collaborations. Born Toshihiro Hosoe in 1933, Hosoe was fascinated by the post-war reality in which he came of age, and changed his name to Eikoh in recognition of the new world he intended to capture with his camera. Hosoe studied at the Tokyo College of Photography and graduated in 1954 to become a freelancer, gaining early exposure in photography journals and womens’ magazines. Hosoe first garnered significant critical attention when he won the Fuji Film Award as a student.


Hosoe's most famous photographic series were created in collaboration, with Hosoe working with a succession of highly influential artists active in different media to deliver remarkable portraits. The series Barakei (Ordeal by Roses, 1962) was born out of Hosoe’s friendship with with the notorious writer Yukio Mishima, whilst in Kamaitachi (1969) Hosoe worked with iconoclastic butoh dancer Tatsumi Hijikata. During this period, Hosoe was a leading member of several avant-garde artist groups and cooperatives, including Demokrato, VIVO, and the Jazz Film Laboratory. Hosoe was appointed director of the Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts, and has been Vice President of the Japanese Photographers Association since 1981. He has taught at Tokyo's School of Photography since 1969, and at the College of Photography since 1975.


Hosoe received the Royal Photographic Society's 150th anniversary special medal, for a lifetime contribution to art. He has also been awarded the title of Japanese Person of Cultural Merit, and has received the "New photographer of the year" award from the Japanese Photo Critics association.