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Kinky erotic portraits of Yukio Mishima

In 1961, a young photographer named Eikoh Hosoe was asked by writer Yukio Mishima to take his portrait picture. It was a humbling yet surprising commission. Mishima was then Japan’s greatest living novelist—the author tipped to one day win the Nobel Prize. Hosoe was relatively unknown. The commission made Hosoe deeply curious as to why the great Mishima had chosen him.

When they met in the small garden at Mishima’s house, the author anticipated Hosoe’s question:

“I loved your photographs of Tatsumi Hijikata. I want you to photograph me like that, so I asked my editor to call you.”

“Mr. Mishima, do you mean I can photograph you in my own way?” I asked.

“Yes, I am your subject matter. Photograph me however you please, Mr. Hosoe,” he replied.

All my questions and anxiety faded.

The photographs Mishima so greatly admired were the ones Hosoe had taken of the dancer Tatsumi Hijikata. 

Hijikata was an originator of Butoh—an apocalytpic dance form developed in Japan after the Second World War in opposition to western influence. Mishima had similarly broken away from the prevailing western influence that had altered Japan after the war and during the 1950s. Mishima wanted a return of the Emperor and the ancient samurai traditions.

Mishima had been a puny kid. As he matured he changed his body through rigorous exercise and weight-lifting to become toned and highly athletic. His books often deal with the theme of the split between intellectual ambitions and the man of action.

His first novel Confessions of a Mask examined the “reluctant masquerade” between the perceived and actual life. Mishima was bisexual. He was married with two children but had an intense and active gay life. He was a sadomasochist, who believed in the living of a life through force of will. A life that he claimed adhered to the strict codes of the samurai. His books were fixed in this tradition—though his subject matter was preoccupied with sex and death. This led many critics in the west to misunderstand Mishima. One of my collegues here label him as a cross between “Proust and Jeffrey Dahmer.”

That fine day in September 1961, Hosoe quickly realized Mishima did not want a banal author portrait:

In offering himself as the “subject matter” of my photographs, I thought he might have wanted to become a dancer himself. I was still in my twenties then, so I was naïve. I did not make the distinction between an international literary figure and a dancer.

Mishima’s father happened to be watering the garden, so I grabbed his hose, and I wrapped Mishima’s entire body in the hose and kept him standing in the center of the zodiac, where he was planning to erect a statue of Apollo.

I asked him to look up and concentrate on my camera, which I was holding from a ladder above. I shouted, “Keep looking at my lens very intensely, Mr. Mishima! Okay, that’s great, keep going . . .” He never blinked while I shot two rolls of 35mm film. “I am proud of my ability to keep my eyes open for minutes,” said Mishima.

“I have never been photographed like this,” he said. “Why did you do it in this way?”

“This is the destruction of a myth,” I replied.

“You should wrap the hose around Haruo Sato,” he laughed. Haruo Sato was considered to be a literary giant at that time. But what I really meant was that I wanted to destroy the preconceived ideas about Mishima’s image in order to create a new Mishima.

After the shoot, Hosoe thought he may have gone too far. Two days later, Mishima phoned him to say he loved the photographs and wanted to collaborate with Hosoe on some more.

Over a period of six months Hosoe worked with Mishima on a series photographs which he hoped would capture the writer’s soul. These were eventually published as a book—with text by Mishima—called Ba-ra-kei or Ordeal by Roses.

In November 1970, Mishima together with four members of his secret army attempted a military coup. They broke into the eastern headquarters of Japan’s Self-Defense Forces taking the commanding officer prisoner. Mishima demanded 800 soldiers gather outside the offices to hear a speech and a list of demands he had written. Mishima hoped this speech would inspire the troops to rebel against the corruption of western influence and join his rebellion. Mishima wanted an end of democracy and a return of the Emperor. His rebellion was a literal union of the artist and man of action changing history.

The troops laughed and jeered as the author spoke. The coup failed. Mishima returned inside where he committed seppuku (self-disembowelment) before one of his soldiers attempted to decapitate him. After several blows failed to remove his head, another of his soldiers eventually managed to decapitate Mishima.

Mishima’s biographer John Nathan suggested this military coup was only a pretext for Mishima’s ritual suicide—something he had long dreamed about. In his short story “Patriotism” Mishima described an idealized seppuku where the central character pulls a blade across his abdomen cutting himself open:

The vomiting made the fierce pain fiercer still, and the stomach, which had thus far remained firm and compact, now abruptly heaved, opening wide its wound, and the entrails burst through, as if the wound too were vomiting. . . . The entrails gave an impression of robust health and almost disagreeable vitality as they slipped smoothly out and spilled over into the crotch. . . . A raw smell filled the room.

Hosoe’s photographs of Mishima taken in 1961 and 1962 capture the author’s terrible beauty, eroticism and conflicted sadomasochistic nature.
More of Hosoe’s photographs of Mishima, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bizarre wax Amish children for sale on Craigslist
02:31 pm


wax statues

Someone in the charmingly named town of Bird in Hand, Pennsylvania, is overburdened with wax figures of Amish children and is using an ad on Philadelphia Craiglist to unload them. Here’s the ad:

I have 28 wax figures. I’m asking $300 EACH. There are 4 mechanical. I’m selling 1 figure with a desk for $300. There out of the weavertown one room school house in bird in hand pa. They were made by dwarfmans in 1969. They were appraised at $450 to $800 each. Would love to sell as a set . If your interested in all please contact me. Please NO low balling. I had several offers that I turned down! I have no problem with offers if you buy the 28 as a set (no low balling) and no scams. I take cash on pick up . I can also take credit card but prefer cash.

As Gizmodo’s Katharine Trendacosta figured out, the Weavertown One Room School House is “an authentic one-room school” dating from 1877 in which “life-sized animation brings this interactive classroom to life.” Until May 1969 it was a school for Amish and Mennonite children, but then it became a museum.

One might wonder, what’s up with the museum if all the wax figurines are for sale on Craigslist? A note on the Ultimate Cinema Guide website (??) states that “we are still working on getting the wax figures moving again very soon,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if that note were on the old side. So perhaps they abandoned plans to fix them?

The reasons why and wherefore are secondary. What matters here is that if you can scrape together 8,400 simoleons, you can populate your very own fake Amish classroom—and we won’t even pry all too much as to why you would want to do that…..


Many, many more wax Amish kids, after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Um, wow. Mattress company airs totally tacky 9/11 ‘Twin Tower Sale’ commercial
11:05 am



File this one under: “WHAT the fuck were they thinking?” I mean seriously, what the fuck were they thinking?  A Texas mattress company called Miracle Mattress aired this mind boggling commercial for their “Twin Tower sale” which happens on 9/11.

The company issued a statement saying, “We are very sorry we have offended you.”

Mike Bonanno, who owns Miracle Mattress, said in a separate statement that he would hold his employees “accountable” for the “serious lapse of decency.” “I say this unequivocally, with sincere regret: The video is tasteless and an affront to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11.”

I’m not going to say much, but let this commercial speak for itself. I have no words. You won’t either. No one has words for this!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Steer clear: A collection of sketchy looking vans
10:54 am


sketchy vans

We’ve probably all by now seen the “Free Candy” van and the “Rape Van” memes circulating on the Internet. For some reason the vans are always white (why?) with poorly spraypainted logos or creepy-ass wording on the them. They’re obviously vehicles you wanna steer clear of if you value life, limb or wish to avoid being in an amateur porn video.

Somehow (don’t ask) I got lost today Googling “sketchy vans.” Let me tell you, there are a lot of freakin’ sketchy vans out there. Perhaps too many. Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order of yuck.




More vans after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Nightmare fuel: Creepy animatronic characters from beyond the ‘uncanny valley’ of the dolls
10:07 am



Not that most folks ever go out looking for nightmare fuel, but just in case you happen to be in the market for some, might I recommend the website of Characters Unlimited, Inc.?

Nevada-based Characters Unlimited, Inc. specializes in creating life-sized animatronic characters. These automatons have voice-activated jaws which will move to pre-recorded messages or respond to audio input from a wireless microphone.

In aesthetics the “uncanny valley” is the notion that replicas appearing almost-but-not-quite human create feelings of uneasiness in the observer.

Now, we’ve all seen these sorts of coin-operated dummies in fortune-telling booths and marksman games and novelty pizzerias, but these particular specimens are extra-special. It’s not really any kind of uncanny-valley-ness that makes them so horrifying. In fact, no one would mistake these grotesqueries for being anything close to human, and it would be difficult to pick any single one as the most frightening. They’re ALL pretty creepy.

The site claims that prices on these things start at $495, which is a small price to pay for something that could potentially make SO MANY children cry.

Check these guys out. My favorite is “Man With Black Face: Man Dressed as African-American.”

More nightmare fuel after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
There are cupcakes you can squeeze that look like giant pimples
10:18 am



Okay, sure, so this is probably just totally gross and unnecessary, but hey, in my defense, my job here at Dangerous Minds is—often, not always, but often—to expose you, our dear readers, to the bowels of Internet hell. And this, unfortunately, includes posting about cupcakes that look like giant cystic pimples that you can actually squeeze! Blessed By Baking, in California came up with this idea because of the Internets’ obsession with pimple-popping videos on YouTube by Dr. Pimple Popper. Apparently people are strangely satisfied by watching videos of pimples and blackheads being extracted.

So naturally the next step with this obsession is to make squeezable pimple cupcakes, right? Ew.

According to Blessed By Baking, the cupcakes taste awesome. The yellow pus-like substance is actually custard or lemon curd. To be honest, I wouldn’t touch this shit. No way!

via Daily Mail

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Brian Eno, Phil Collins, Viv Stanshall & more in prog-rock version of ‘Peter and the Wolf’

Prokofiev’s orchestral composition/children’s story Peter and the Wolf is familiar to everyone who had to take music appreciation as a schoolkid: briefly, a young boy named Peter and his animal friends are spending a day by his grandfather’s pond when a wolf attacks. Peter, with his ingenuity and some help from a bird, captures the wolf, beating a group of hunters to the prize, and the story ends with a parade as the wolf is carted off to a zoo. Every character has a distinct musical theme played on a different instrument, and Peter’s theme alone is surely one of the the most recognizable pieces of classical music from the 20th Century.

If you’re feeling like a quick-and-dirty head trip, by all means visit Peter and the Wolf’s Wikipedia page and hit ‘play’ on all the themes at once.

Another highly worthy Prokofiev head trip was released in 1975—an art rock Peter and the Wolf featuring a laundry list of British pysch, blues, and prog luminaries. The narrator was the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s Viv Stanshall, in a remarkably subdued performance. The various themes were performed by Manfred Mann, Chris Spedding, and Stephane Grappelli, among others. Already pretty cool right there, but the wolf was memorably performed by Brian Eno, and the hunters were played by a quartet of prog drummers—Jon Hiseman, Cozy Powell, Bill Bruford and Phil Collins.
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
You love the Shaggs and Wesley Willis, but have you met Norma Lee?
09:10 am


Outsider music
Norma Lee

Oh, the wonders of the Internet. Somehow this one is only now hitting my radar, but boy-oh-boy is it good. Kentucky’s Norma Lee ticks off every check box on my list of what makes an outsider artist truly great: creative use of the form, provocative content, and a complete and utter lack of self-awareness. Like the Shaggs or Wesley Willis before her, Norma Lee is trying her darndest, seemingly oblivious to her own lack of talent in a traditional sense—but all the while being incredibly entertaining.

I adore her Kentucky hills accent. She sounds a bit like a brain-damaged Loretta Lynn when she sings in “He’s Swapping His Boat” about her husband being “retard from a factory.” “He’s Swapping His Boat” is Norma’s big hit. It’s essentially about giving up on every bit of joy in one’s life—specifically her poor husband who had to sell his boat to buy a tractor to clear six acres of land. If you only hear one Norma Lee song in your life, IT MUST BE THIS ONE.

He’s a middle-aged man who needs a hand to help him work his land… he’s just a swappin’ all that fun on that boat, ‘cause he done sowed his oats… now it’s time to get down to earth and put his hands to work.

Forget emo or goth. You want monotone music extolling the bleak reality of absolute depression? Here it is.

Your dreams are dead, get to work:

After the jump, hear how Norma Lee feels about Paris Hilton, and more!

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Brutal death metal version of John Cage’s avant garde classical work 4′33’’
09:05 am


John Cage
death metal

Here at Dangerous Minds, we’ve hipped you to the death metal version of “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, as well as the death metal version of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins, but this right here may be the ultimate “death metal version” of all time.

Depending on who’s doing the talking, John Cage’s 4’33” is either a brilliant minimalist classical masterpiece which challenges the very definition of music, or the greatest musical in-joke of all time, or a pretentious load of horse-shit devised to make you feel dumb because you “just don’t get it.” It’s probably, to varying degrees, some vivid combination of the three.

The band Dead Territory have created their own wickedly unique take on Cage’s vision, and quite frankly it’s one of my favorite performances of this groundbreaking piece of music.

To those of our readers unfamiliar with the piece, I’d rather not spoil it by explaining it before you take in this BRUTAL death metal rendition of the work. The wikipedia page devoted to the controversial 4’33” has plenty of information on the piece, its background, and critical reception.

Without further ado, the absolutely sickest rendition of 4’33” to date. Top this, Internet…



Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The theme music from Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’... PLAYED WITH KNIVES

I recently had a conversation with film composer Harry Manfredini, the guy behind Friday the 13th‘s infamous “tch tch tch…” about the primary influences on modern horror soundtracking and we agreed on the works of Kryzstof Penderecki and Bernard Herrmann being basically ground-zero for fright music for the last 40 years or so of cinematic terror. One specific Herrmann work has informed horror scoring more than any other single piece of music anyone could possibly name: his iconic theme music for Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho.

A novel rendition of Herrmann’s Psycho theme was recently brought to my attention, and, as covers go, is quite masterful in its own right. Joachim Horsley is a composer and orchestrator for television and film and has a few albums under his belt. His 2014 album Joachim Horsley Was Dead the Whole Time contains this particular version of the Psycho theme as played on a piano… with knives.

Horsley is able to coax some odd tonalities out of the piano strings both with the knife blades and by striking the strings with the knife handle, while muting with his palm. These sounds mimic the orchestration of Herrmann’s original score.

Obviously, there’s both symbolism and novelty going on here with the use of kitchen knives, Norman Bates’ personal weapon of choice, but the end result is quite beautiful. Horsley takes some liberties towards the end of the piece and it gets a bit jazzy (maybe even slightly Latin jazzy?) in its climax. It’s cool though. He owns it.

This KILLER cover version, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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