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In Which We Were Safe with Yukio Mishima (2017) (thisrecording.wordpress.com)
33 points by lermontov 14 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 9 comments



It's a shame that the blog doesn't mention Mishima's most famous work, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (a fictionalized account of the real case of a deranged monk burning down Kyoto's most famous temple), or (IMHO) his magnum opus, the Sea of Fertility tetralogy, which he finished immediately before his death. Both showcase Mishima at his finest: intense, dense, obsessed with sex and death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Temple_of_the_Golden_Pavil...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sea_of_Fertility


Agreed. Many in the West were introduced to Mishima by Paul Schrader's film, which masterfully realizes that moment of epiphany inside the temple ;)

Soundtrack by Philip Glass

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9rB33JnvyM


I read Golden Pavilion earlier this year. What an incredibly powerful book. I scarcely can think of a novel that felt so psychologically realistic, that portrayed humiliation so clearly. Oe's "Personal Matter" and Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" deal with similar themes — the destruction that can be wrought by a sense of humiliation and alienation.

An excellent piece by the late Donald Keene shortly after Mishima's suicide. The two were good friends in spite of Keene being an American and Mishina being deeply skeptical of the changes America imposed on Japan after the war.

https://www.nytimes.com/1971/01/03/archives/mishima-mishima....


It's kind of odd to see profiles of Mishima without the word fascist. That doesn't discount his work, but he's a figure like D'Annunzio, a fascist sense of aesthetics that drove idiosyncratic politics, maybe more truly fascist than any 20th century butcher. It seems cute in retrospect since they were so unsuccessful (in politics.)

love his work but, yeah

well, idk about love, but enjoy

20th century Japanese literature is very interesting. Its authors are people who are living through, or have lived through a society growing from a fairly rational and proud Westernized and modernized society into an increasingly desperate, fanatical, and repressive one, before having their entire society and common values do an about turn and figuring out how to live in a new, contradictory world beyond their wildest expectations. Among their most celebrated are authors who think of themselves as very broken people.


Absolutely fantastic essay. Mishima’s death is one of legend, albeit sad and a great loss. His story Patriotism encapsulated true honor and tradition perfectly.



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