Thursday, June 21, 2007

Yukio Mishima & love of death

I just finished The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima by Henry Scott Stokes. Here's what I think about it:

Having read about Mishima previously, what piqued my interest was his supremely un-Japanese character. A romantic imperialist, extremely well-versed in the Western thought from the Greeks to Goethe, who dreamed of the perfect death and ultimately killed himself. All because of an obsession with death and outdated samurai ethics. As Stokes tells it, there's much more to the story.

Mishima was an intrepid writer, spilling volumes upon volumes over his short life. He had a magnetic personality. Stokes says that Mishima captured a room's attention with cocksure charisma and endless anecdotes. In private, he passed around cigars like a money-drenched tycoon.

Before his adult years as an inexhaustible novelist cum robust body builder, Mishima was a precocious student. A prodigious author as a teenager, Mishima in his twenties seemed to be on track to win the first Nobel prize for Japan. At around 40 years, in the mid-60s, he took a strange political turn to the right, devoting his efforts to training a private army and lobbying for the revision of Japan's pacifist constitution.

In 1970, he took over the army headquarters in Tokyo and attempted what turned out to be a horribly unsuccessful coup. What followed was his infamous suicide by hara-kiri–a samurai-style of suicide in which a small knife is thrust into the abdomen, twice. Sadly, this single event is for what he's most memorable.

As an influence for his radical change, he often alluded to the Shinpuren Incident of 1877. The event has been interpreted as a show of Japanese fanaticism and irrationality. Many Japanese see it as a shaming incident. As Mishisma wrote, "It was a revolt led by stubborn, conservative, and chauvinistic former samurai. They hated all things Western, and regarded the new Meiji Government with hostility as an example of the Westernization of Japan. They even held white fans over their heads when they had to pass beneath electric lines, saying that the magic of the West was soiling them."

Stokes' words on Mishima:
"He was an imperialist, of course, but he was also a great deal more than that–a cold, self-obsessed creature given to fist of passion, a novelist, a playwright, a sportsman. He was a man with many sides to his character, and his imperialism cannot be regarded as central; Emperor-worship was only one facet of Yukio Mashima."


Anonymous said...

I want an IPhone. How much does it cost to maintain it? Like say I want internet. How much would that cost? What plans would best suit me. I text a lot more than call and I want internet on it.
[url=]best forex software[/url] [url=]unlock iphone[/url]

Anonymous said...

Bonjour I'd love to thank you for such a great made forum!
Just thought this is a perfect way to introduce myself!

Johnie Maverick
if you're ever bored check out my site!
[url=]sesame street Party Supplies[/url].

Anonymous said...

Lose Laggin Downloads Using NZB Files You Can Instantly Search High Quality Movies, Console Games, MP3 Albums, Software and Download Them at Flying Rates

[URL=][B]Usenet Search[/B][/URL]

Anonymous said...

Hello. My wife and I bought our house about 6 months ago. It was a foreclosure and we were able to get a great deal on it. We also took advantage of the 8K tax credit so that definitely helped. We did an extensive remodeling job and now I want to refinance to cut the term to a 20 or 15 year loan. Does anyone know any good sites for mortgage information? Thanks!


Anonymous said...

You could easily be making money online in the undercover world of [URL=]blackhat hacking[/URL], You are far from alone if you have no clue about blackhat marketing. Blackhat marketing uses little-known or little-understood avenues to generate an income online.

Anonymous said...


I keep coming to this website[url=].[/url]Lots of good information here Let me tell you one thing guys, some time we really forget to pay attention towards our health. Here is a fact for you. Recent Research points that about 60% of all U.S. grownups are either fat or overweight[url=].[/url] Therefore if you're one of these individuals, you're not alone. Its true that we all can't be like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, and have sexy and perfect six pack abs. Now next question is how you can achive quick weight loss? You can easily lose with with little effort. If you improve some of your daily diet habbits then, its like piece of cake to quickly lose weight.

About me: I am author of [url=]Quick weight loss tips[/url]. I am also mentor who can help you lose weight quickly. If you do not want to go under difficult training program than you may also try [url=]Acai Berry[/url] or [url=]Colon Cleansing[/url] for fast weight loss.

Anonymous said...

top [url=]casino online[/url] coincide the latest [url=]free casino bonus[/url] free no deposit hand-out at the best [url=]casino games