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Losgebroken paarden (The Sea of Fertility #2)

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  2,352 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The chronicle of a conspiracy and a novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war--an era marked by depression, social change and political violence.
Paperback, 398 pages
Published 1987 by Meulenhoff (first published 1969)
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Chris Blocker
Runaway Horses, the second book in Mishima's The Sea of Fertility series, is a completely different book than the first. While Spring Snow is a poetic, tender love story, Runaway Horses is a political manifesto. Given what I know of reincarnation, the idea that one tries to correct the mistakes of their past life, this is a proper step in the path of the character known as Kiyoaki in the first novel. Kiyoaki was confused and unsure; he had very polar opinions of each person in his life—everyone ...more
If Spring Snow, the first book in this series, was the embodiment of Love and Passion in literature, Runaway Horses seems to be the embodiment of something else entirely, but maybe, markedly, it's actually the same thing. If it is, the preoccupation has shifted from a more direct romantic love, filled with all of its tragic consequences, to a more abstract love - a passion for idealism, and the youthful rebellion inherent in such a radical idealism as our protagonist, Isao Iinuma, displays.

I don
Eugene Miya
Yukio Mishima is a sensitive topic for those Japanese and Japanese descendents. I was only an older adolescent when he took over the Japanese Self-Defense Force facilities. Paul Schrader's film brought back some of those memories for me as an adult. So I'd embark on the Sea tetralogy. For me Runaway Horses is the best of the four volumes, but I suspect that's a cultural thing. This is lost to most English speakers. What is it with us?

When a cousin whom I'd not seen in decades came "out of the cl
The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima

“The most complete vision we have of Japan in the twentieth century.”
-Paul Theroux

On the morning of November 25th 1970, the three-time Nobel nominee and 45 year old Yukio Mishima (the pen name of Hiraoka Kimitake) finished The Decay of the Angel, the final book in his seminal Sea of Fertility tetralogy. It was published into the world much akin to John Kennedy Tool's A Confederacy of Dunces: as renowned for its literary merit, as it was for the strange cir
Second book of Mishima's Sea of Fertility tetralogy. Centered on the themes of westernization and loss of traditional society in 1930s Japan, and the resulting dissent amongst right wing, traditionalist factions. Also, disturbingly focussed on the manliness and honor of seppaku, the ritual act of suicide. Very much a foreshadowing of Mishima's own suicide in 1970, almost a script of the future event.

Although the main character, Isao, is a reincarnation of the the protagonist in Spring Snow, Kiy
Wael Mahmoud
رباعية ميشيما كيان واحد لابد من قراءته بالكامل لكي يكون الحكم دقيق ومنصف, فالجياد الهاربة ليست رواية منفصلة بل جزء من عمل أكبر. ولذلك فمراجعني التالية تتعامل مع الرواية التي بين أيدينا كجزء من كل وليس كعمل منفصل.

لماذا كانت ثلج الربيع تحفة فنية في حين أن الجياد الهاربة عمل جيد وفقط؟

أرى أن ذلك يرجع لثلاثة أمور. الأول: كيواكي بطل ثلج الربيع شخصية مركبة وجذابة لا تتكرر كثيراً في عالم الأدب في حين أن إيساو شخصية سطحية - رغم رومانتيكيتها - نجدها ليس فقط في أعمال أدبية متواضعة ولكن في حياتنا اليومية وب
Chris Watson
A fascinating story: describing a world full of delusions and cruelty, characters isolated from one another, trapped by their own thoughts and fantasies. Seduced by violence and fantasies of purity, Isao enters a cult-like conspiracy with a group of young men disgusted with the impurity of Japan and the world.

Not a lengthy book, but it manages to explore many themes with great insight - the nature of the Japanese mind; Japanese society; how these manifested themselves in the rise of militarism;
Michael Battaglia
Fanaticism can become its own kind of tragedy, transforming those we know into strangers before conspiring to take them away entirely. When the reality of it becomes personal its easy to feel the ache. It's a lot harder to cause that ache in perfect strangers, giving them a front row seat to someone's inevitable immolation. Now imagine trying to do that with the gap of a temporal and cultural context. That's what Mishima manages to accomplish here and on some levels its amazing.

Set in the years
Mohamed Karaly
نسيج مزدحم شديد الزخم والثراء ومتعقد الصراعات. مثلا: الصراع بين النقاء المتطرف للشاب (إيساو) العشرينى وبين روح(هوندا) الأربعينى المحلق فوق التاريخ العقائدى والسياسى لليابان .. وهو صراع يشبه إلى حد ما الصراع بين الروح العرمة للديانات اليابانية المترعة بالحب والولاء المتطرف للإمبراطور.. وبين روح البوذيةالباهتةالمحلقة فوق التاريخ.. تجسد هذا الصراع بشكل واضح فى جلسات محاكمة إيساو حيث ترافع عنه هوندا.. وحاول هاوندا بشكل ما أن يربكه ويلوث نقاءه .. وذلك لأنه بحدس مجنون اعتقد أن روح صديق قديم له مات وهم ...more
Carrie Zhaoying
Mishima is absolute a psycho who writes really well. In the book, he is defending manliness through justifying what Japan did in Asia during the World War II because it was a manly action to him. He is also purporting the manly elegance of the samurai spirit, which is at the core of Japanese nationalism. At the same time, he urges Japanese to be more manly: embracing samarui, glorifying samurai suicide, not apologizing Japanese’s actions in World War II and rebellion against Western incursion in ...more
En la segunda parte de su Tetralogía, Mishima utiliza como narrador a Honda, quién a sus 38 años es un juez respetado en Okinawa, este personaje es el que le da equilibrio y fluidez a la historia. En esta segunda parte, el protagonista es Isao Linuma, hijo del antiguo tutor de Kiyoaki, el protagonista de la primera historia. Isao es un joven que a los 20 años es un experto en el arte del kendo y un joven con un futuro brillante, viniendo de un origen humilde, Linuma, el padre de Isao a logra hac ...more
Feeling positive about the re-read. I think I'm going to love it as much as I loved the scenes from "Mishima A Life in Four Chapters":


Kochi-ken in Chapter 3!:
"The man was a poverty-stricken farmer from Kochi Prefecture in Shikoku. He had sold his daughter to an Osaka brothel, and then, having received less than half of what he had been promised, he had gone to see the madam. Enraged by her insults, he had begun to beat her and had become so carried a
Fascinating to compare and contrast against Spring Snow.

Crazy love is reincarnated as crazy ultranationalism: aren't they the same, anyway? What does it mean to save someone's life? What is devotion and trust? How do you make/keep yourself pure? How do you deal with your illusions coming crashing down? What about when the World tries to assert itself against your stubborn beliefs? These are all Big Problems!

For some sections I felt like I was staring at the world through the eyes of a terrorist
Sarah Magdalene
Runaway Horses
Fire Angel
The War of the Lillies
A perfectly constructed parable.
There is such a poetic inevitability about how it all unfolds.
While at the same time never ceasing to surprise me.

The contrast of the pure idealism and raw energy of youth, to whom everything is black and white, with the muddy and compromised realities of the older characters is masterly. Mishima can place himself inside every conceivable view point, including that of our young hero so bent on a glorious death.

At the f
Not quite as powerful and moving as Spring Snow (as I remember it), Runaway Horses still had me captivated through its duration. In a sense, its the darkest coming-of-age story there is, the protagonist being intent on the glory of slaying himself by seppuku, after reading of the old exploits of the League of the Divine Wind. This character trait is thrown into an entirely different light with the story of the author, who committed ritual suicide himself after finishing the Sea of Fertility seri ...more
И в тази втора част на четирилогията Мишима продължава в същия красив и поетичен стил, да ни води из богатството на японските традиции и дух. Този път действието се развива през 30-те години на ХХ век и проследява последните може би две години от живота на един млад мъж, готов да се пожертва в името на идеята, която е обсебила мислите и цялото му същество. Голямо удоволствие е да четеш този автор - красиви разсъждения, сравнения, поезия и ерудиция струят от всяка страница. Всъщност си давам смет ...more
Runaway Horses is, more than anything else, a novel of action more than a novel of floaty ideas-- philosophical, spiritual, whatever-- of the sort that seem to define Mishima's other novels. knowing what I know about the values that Mishima himself held, it's hard not to read the book and the character of Isao as an avatar of the author's own ideals, in terms of aesthetics, politics, poetics, and homoerotic youthful masculinity. While it's not my favorite Mishima-- it lacks the sense of cataclys ...more
Jeremy Neal
A wonderful sequel to the peerless masterpiece that is Spring Snow. It's not of the same calibre (how can it be?) but it is nonetheless a beautiful and precious journey that has enriched me no end.

Mishima's gift is his astonshing clarity and acuity. He expresses concepts with a piercing minimalism, and it seems a reflection of his own worldview, so intertwined are these philosophical apprehensions of timeless beauty with the passing of events within the story. The sharpness of Mishima's mind is
This is obviously a much more politically charged work than Spring Snow, and it's easy to read Isao, with his militant devotion and love of the most suicidal aspects of the Japanese Samurai tradition, as just a semi-autobiographical, younger version of Mishima. But this novel really functions as a searing portrait of the Japan of the 1930's. Of a country trying to simultaneously modernize itself amidst famine, starvation, corrupt officials and an ever growing militarism while still clinging, wit ...more
Ismael Galvan
Runaway Horses is a monumental classic written by an established modern master. In these instances I feel it's a waste to write a review. And since I don't like going into long winded reflections on here, let me just say this: Runaway Horses is the plateau on which the modern world, the divine, and the past are joined together, and then, meet annihilation.

The greatest work I've read from Mishima to date.
While I felt like Spring Snow was very much about the aesthetics and Mishima’s beautiful writing, I found Runaway Horses much more engaging at character level. Whether this was because, already familiar with some of the faces, it was exciting to find out what they’ve been up to and how their characters have developed since I last encountered them in Spring Snow or whether the writing was much more somber in comparison to the first book of the tetralogy in keeping in tone with the differing chara ...more
My dean gave me this book as a prize of winning writing competition. This book is about the Japanese people and the Samurai who was under the power of the shoguns..

A good story but a bit unreadable, so you have to often use your knowledge and logic
Beautiful, but sad story of a young man who decides to sacrifice his life in order to glorify the Japanese emperor. Set in the early 1930's, this second book in a tetralogy describes the rise of Japanese nationalism during a time of suffering of the farmers and common people. The young hero Isao blames Western capitalism for influencing Japanese businessmen who exploit the poor. He also blames Buddhism as a kind of nihilism which takes Japanese people away from their traditional Shinto values wh ...more
It was interesting reading this book in a time when the headlines are full of stories about idealistic young men trying to purify the world by joining a group dedicated to the beheading of apostates. Because that's really what I thought about throughout this - Mishima is describing a kind of terrorist cell in training. He describes the terrorist cell with a great deal of sympathy, while dealing with the difficulty of compromise in a corrupt world. But still, the main character is basically a ter ...more
Una increíble contextualización de la trasnformación de Japón.
I cannot yet say which book I enjoyed more, or even if I enjoyed either at all, since I still have mixed feelings about the 'soul' living through these reincarnations. In the first book Kyoaki is shallow and self centered, thinking of how events and actions (his own included) affect and reflect upon him. He was childish and lacked depth and a moral compass despite his all consuming love. In the second book, Isao is so engrossed by living and mostly dying purely and having a purpose that all othe ...more
Samuel Mustri
The four-part Sea of Fertility is one of the most ambitious literary projects ever undertaken. It has always been regarded as Mishima’s masterpiece. Runaway Horses is a thematic continuation of Spring Snow, but still a much different book. His thematic transition between the 1912 and the 1932 periods is flawless.
It contains a fifty-page long imagined political tract praising the leaders of a 19th-century rebellion, which inspires the protagonist. It reminded me the The Windup Bird Chronicle by
Bill Johnston
Why is this my favorite Mishima novel? It espouses views on society that I completely disagree with. Perhaps I see Mishima more clearly through it than through his other novels, or perhaps I see more clearly the PR image of himself that Mishima wanted to project to the world.

Runaway Horses is about fanatical youths before world war two who wanted to root out the anti-imperial forces in Japanese society, by assassination. They are caught while still planning their actions, and are exonerated by p
As in Spring Snow, at the core this is an intimate study of pure passion, this time not love but that inspired by an ideal.

The novel develops three main narrative strands: how Honda's (the friend of Kiyoaki Matsugae, the main male protagonist of Spring Snow) rational and perhaps cynical view of the world wobbles when startled by an unexpected and shattering event, meeting what may be Kiyoaki's reincarnation; the state of Japan's society and political landscape in the 30s; and the personal story
Yukio Mishima's Runaway Horses is not a perfect novel. Its pacing is uneven, frequently stilted, and here still is the implacable sentimentality which many reviewers tend to judge as the key weakness in Mishima's œuvre (I disagree on this point).

It is, though, an immense work, the kind which sends chills through your trunk upon completion.

The remarkable element here is the careful transition from the past work in the tetralogy, Spring Snow. The connections are sometimes obvious; the reader will
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Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫) is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka (平岡 公威) who was a Japanese author, poet and playwright, famous for both his highly notable post-war writings and the circumstances of his ritual suicide by seppuku.

Mishima wrote 40 novels, 18 plays, 20 books of short stories, and at least 20 books of essays, one libretto, as well as one film. A large portion of this oeuvre comprises books
More about Yukio Mishima...

Other Books in the Series

The Sea of Fertility (4 books)
  • Spring Snow
  • The Temple of Dawn
  • The Decay of the Angel
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea Spring Snow Confessions of a Mask The Temple of the Golden Pavilion The Sound of Waves

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“Perfect purity is possible if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.” 113 likes
“The instant that the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up and exploded behind his eyelids.” 25 likes
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