By now, Yukio Mishima’s (1925-1970) dramatic demise through an act of seppuku after an inflammatory public speech has become the stuff of literary legend. With Patriotism, Mishima was able to give his heartwrenching patriotic idealism ...more
Mishima addressing the troops before withdrawing to commit seppuku.
On the twenty-eighth of February, 1936 (on the third day, that is, of the February 26 Incident), Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama of the Konoe Transport Battalion—profoundly disturbed by the knowledge that his closest colleagues had been with the mutineers from the beginning, and indignant at the imminent prospect of Imperial troops attacking Imperial troops- took his officer’s sword and ceremonially disemboweled himself in the eig ...more
First things first—the book, the physical book, has some problems: what appears, to me, as occasionally awkward translation and very unfortunate copy-editing. I wanted to get that off my chest each of those problems bugged me right from the beginning. I soldiered on, but the experience of reading was tainted. ‘Nuff said.
It’s almost impossible to say much about Patriotism without spoilers. If you’ve read the title description you know what those are and shouldn’t be surprised by anything that fol...more
The primary senses of 憂 are (the state or action of) worrying and being concerned, while secondary senses include (the state or action of) suffering, being ill, sad, reluctant, melancholy and cold. 国 is the kanji for country or nation. 憂国 as a word combines these into the state of being concerned about, and having your thoughts with the (present and future) state of one's country.
While P ...more
In Patriotism(1960), Mishima uses the love-death theme executing the ancient ritual suicide, viscerally playing it out through a recently married couple. Lieutenant Takeyama returns home following the failed coup d'état of 1936, the Ni NI Roku Incident. Rather than follow orders to execute the rebels- his friends, the young a ...more
Yukio Mishima was one of 20th century Japanese literature's most important and influential writers. My first experience of his writing came with the brilliant novel, 'The ...more
He writes with sweeping power in a style so subtle, yet so ...more
How is your writing to survive our world increasingly devoid of the notion of honor? Does your soul seethe, or does it merely regret your doings? How are we to give any value to this double suicide? It is better that we don't talk about you.
Who says that he has to kill his friends? He's not even sure if he's going to be ordered to kill them, or if he's going to be leading the unit. So why is he going to kill himself? It surely can't be out of patriotism--or at least our definition of patriotism: "love of one's ...more
He's the badass who makes Hemmingway look like just another guy with a drinking problem.
He's the stunning, muscular guy who works out three times a day, a regimen that was not disrupted for the final 15 years of his life and appeared as a photo model in Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan and Otoko: Photo Studies of the Young Japanese Male by Tamotsu Yatō; dressed in a loincloth and armed with a sword, posing in the snow.
He's also a movie actor. ...more
This short story is definitely very praiseworthy for succinctly describing Yukio Mishima's ultranationalist worldview through very well-written scenes. His worldview happens to be slightly terrifying, but, having already learned about his life life and death, his writing exactly fulfilled my expectations. Written in 1960, it makes the manner of his death ten years later very unsurprising. No spoilers!
"They had both sensed at that moment t...more
Don't buy this book. Buy Death in Midsummer and Other Stories where this short story is only one of several masterful stories.
It is my first of Mishima. In fact I wanted to try out this before venturing into his other works. And now I am just stupefied. A novella that contains one of the powerful beginnings. The novella begins with a first chapter of just two pages in which the reader is already told of the tragedy. And then he narrates the events. The tragedy is always on every page and at the end when it really happens it is unbearable and you chok ...more
i watched that gus van sant film, finding forrester, recently and saw a book by yukio mishima on one of the character's bookshelves. i had no idea who he was or what he was about. flash forward a few days, and i see this novella on a spinner at left bank. after picking it up and reading it in half an hour, i must repeat myself: whoa.
prepare yourself to be both repulsed and amazed. one of those reads, for me, where i was quite offended by undertones of misogyny an ...more
Mishima Yukio's (Hiraoka Kimitake) views quite often overshadow his work. In patriotism one outside of the Japanese culture might struggle to feel the connection between patriotism and what shall unfold during the pages of this novella. The beautifully elegant depiction of what Mishima would call one's moral duty is utterly captivating. Though most assuredly this is an idealised depiction of suicide, one cannot help but be captivated by it, as the reality of Mishima's own death ...more
I usually separate the author form what he or she wrote, but with Wol ...more
An attempt at a rating:
I absolutely do not understand or identify ...more
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
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- Death in Midsummer and Other Stories”
Wherever the lieutenant's eyes moved his lips faithfully followed. The high, swelling breasts, surmounted by nipples like the buds of a wild cherry, hardened as the lieutenant's lips closed about them. The arms flowed smoothly downward from each side of the breast, tapering toward the wrists, yet losing nothing of their roundness or symmetry…The natural hollow curving between the bosom and the stomach carried in its lines a suggestion not only of softness but of resilient strength, and while it gave forewarning to the rich curves spreading outward from here to the hips it had, in itself, an appearance only of restraint and proper discipline. The whiteness and richness of the stomach and hips was like milk brimming in a great bowl, and the sharply shadowed dip of the navel could have been the fresh impress of a raindrop, fallen there that very moment. Where the shadows gathered more thickly, hair clustered, gentle and sensitive, and as the agitation mounted in the now no longer passive body there hung over this region a scent like the smoldering of fragrant blossoms, growing steadily more pervasive…
Passionately they held their faces close, rubbing cheek against cheek…Their breasts, moist with sweat, were tightly joined, and every inch of the young and beautiful bodies had become so much one with the other that it seemed impossible there should ever again be a separation…From the heights they plunged into the abyss, and from the abyss they took wing and soared once more to dizzying heights…As one cycle ended, almost immediately a new wave of passion would be generated, and together -with no trace of fatigue- they would climb again in a single breathless movement to the very summit.”