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 an immortal vessel. A lieutenant in the Japanese army comes home to his wife and informs her that his closest friends have become mutineers....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
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
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
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
Also, and I know it's odd to post this question here, but I came across this line in the Wikipedia entry on Mishima:
"In 1962, Mishima's most avant-garde work, Utsukushii Hoshi (Beautiful Star), which at times comes close to science fiction, was pu...more
The warrior virtues of the male, and the obedience and submission of the female are framed in a very erotic way.
Sacrifice of doomed righteous/pure ones is glorified in the superficial garb of imperial Japanese militarism. Through this, the reader respects courage.
The writing is generally orderly and calm, but but the moment of the first death breaks this up and it becomes rap...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 story of Shinji and Reiko is, I believe, the story Mishima wanted to write the most. It embodies all the concepts and values the author discussed in 'Sun and Steel', with the added benefit that in this case, the tragic death of two beautiful individuals (young and morally superior, in the narrator's...more
He writes with sweeping power in a style so subtle, yet so...more
a little history on the great mishima..
"On November 25, 1970, Mishima and four members of the Tatenokai, under pretext, visited the commandant of the Ichigaya Camp - the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan's Self-Defense Forces. Inside, they barricaded the office and tied the commandant to his chair. With a prepared manifesto and banner listing their demands, Mishima stepped onto the balcony to address the soldiers gathered below. His speech was intended to inspire...more
i don't need to give some wide-eyed slack-jawed revelation of the fact that *gasp* he actuall...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
Patriotism is a concise, graphic depiction of the ritual double-suicide of a young Lieutenant and his wife during the famous 2-2-6 incident. It has been said that this book depicts Mishima's ideology and was the prototype for his later self-immolation.
Strange that such powerful writing is contained is such a short book.
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