Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima” as Want to Read:
The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  308 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima This biography begins with the spectacularly tragic last day of the militant Japanese novelist, Yukio Mishima, in 1970 (best known for his masterpiece, "The Sea of Fertility"). The book unravels why he kidnapped a leading military figure, tried to incite rebellion, and committed suicide.
Novelist, playwright, film actor, martial artist, a
Paperback, 318 pages
Published August 8th 2000 by Cooper Square Publishers (first published 1974)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 686)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 17, 2011 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-orange-band
He is a little bit annoying about knowing Mishima. Lots of "I was the only foreigner invited to x", "I was the only journalist who met him at y" and he includes a photograph of himself with Mishima. But I forgive him because his account of the Shield Society’s training manoeuvres is very interesting, and he includes some more information on Morita Masakatsu. He spends more time on the theory that Mishima saw Morita as Omi (from "Confessions of a Mask"), they had a sexual relationship, and the en ...more
Ana Syromenos
Mar 25, 2015 Ana Syromenos rated it liked it
There are two main biographies of our Lord and Saviour Mishima Yukio that English-speaking academia relies on: Professor John Nathan's "Mishima" and Henry-Scott Stokes's "The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima". While recently a biography that I feel is the most comprehensive of all has been released in the United States (Persona by Naoki Inose) it has yet to be appreciated for its true worth.

Nathan's biography focuses on the life of Mishima as an academic professor /would/ see it, with figures and
Dec 22, 2007 Tosh rated it it was amazing
Is there any writer more 'out' there than Yukio Mishima? It is not just his spectacular and very public suicide - which by the way he wrote in detail about as well as doing a film version of his death, before hand of course - but also his public identity as a writer. Probably one of my favorite writers and as a teenager I couldn't get enough of him. A role model of sorts!

This is a very good biography by a friend of his, and also there is another bio in English by another friend as well..... Hmm
Feb 05, 2016 Jasmine rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody interested in Mishima
I have only read two books by Mishima so far - The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, hailed by many as his greatest work, and Forbidden Colors. Perhaps I should have read The Sea of Fertility tetralogy before reading this biography, since much of its plot is divulged. But one does not read Mishima for the plot alone, the prose is beautiful even in translation, and in any case I think I know (and maybe understand) Mishima the man slightly better now.
Since this is the first account of Mishima's life
Jun 24, 2014 Deodand rated it really liked it
Mishima seems to be disappearing from our collective memory - this book is out of print, as are other biographies. His philosophy seems incredibly antiquated, a megalomaniacal flare from the 19th century. I cannot even begin to think about what he would be doing today, had he not died. Maybe he was born in the wrong era and would have taken to the 21st century like a duck to water. It's unfortunate that he couldn't hang on.

He is a fascinating character to me. He represents the dark side of the J
Aug 04, 2014 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One might admire his writing and samurai spirit, but this was one crazy sumbitch!
Heather De armas
Feb 10, 2013 Heather De armas rated it it was ok
Snooze. Too bad, great topic
Feb 25, 2009 Guy rated it liked it
De eerste keer dat ik hoorde over Japanse schrijver Mishima (1925-1970), was toen Mishima (1985) van Paul Schrader (o.m. ook scenarist van Taxi Driver) ergens in de eerste helft van de jaren negentig op VTM getoond werd. Meteen was ik in de ban van een van de meest markante literaire figuren van de vorige eeuw. Mishima’s leven en werk is larger-than-life en intrigerend om talloze redenen. Hij wordt tot de grootste Japanse auteurs van de 20e eeuw gerekend (naast Junichiro Tanizaki, Yasunari Kawab ...more
Patrick McCoy
Sep 25, 2011 Patrick McCoy rated it really liked it
The Life And Death Of Yukio Mishima by Henry Scott Stokes is a good companion to John Nathan's biography, which focuses more on Mishima's early life. Stokes spends a lot of time on Mishima's politics and last years. Furthermore, there is more analysis on Mishima's work and how it reflected his life and views. In Paul Schrader's commentary for his film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, he mentions Stokes accuses them of using his book for the film at a press conference. Schrader publicly states t ...more
Aug 13, 2007 Christopher rated it really liked it
Henry Scott Stokes’ The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima is one of the few biographies in English of the Japanese novelist, whose 1970 death by seppuku after a failed coup d'etat is just as much a part of his legacy as his works.

Scott Stokes understands how Mishima's death overshadows all else, and he begins the work with a very detailed description of Mishima's failed coup and suicide, before going back to his birth and beginning his life stories. His book is based on few interviews; Scott Stoke
Aug 23, 2015 Louis rated it it was amazing
Nearly lost a star for all the talk about Japanese demokurashii and riidashippu. It's like the author wanted to make sure we knew he was a stuttering gaijin who had just learnt to read katakana, and was having a grand old time drinking kohi and biiru, and struggling to eat Japanese food, and being improperly dressed for the occasion, just like twenty-something years of JETs to follow him.

But didn't Mishima love the gaijin? I am developing a theory that he befriended so many gaijin in order to ma
Oct 01, 2015 Adam rated it it was amazing
Fair, in depth and balanced portrait of a very tricky subject.
Jun 08, 2015 Peveril rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, japan
Just about as much as I wanted to know, and the personal direct contact added to the picture of Mishima.
Jan 30, 2015 alison rated it liked it
[five stars for the photos]
Kieran Mcmahon
Mar 19, 2014 Kieran Mcmahon rated it liked it
An astonishing man.
Jul 16, 2012 Fernando rated it it was amazing
"O 25 de novembro de 1970 Mishima se apresentou em um acampamento militar de Ichigaya com a intenção de mudar o destino de um país que, segundo ele, havia caído em um profundo letargo. Ali, Mishima e seus colaboradores tentaram sublevar os soldados para que se alçassem e instaurasem um sistema imperial no Japão. Os soldados riram de sua proposta e não deram nenhuma importância a ele. Esta foi a última de suas excentricidades antes de praticar o seppuku, o suicídio ritual dos samurais."
George Ilsley
Dec 07, 2015 George Ilsley rated it really liked it
The third Mishima biography I've read in recent weeks. It's all starting to blur. Stokes apparently had a fit at a press conference for the movie "Mishima" because he believed the movie was based on his book because it followed the four rivers structure. However, Mishima himself set up that structure with the four river exhibition of his life at a department store shortly before his death.

Mishima continues to be an enigma, and this biography is part of the enigma industry.
All those short stories and novels that the author quotes and talks about, all of them untranslated, what a pity.

"Among these were wads of cotton wool. Morita asked Mishima what they would be used for; the latter smiled and said that the two must pack their anuses with cotton wool, so that they should not evacuate their bowels when committing hara-kiri."
May 05, 2011 Caroline rated it liked it
Of the two standard biographies of Mishima, this is the one written by someone who met and interviewed him.

I've no interest whatsoever in either Mishima or his works, but I met both Scott-Stokes and his first wife, so I thought I'd give the book a try. It proved useful as a reference work for a course I offered in the Modern Japanese Novel.
Jul 09, 2007 Robin rated it liked it
I've only read one Mishima novel - Temple of the Golden Pavilion - but I suspect it's much more interesting to read about him than to read him. Really, a nationalistic, aristocratic, closeted, Japanese novelist/playwright...that’s entertaining.
George de Armas
Feb 10, 2013 George de Armas rated it liked it
Examination into the life of Japan's post war critically acclaimed writer. Mishima a conflicted yet brilliant writer, longs for a romantic almost feudal Japan which brings him into conflict with the modern world.
Dec 29, 2013 Sheila rated it it was amazing
This book is not strictly a biography, it is more of a treatise on why Mishima did what he did, in the author's opinion. It is very well written and thought provoking.
Macartney marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2016
Sebastian marked it as to-read
Feb 11, 2016
Sam Findlay
Sam Findlay is currently reading it
Feb 09, 2016
Cc marked it as to-read
Feb 07, 2016
Nigar M-va
Nigar M-va marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
Lucas Diniz
Lucas Diniz marked it as to-read
Jan 30, 2016
Tracy marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Lydia marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mishima: A Biography
  • Sun and Steel
  • Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan
  • Leaders
  • Marcel Proust
  • Mishima: A Vision of the Void
  • The Landmark History of the American People, 2 Volumes
  • Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost
  • Tangled Hair: Selected Tanka from Midaregami
  • Eyewitness to History
  • Wild Ivy: The Spiritual Autobiography of Zen Master Hakuin
  • The Inland Sea
  • Modern Japanese Literature: From 1868 to the Present Day
  • In The Shade Of Spring Leaves: The Life Of Higuchi Ichiyo, With Nine Of Her Best Stories

Share This Book