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The Temple of Dawn (The Sea of Fertility #3)

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3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  2,203 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of Dawn is the third novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Here, Shigekuni Honda continues his pursuit of the successive reincarnations of Kiyoaki Matsugae, his childhood friend.

Travelling in Thailand in the early 1940s, Shigekuni Honda, now a brilliant lawyer, is granted an audience with a young Thai princess—an encounter tha
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 14th 1990 by Vintage (first published 1970)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Matthew
Apr 08, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing
I was slightly scared going into this one. Not only was I aware that the translator had changed, but I also heard that it was really boring, with Honda just being indolent, visiting shrines, and rambling existentially the entire time. While it's true that Honda, as a character, may not be the most exciting person in the world, and that I struggled through his touring of India (and the majority of part 1 in general) I can't stress enough how this book picked up the thematic power of the series an ...more
Paola
The third novel in the Sea of Fertility tetralogy, unlike the other two I think this one really needs the reader to have gone through Spring Snow and Runaway Horses first to be able to follow what is going on properly - and not just the action, as the first third of the book is centred on Honda's quest for a coherent theory of reincarnation, something without internal contradictions that would square with his logical way of thinking.

Yet for this first third I could not stop wondering whether th
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وائل المنعم
تنقسم الرواية إلى قسمين. الأول ممل للغاية، لا تخرج منه إلا بمواجهة هوندا لينج تشان (الطفلة) - التجلي الثالث لروح كيواكي - ورحلته للهند، وهما العنصران المهمان لفهم القسم الثاني.
القسم الثاني من الرواية ممتاز وإن كان بعيداً تماماً عن روح الرباعية ومحورية فكرة التناسخ. يمكن إعتبار القسم الثاني بمثابة روحية جنسية عبثية، فجميع الشخصيات غير متزنة جنسياً وهو أمر يدهشك تماماً ما عدا حالة إيمانيشي. بل إن ماكيكو رغم وجود ظواهر للغرائبية في حبها نحو إيساو - بطل الجياد الهارية - إلا أن شذوذها غير مفهوم. اما
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Michael Battaglia
It's hard enough losing one's friends, now imagine constantly losing the same one and finding him or her again, except that you're much older, they're the same age as when you last saw them and they don't even recognize you. And you're going to lose them again, despite your best efforts. And chances are, it won't even matter. This is the stuff of high emotional tragedy, fraught with urgency and a sense of desperation.

Yet, it's not even the real story of what Mishima is trying to tell here.

Anyone
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David
May 22, 2009 David rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2009
This seems the weakest of the Sea of Fertility books so far, but it may be that when viewed within the context of the entire work it will make more sense. Where the first two books could stand alone, this one seems rather dependent on the rest of the tetralogy.

It's also a less engaging read, both because it describes various characters' lazy descent into increasing decadence and because it contains an (unjustifiably?) extended description of various types of Hindu and Buddhist thought. Mishima's
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Alison
Jan 31, 2013 Alison rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: far-east
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Watson
Jan 24, 2010 Chris Watson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is less well-structured than the first two, but has some extremely beautiful passages; and in places is dark and disturbing.
You can feel Mishima beginning to come to pieces even as his art reaches a climax.
The long sequences about Buddhism, Hinduism, Benares, the Goddess Kali - extraordinary; factual and yet surreal.
The sequences in WWII, amongst the ruins, are also unlike anything I've read.
As it moves into the postwar period, the writing returns to a restrained, naarative style; but the c
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Alex
Aug 13, 2007 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The gaze is inverted: this one's about Honda.

In the first part, before the war, Honda is a Japanese tourist floating through Siam and India. The war comes and Honda spends the entirety of it studying reincarnation. Tadeshina (from vol. 1) eats a raw egg.

In the second part, after the war, Honda is a voyeur, and watches everyone else have sex. 57 years old, he convinces himself he is in love with the Thai princess, and he transforms into a Humbert. For a few chapters, we, the readers, even live in
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Sarah Magdalene
Sep 05, 2010 Sarah Magdalene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am obsessively working my way through Mishimas' entire bibliography. Just finished The Temple of the Dawn, because it was the first of the Sea of Tranquillity books I managed to find. Starting a tetraology at book number three is not ideal, but I am still totally enchanted by his great final masterpiece. What a fantastic premise for a series of novels. There's something unforgettable about the way he writes, or is it his whole personality shining through his writing?... Whatever it is his word ...more
Deniz Balcı
Feb 28, 2016 Deniz Balcı rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japon-edebiyatı
Serinin ilk iki kitabını öyle bir iştahla ve keyifle okudum ki, bu kitaptan beklentim çok büyüktü. En azından, bu romanın; okuyucusuna sunduklarından daha farklıydı. Şunu söylemek isterim ki, aslında bu kitaba puanlamam dörttür. Ancak Mishima'nın bazı bölümlerdeki efsane anlatımları elimin dörde gitmesini engelledi.

Serinin ilk iki kitabı birbirinin üzerine çok fazla gitmeden ancak ayrıntılarda birbirini tinsel olarak tamamlayan kitaplardı. Kendi başlarına bütünlükleri olan, fazla dağılmayan anca
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diana
Feb 03, 2016 diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, novela, l-japonesa

En el otro bolsillo, mi mano tropezó con el paquete de cigarrillos. Me puse a fumar. Me sentía con el espíritu de un hombre que, terminada su labor, echa un pitillo.
Quería vivir.


Lectura muy ardua, sobre todo la primera parte. ¿Cuántas páginas que parecen sacadas de un ensayo sobre las diferentes escuelas budistas del sudeste asiático y la India? ¿50, 100? Se me hicieron infintinas, por culpa de ellas interrumpí la lectura durante muchos días (y por culpa de ellas volví). Mishima tiene un motivo
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Christopher
Jan 26, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Temple of Dawn, the third book of Yukio Mishima's "Sea of Fertility" tetralogy, we find Shikeguni Honda on business in Thailand. Six years after the death of Isao Iinuma, the former judge is now a successful lawyer, but his interest in practising law is shaken when he meets Ying Chan, a Thai princess who is the second reincarnation of Kiyoaki Matsugae. The Temple of Dawn differs greatly from the first two books of the tetralogy. While Spring Snow and Runaway Horses focus mainly on their t ...more
Ardà Rbo
La primera parte de la novela resulta poco interesante: Mishima cuenta el viaje a Tailandia del abogado cuarentón Honda para conocer a Ying Chan, una princesa de 7 años y la supuesta reencarnación de un viejo amigo del protagonista. Aquí se suceden capítulos cortos que podrían pasar por entradas de la Wikipedia sobre la reencarnación, su distinta concepción en oriente y occidente, el budismo y el hinduismo, etc.

Yo diría que estos capítulos más didácticos se pueden leer diagonalmente sin el meno
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Antonio Papadourakis
Μεγάλο μέρος του βιβλίου, αναφέρεται στους προβληματισμούς του Μισίμα για τη μετενσάρκωση, κάτι που είναι ξένο στα πιστεύω μου. Παρ'όλα αυτά το κείμενο είναι πολύ καλό.
Σταχυολογώ:
'Ο λόγος που οι νέοι μιλούσαν τόσο πολύ για το μέλλον ήταν επειδή, απλούστατα, δεν τους ανήκε ακόμα.', 'Στην πραγματικότητα, εκτός από τις φυσικές καταστροφές, τα ιστορικά γεγονότα συνέβαιναν, όσο αναπάντεχα κι αν φαίνονταν, μόνο μετά από μιά μακροχρόνια επώαση.',
'Γιατί να απαρνιέται η ανθρώπινη καρδιά τη γαλήνη της αδ
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Parrish Lantern
Oct 02, 2010 Parrish Lantern rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third book in the "Sea of fertility" tetralogy by Yukio Mishima, although I found that out after I grabbed the book of the library shelf & ran to check it out, before anyone else got their grubby little mitts on it. The novel is in two parts & in part one, the book's main character "Honda" is in Bangkok working as legal counsel for a drugs company. Through him we learn a fair bit about Bangkok, for example "Bang" means town & "Kok" means olives, named because it has many ...more
Andrew
I haven't read the two preceding novels in the Sea of Fertility tetralogy, so I can't really comment on a lot of the background. But it's a strong enough novel to stand on its own merits.

I suppose whether or not you like it depends on whether or not you like Mishima's whole approach-- subordinating characters to symbols, featuring a lonely, damaged protagonist, with long, morose passages of philosophical and aesthetic speculation and an occasional bout of sexual perversion. I am very OK with the
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Anna
Apr 03, 2008 Anna rated it it was ok
The third in a series of four, this book follows Shigetoshi Honda in middle age, first as he meets a Thai princess whom he believes is Kiyoaki/Isao’s reincarnation and later as he becomes obsessed with her. The earlier parts of the book were rather dull, more like a textbook describing various aspects of Buddhist beliefs about reincarnation than a novel. But then I almost wished the book had stayed dry, because reading about Honda’s unhappy middle age and unhealthy fascination and voyeurism was ...more
Amerynth
So very disappointed in "The Temple of Dawn," the third book in Yukio Mishima's "The Sea of Fertility tetralogy. I loved the first two books in the series, but this book really has little to recommend it.

Kiyoaki is back again, reincarnated this time as Thai princess, circling back to the start. This part of the story was semi-interesting but represents little of the book. The first half is a whole lot of description of scenery, followed by a lengthy lecture on the historical roots of reincarnati
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Shadazz
Feb 06, 2011 Shadazz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011, japon
La primera parte del templo del Alba es mitad ensayo sobre las varias y diferentes escuelas del budismo, y mitad ficción bastante interesante sobre la transmigración. Honda un hombre muy racional intenta explicarse alguno hechos que ocurrieron en su juventud.

En la segunda parte, que ocurre en el japón, los sentidos tienen mayor importancia, los placeres estéticos.

Primer libro que leo de Mishima, creo que habrá más de él en mi estantería.
Meann
Jun 13, 2012 Meann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
I must honestly admit I skipped chunks of the Buddhist-themed narratives somewhere in the first half of the book, although I still managed to figure out what it means for the rest of the story.

This wasn't as depressing as the first two books, but it's equally as tragic.

*thinks more*
Wendy
Jun 24, 2009 Wendy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Goodreads readers/reviewers for confirming my feelings about this book. So very good/problematic/disturbing/fascinating. Question for you all: how does the theme of voyeurism tie in with the decadence of post-war Japan?

Psychedelic writing....
Seddiqah Almahdi
كالموت كالنهاية .. مقتضبة باردة هادئة ومدهشة
Hayat
Sep 11, 2016 Hayat rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
البحر الخصب..3...
Chris Tempel
they lied, this book is about a midlife crisis. it was "ok".
Nidhi Jakhar
The third part of Mishima's Sea of Fertility, this book is more philosophical in tone; with Honda pondering over Hinduism and Buddhism; as he travels to India and Thailand. Yet the book has some brilliant moments. There was the post-war Japan; coming to terms with new realities and there was Mount Fuji; turning with the cycle of time and seasons. While the first two parts - Spring Snow and Runaway Horse could be treated as stand-alone books; this feels more like a link as we hurtle towards the e ...more
Sagar
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 circ
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Hakan
Dec 18, 2016 Hakan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
bereket denizi dörtlemesinin üçüncü romanı şafak tapınağı 1940'tan 1967'ye uzun bir zaman dilimini kapsıyor. japonya'da ikinci dünya savaşının toplumdaki geleneksel-batıcı kutuplaşmasının üstünü kendi karanlık örtüsüyle örttüğünü ve örtü çekildiğinde geriye kalan enkazı görüyoruz. ama mişima ilginç biçimde romanın merkezine almıyor bunu. arka planda, detaylarda, satır aralarında işleniyor büyük yıkım. romana baştan sona umutsuzluk ve umutsuzluktan kaynaklanan kayıtsızlık hakim.

tutkulu, inançlı,
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Zeren
Oct 29, 2016 Zeren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
İlk 70 sayfa serinin en iyi kitabını okuyor olduğumu düşünmüştüm. Sonrasıysa tam tersi. Bu 70 sayfadaki hikayenin, felsefenin, inançların bir filozof tadındaki değerlendirimesi şerefine, puanım 2 değil, 3'tür. En büyük eleştirim, ilk iki kitapta 20.yy'ın başından itibaren Japonya'nın geçirdiği dönüşümler hikayeyle birlikte verilirken, bu romanda 2. Dünya Savaşı ve atom bombası gibi bir felaketi atlatmış Japonya üzerine tek kelime olmamasıdır. Ve ilk kitabın ilk satırından beri hikayesini takip e ...more
Natalie Petchnikow
Troisième volume de la tétralogie "La mer de la fertilité", Le temple de l'aube est la suite chronologique de Neige de printemps et Chevaux échappés. A l'évocation du Japon ancestral dans le premier roman, puis, dans le deuxième, des agitations politico-militaires de l'entre-deux-guerres, succède ici la peinture de la société nouvelle qu'engendre la défaite, suivie de l'occupation américaine.

Le lecteur retrouve les personnages familiers de cette saga japonaise dont le fil conducteur reste le so
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Edward
Jul 23, 2016 Edward rated it really liked it
The journey of Honda and Kiyoaki's reincarnations continues. Unlike in previous books, his reincarnation this time is a woman, the Princess Chantrapa. She is Thai, not Japanese, another noticeable departure from the first two books.

Another difference: none of the narrative is told from the reincarnation's perspective. Ying Chan never speaks in her own words; she is only observed or spoken to by other characters. This seems to accord with Mishima's ambivalent attitude toward women and femininity
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  • Some Prefer Nettles
  • The Gate
  • The Master of Go
  • Masks
  • Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness: Four Short Novels
  • The Setting Sun
  • The Paper Door and Other Stories
  • Secret Rendezvous
  • The Wild Geese
  • The Cape and Other Stories from the Japanese Ghetto
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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
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More about Yukio Mishima...

Other Books in the Series

The Sea of Fertility (4 books)
  • Spring Snow
  • Runaway Horses
  • The Decay of the Angel

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“السقوط في الحب امتياز خاص يُمنح لشخص يسمح له مظهره الخارجي، وفتنته الحسية، وجهله الداخلي، وافتقاره للتنظيم، وغياب إدراكه، بتشكيل نوع من الصورة الخيالية عن الآخرين.” 77 likes
“Life strove mightily to exile orthodoxy, hospitalize heresy, and trap humanity into stupidity. It was an accumulation of used bandages soiled with layers of blood and pus. Life was the daily changing of the bandages of the heart that made the incurably sick, young and old alike, cry out in pain.” 3 likes
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