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Confessions of a Mask

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  9,019 Ratings  ·  534 Reviews
Confessions of a Mask is the story of an adolescent who must learn to live with the painful fact that he is unlike other young men. Mishima's protagonist discovers that he is becoming a homosexual in polite, post-war Japan. To survive, he must live behind a mask of propriety.

Christopher Isherwood comments—"One might say, 'Here is a Japanese Gide,'....But no, Mishima is him
Paperback, 255 pages
Published 2000 by Kodansha Europe (first published 1949)
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Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, translation, 20-ce
Second reading. A portrait of the artist as a solipsistic young queen. The model is clearly Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, with a bit of André Gide thrown in too. I'm afraid the narrator has also read far too much Freud. It's a wonder then he didn't know something more about the concept of projection. For the early memories "recounted" here, those of a child three or four years old, are clearly imbued with the erotic sensibility of an experienced adult. This aspect of the novel ...more
Sep 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: にほん, kimitake

“What we call evil is the instability inherent in all mankind which drives man outside and beyond himself toward an unfathomable something, exactly as though nature had bequeathed to our souls an ineradicable portion of instability from her store of ancient chaos.”- Stephan Zweig.

The air grew heavier as the blood soared; the sensuality insect crawled with an unprecedented ardor blinding the intoxication that arose from a monstrous swell. The naked flesh bled to the wraith of arrows and while tra
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A book can be a doorway into another human heart - that is the power of reading. The price of entry however is sometimes high - what we find can be so disturbing that we question if we really want to go there, even for a visit.

Confessions of a Mask takes us to some dark places.

We all have masks, of course. Living without any form of protection would be living with an open skin. But our masks are usually light, easily taken off or exchanged as need be.

This mask is made of stone.

The title see
Confession , as a word, has a strong connotation – prelude to its utterance is a hesitation, and that hesitation alone, is sufficient to engulf the confession-maker with an odour that reeks of both delay and guilt.

But Mishima’s protagonist can take the liberty, because he is behind a mask. His frail body that fails him in school, denigrating his boyish flavour to a handful of jokes, holds up its masculine remnants at nights, because he is behind a mask. His impressionable juvenile mind that ref
Saint Sebastian, Guido Reni

"The black and slightly oblique trunk of the tree of execution was seen against a Titian-like background of gloomy forest and evening sky, sombre and distant. A remarkably handsome youth was bound naked to the trunk of the tree. His crossed hands were raised high, and the thongs binding his wrists were tied to the tree. No other bonds were visible, and the only covering for the youth’s nakedness was a coarse white cloth knotted loosely about his loins.


The arrows
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-lit, mishima

Confessions of a Mask (1949) rocketed Yukio Mishima to the literary prominence he so desperately sought as a struggling modern writer. The novel explores the obsessions of a young man suffering inwardly with erotic fantasies of men, beauty and violence. He strains to conform to a heterosexual life while secretly idolizing depictions of St. Sebastian, martyred, with his hands bound and his naked torso pierced by arrows, or becoming aroused by the sight of the muscular nightsoil man walking throug
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Rowena by: Aki
What a great book! Mishima did a great job of depicting the story of a Japanese adolescent in Japanese society realizing that he is gay and thus having to wear a mask to hide his true self. There is so much mental confusion going through the protagonist's head, a great psychological account not only of teen angst but also of realizing you're different in a society that doesn't understand you. I've read quite a bit on Yukio Mishima and he seems to have been an interesting,intelligent and complex ...more
بثينة العيسى
.. لم يخطر ببالي بأن ميشيما يمكن أن يكون مثلياً.

أقول ذلك لأنني كنتُ قد قرأت الرواية الثالثة من رباعية بحر الخصب " معبد الفجر " قبل أن أقرأ " اعترافات قناع"، سيرته التي امتدت منذ فترة الحرب وحتى العشرينات من عمره، والتي تتمسرح أثناء فترة الحرب العالمية الثانية التي خاضتها اليابان.

وفي معبد الفجر، كانت الطريقة التي عالج فيها جسد المرأة، مفعمة بالحسية لدرجة أن المرء لا يمكن أن يخطر له بأن هذا الكاتب .. مثليّ، وهذه نقطة لصالح ميشيما الروائي، القادر أبدا على الانسلاخ عن حقيقته والتخلق داخل أبطاله.

Mar 29, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sweet and tender hooligans
Recommended to Mariel by: oh you pretty things
The publisher's page quotes a passage from Dostoevski's The Brothers Karamazov:
"Beauty is a terrible and awful thing! It is terrible because it never has and never can be fathomed, for God sets us nothing but riddles. Within beauty both shores meet and all contradictions exist side by side. I'm not a cultivated man, brother, but I've thought a lot about this. Truly there are mysteries without end! Too many riddles weigh man down on earth. We guess them as we can, and come out of the water dry.
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's interesting how much of Mishima's experience being a queermo in the first half of the twentieth century resonates with my experience of being a queermo like eighty years later: the unintentional denial, the mopeyness, the obsession, the self-consciousness, y'know. He put a bunch of stuff into words that I'd never even thought about *trying* to put into words. So yeah, that blew my mind.

Still, it's all mannered and slow and reflective and all the un-viscerally-exciting things you'd (well, I'
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yukio Mishima's Confessions of a Mask is of a particular species of literature, one that—despite encompassing such venerable works as Dostoyevsky's Notes From the Underground and André Breton's Nadja—is no longer in vogue. For the sake of a name, we might dub this species "the subjective novel," insofar as it tends to neglect the furtherance of story or plot in favour of charting out an intricate and scrupulously characterized first-person subjectivity. In the case of Confessions, the subjectivi ...more
this novel is unusual ,shocking ,very strange....
i feel sympathy for this tragic protagonist Kochan and all his mixed feelings and struggle against himself,and his own emotions being torned between his desire to be straight and his true feelings...his

fascinations and fantasies of death ,his self confidence that seems nearly in existent because of his naturally weak body ....

his Questionable love to Sonoko ,he being

Jealous from her that she could have such pure and true love that he simply cant
Until then I had mistakenly thought I was only poetically attracted to such things, thus confusing the nature of my sensual desires with a system of [a]esthetics.
I can't imagine someone who's not queer understanding everything that's going on in this book, and that's not me espousing the "everyone's actually a little bit gay" bullshit. Either you've actively wrestled with a component of your sexual/gendered/etc identity that has been/is/will be a some point in history a sign of the outcast, or
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_2012
يعجبني الأدب الياباني, وجدت فيه ضّالة ذاتيّة. قويّ جدًا, يستند على تقاليد عريقة. كما أن الأفكار الغربية بحداثتها أثرت فيه بشكل إيجابي. حتّى الكلاسيكية الصينية القديمة أسهمت في ذلك. من هايكو ورنغا في الشعر إلى شوساكو إندو, وموراساكي شيكيو, موراكامي, هيداكي سينا, آبي أكيرا... والكثيرون غيرهم إلى كاتب القناع: يوكيو ميشيما. روائي وشاعر, كاتب مسرحي ومخرج أفلام.. قدير جدًا. قدّم مجموعة من الأعمال ممزوجة بكل القيم الجمالية والتقليدية. بعض أعماله إذا ماكانت جميعها تقريبًا حطّمت أكثر الحواجز الثقافية في ...more
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese-lit
What we have here is a classic Japanese ‘I’ novel that has been taken as autobiography and gospel by Mishima fetishists. As with Vollmann, it seems like readers want to hang their heroic (or anti-heroic) baggage around the author’s neck and praise or damn him for the actions of his characters. Big mistake. As with WTV, we must assume that Mishima’s Mask begins from a place of truth and fictionalizes from there. As the facts of his clandestine actions rolled off his hunky shoulders along with his ...more
I read Confessions of a Mask simultaneously with Mishima: A Biography. Reading the two books dually allowed me to have a deeper insight into Mishima's life.

Confessions of a Mask is Mishima's personal account of his discovering of his homosexuality, his desire to fit in the conventional society, and of his grief over the fact that being part of the normal society is unattainable for him.

The book poignantly describes in detail his attraction to other men, in particular the philistine types, unlike
mai ahmd
Mar 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كان هذا الكتاب هو بوابة الدخول إلى عالم هذا الكاتب الجميل ميشيما وبعدها حرصت كل الحرص على أن اشتري كل ما ترجم له للعربية قرأت هذا الكتاب بدهشة كبيرة رافقتني حتى النهاية في الكتاب سيرة الكاتب في الفترة التي سبقت الحرب العالمية الثانية ثم فترة الحرب، وأخيرا الهزيمة التي لحقت باليابان طفولته والأمور الغريبة التي رافقتها نتيجة لأفكاره الشاذة وكيف عاش حياة معقدة و متشابكة و كان مليئا بالتناقضات يعشق استعراض أفكاره الغريبة ويشعر بالسرور والرضى ولربما من يقرأ قصة انتحاره يرى كيف جاءت بالطريقة التي تعبر ...more
ليلى المطوع
قراءة ثانية بعد أربع سنوات
ربما يستغرب البعض من الاعترافات التي صرح بها الكاتب، عن طفولته، خياله، شذوذه، ولكن لو كلاً منا صارح نفسه بالافكار التي تراوده، لاعتبر أن هذه الافكار طبيعية جدا.

اعجبتني قدرة الكاتب على فهم ذاته وصراعه الداخلي، ومحاولته البحث عن اجابة

يوكيو ميشيما كانت لديه أفكار متعقلة بالموت منذ طفولته، كان به هوس نحو الابطال الذين تتمزق أجسادهم، بعد سنوات من الصراع الداخلي، والرغبة في البطولة ومحاولة الانقلاب وتشجيع الحروب والانتحار على طريقة "الهراكيرى"، هذه الافكار لاقت
ياسمين ثابت

ارتدى الكاتب قناع شخصية في رواية وتحدث عن مكونات اعمق تربة في نفسه

من الصعب جدا ان يجد قارئ مثل هذه الرواية لانها تتحدث عن بعض الافكار الغريبة وفي وجهة نظري اشكال من الخلل النفسي في بعض الثنايا مع شخصية عندها قدرة قوية على التعبير وفي كتاب مجهز امام عينيه ما عليه سوى ان يقرا

تخيلت لو ان كل شخص لديه خلل نفسي يمتلك نفس القدرة وشرح لنا مايمر به , اشد الامور تعقيدا بمثل هذه الروعة والبساطة والدقة لكنا حققنا خطى اسرع في فهم الكائن البشري

احب كثيرا هذا النوع من الروايات
واتمنى من اصدقائي قراء الجودريدز
Chiara Pagliochini
« Quali sentimenti proverei se fossi un altro ragazzo? Quali sentimenti proverei se fossi una persona normale? Fui ossessionato da queste domande. Mi torturarono, distruggendo istantaneamente e radicalmente persino quell’unico frammento di felicità che avevo creduto di possedere per certo.
A lungo andare la “recita” è diventata una parte integrante della mia natura, riconobbi fra me. Non è più una recita. La consapevolezza con cui continuo a camuffarmi da individuo normale ha corroso addirittura
Dec 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
From what I can tell, Yukio Mishima was not a very happy man.

Granted, the only works that I have read of this very prolific author are this and Kinkakuji, but I'm seeing a pattern already, and it doesn't point towards Mishima being a cheerful, laid-back guy. Of course, his suicide by seppuku is also a good indicator that he took things way too seriously.

Published in 1948, Confessions of a Mask addresses a subject that would have been taboo anywhere, not just Japan. The main character, whose name
İbn Zerhani
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asian-literature
Bu aralar Asya tarafından gidiyorum, Kenzaburo Oe'den sonra Mişima'yı okudum. Bir Maskenin İtrafları'nı da çok beğendiğimi söyleyebilirim. Mişima kendi hayatından yola çıkarak yazmış, salt otobiyografi değil sanırım.

Öncelikle bence, gerçekleri gizleyen ve yalan söylemeyen romancı olamaz. Yani hem kendine ve biz okurlarına karşı dürüst olmalı, kendini tanımak için iyi bir çaba harcamalı, hem de yalanı -yani kurguyu, doğru şekilde metnin içine yerleştirmeli. Ben Mişima'nın bu metinde ilkini iyi y
Aug 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: humanities majors, lgbt people
Shelves: japan, 4lit
Mishima knits the complexities and tensions of the narrator together until, tying off knot after knot, you feel his prison yourself. From end to end the emotions he suffers are made beautifully clear.
I do wonder if Mishima had read Dazai's No Longer Human, which came out the year before, as there are some strong similarities between the way each narrator describes his life.

You know when you read or watch something that's so good you immediately throw yourself into the rest of what that creator h
Another astounding book by Mishima, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite writers.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book #21.

I've heard of Yukio Mishima's suicide by seppuku long before I've read this book and if I were to base it from that and what I've just read, I think that he is not a very happy man.

Confessions of a Mask is Mishima's beautifully-written semi-autobiography about self-awareness and loneliness. It gives us an insight of Mishima's youth --- a homosexual confessing about his life --- his fears, obsessions, and how it is to live wearing a mask while searching for answers why he is the way he i
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan
Bought from DASA BookCafe in Bangkok, this paperback interested me once again due to it is a bit of seemingly surreal front cover as well as this brief introduction: “The publisher would be failing in his duty if he were not to warn the reader that while Mishima’s lonely masterpiece is splendidly conceived and written and paced – and not without humour – its final effect is bleak beyond words. Confessions of a Mask offers no hope. …” (p. 1) Therefore, I have since decided to try reading it once ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Confessioni di una maschera parla del l'introspezione della voce narrante - lo stesso Mishima - e la sua scoperta di sé stesso e della sua omosessualità.
La lettura è stata molto interessante, a mio parere, soprattutto lo scorcio storico del Giappone negli anni '30 e '40, oltre che per lo stile a tratti crudo e a tratti poetico di Mishima. Lo stile nel suo insieme risulta scorrevole e intrigante.
In generale mi sento di consigliare il libro (anche se ci sono cose come il knife/blood play che poss
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is one of its kind. It revolves around the problems of a adolescent in Japan during the second world war.
Yukio is becoming one of my favorites easily.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sayısız yanılgı ve aldatmacanın, zorlama deneyimlerin sonrasında bile tam olarak keşfedilemeyen özbenlik ve özbenlik algısı, bir türlü çözülemeyen kötülük ve şiddet duygusu, bilinçsiz normal olma isteği yanılgısı...

"... çünkü bütün dünyadaki bütün düşüşler, alçalışlar arasında en tiksindirici olan saflığın düşüşü alçalışıdır. ". Bir Maskenin İtirafları, 5. Baskı, sf. 65.
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Never has a title been quite so fitting of a novel!
It took me far too long to complete this book, but I'm really glad I did. Any Mishima reader will know the detail and precision with which he pours into his work, and with a somewhat autobiographical novel documenting next to nothing save the human psyche of Mishima himself, I can understand it seeming an achievement to get through even one page. This begs the question: is it worth it? To which I’d answer: hell yeah.

Mishima is a Japanese author
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Club de Lectura B...: Confesiones de una Máscara, Yukio Mishima 1 6 May 21, 2016 05:52PM  
O São Sebastião de Kochan 1 21 May 25, 2013 02:01AM  
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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...

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“What I wanted was to die among strangers, untroubled, beneath a cloudless sky. And yet my desire differed from the sentiments of that ancient Greek who wanted to die under the brilliant sun. What I wanted was some natural, spontaneous suicide. I wanted a death like that of a fox, not yet well versed in cunning, that walks carelessly along a mountain path and is shot by a hunter because of its own stupidity…” 105 likes
“When a boy…discovers that he is more given into introspection and consciousness of self than other boys his age, he easily falls into the error of believing it is because he is more mature than they. This was certainly a mistake in my case. Rather, it was because the other boys had no such need of understanding themselves as I had: they could be their natural selves, whereas I was to play a part, a fact that would require considerable understanding and study. So it was not my maturity but my sense of uneasiness, my uncertainty that was forcing me to gain control over my consciousness. Because such consciousness was simply a steppingstone to aberration and my present thinking was nothing but uncertain and haphazard guesswork.” 68 likes
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