Bettie's Reviews > Spring Snow

Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima
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bookshelves: spring-2015, japan, historical-fiction, japan-tokyo, tragedy, published-1965

Description: Tokyo, 1912. The closed world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders - rich provincial families, a new and powerful political and social elite.

Kiyoaki has been raised among the elegant Ayakura family - members of the waning aristocracy - but he is not one of them. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new, and his feelings for the exquisite, spirited Satoko, observed from the sidelines by his devoted friend Honda. When Satoko is engaged to a royal prince, Kiyoaki realises the magnitude of his passion.

The first book in The Sea of Fertility tetralogy. Translated from the Japanese by Michael Gallagher.

Opening: WHEN CONVERSATION at school turned to the Russo-Japanese War, Kiyoaki Matsugae asked his closest friend, Shigekuni Honda, how much he could remember about it.

I have no yearning to read anything other than this first book to get a sense of the author and his politics, and just why he felt that to go back to the mediaeval way of the Samurai was ::a::good::thing::

The particular reason to read this now is that it is Spring - and snow is falling.

As we move through the story there are divinations of things to come from the Dream Diaries, and a black dog at the top of a waterfall, an occurence which is said to augur badly. Yes, many carrots of things to come further down the line.

Yukio Mishima started weight training in 1955. His rigorous weekly regimes continued until his death. Mishima also become an avid and skillful practitioner of kendo. Despite his earlier flight from military service, Yukio Mishima would be known for his political support for a re-militarized Japan. Yukio Mishima became a part of the Ground Self Defense Force and went through the training process in 1967. In 1968, Yukio Mishim uses his reputation and his martial training to found the Tatenokai or the Shield Society. This paramilitary organization swore their loyalty to the abstract notion of the Voices of the Heroic Dead. Mishima supported Japanese Nationalism but was greatly angered by Emperor Hirohito’s renunciation of imperial divinity.

In 1958, Yukio Mishima married Yoko Sugiyama. The following year, Yoko gave birth to a daughter named Noriko and four years later Yoko gave birth to a son named Ichiro. Yukio Mishima frequented gay bars. But many people (including Mishima’s widow) have tried to obfuscate the fact of his homosexual activities. This obfuscation has failed to prevent many of Mishima’s male lovers from coming forward. Yukio Mishima’s children have joined in the effort to prevent Mishima’s full sexuality from becoming apparent by suing people who acknowledge these relationships.

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Reading Progress

March 30, 2015 – Started Reading
March 30, 2015 – Shelved
March 31, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Bettie Thanks Fionnuala, Hunger, Sean, Edward, Cheryl, Wanda, Charlene, Cheryl, Kelly, Gary, Susan, Roisin. Linda, Angela, Evgeny, Ij, Mandy, Teresa, Lisa, Don, Cheryl, Marita!

Bettie Thanks Kalliope, Agnieszka!

message 3: by Wanda (new) - added it

Wanda Good Morning/Afternoon. Today's fare includes beef roast, mashed potatoes, peas with dill, And, lovely Earl Grey tea with blood orange olive oil cake. I will keep places warm for you and Dear M.

Bettie Wanda wrote: "Good Morning/Afternoon. Today's fare includes beef roast, mashed potatoes, peas with dill, And, lovely Earl Grey tea with blood orange olive oil cake. I will keep places warm for you and Dear M."

Sounds lovely, all of it. We have eaten well this weekend: Friday was cod steak with parsley butter. Saturday was homemade chicken nuggets deep-fried in beer batter and a choice of different dips. Today was pea soup, at my on-knees, hands clasped together pleading.

Four years of tackling TBRs will be fun, and Project Gutenberg is always there for a change of pace.

message 5: by Wanda (new) - added it

Wanda Four years of tackling TBRs will definitely be fun. I am leading two back-to-back discussions for the 19th Century group. Then have another scheduled for Autumn. In between, I shall tackle some multi-volume sagas. Will move house in June/July - W will graduate and likely go his own way. I will be free to find something more reasonably priced. WooHoo!

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