Yukio Mishima
Overview
was the pen name of , a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor and film director, also remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku
Seppuku
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...

after a failed coup d'état. Nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, Mishima was internationally famous and is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century, whose avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 work displayed a blending of modern and traditional aesthetics that broke cultural boundaries, with a focus on sexuality, death, and political change.
Mishima was born in the Yotsuya district of Tokyo (now part of Shinjuku
Shinjuku, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population...

).
Quotations

According to Genshin|Eshin's "Essentials of Salvation," the Ten Pleasures are but a drop in the ocean when compared to the joys of the Pure Land Buddhism|Pure Land.

"The Priest of Shiga Temple and His Love" in Death in Midsummer, and Other Stories (1966), p. 59

By means of microscopic observation and astronomical projection the lotus flower can become the foundation for an entire theory of the universe and an agent whereby we may perceive the Truth. And first we must know that each of the petals has eighty-four thousand veins and that each vein gives eighty-four thousand lights.

"The Priest of Shiga Temple and His Love" in Death in Midsummer, and Other Stories (1966), p. 61

Just let matters slide. How much better to accept each sweet drop of the honey that was Time, than to stoop to the vulgarity latent in every decision. However grave the matter at hand might be, if one neglected it for long enough, the act of neglect itself would begin to affect the situation, and someone else would emerge as an ally. Such was Count Ayakura's version of political theory.

Spring Snow (1968), as translated by Michael Gallagher (translator)|Michael Gallagher (1972)

All my life I have been acutely aware of a contradiction in the very nature of my existence. For forty-five years I struggled to resolve this dilemma by writing plays and novels. The more I wrote, the more I realized mere words were not enough. So I found another form of expression.

As quoted in Mishima : A Life in Four Chapters (1985)

I want to make a poem of my life.

As quoted by Mishima's biographer, Henry Scott-Stokes in the documentary Yukio Mishima : Samurai Writer (1985) : As translated by Meredith Weatherby (1958) ISBN 0-8112-0118-X

Actually the action called a kiss represented nothing more for me than some place where my spirit could seek shelter.

p. 115

Encyclopedia
was the pen name of , a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor and film director, also remembered for his ritual suicide by seppuku
Seppuku
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...

after a failed coup d'état. Nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, Mishima was internationally famous and is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century, whose avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 work displayed a blending of modern and traditional aesthetics that broke cultural boundaries, with a focus on sexuality, death, and political change.

Early life

Mishima was born in the Yotsuya district of Tokyo (now part of Shinjuku
Shinjuku, Tokyo
is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It is a major commercial and administrative center, housing the busiest train station in the world and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, the administration center for the government of Tokyo.As of 2008, the ward has an estimated population...

). His father was Azusa Hiraoka, a government official, and his mother, Shizue, was the daughter of a school principal in Tokyo. His paternal grandparents were Jotarō and Natsuko Hiraoka. He had a younger sister named Mitsuko, who died of typhus
Typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

, and a younger brother named Chiyuki.

Mishima's early childhood was dominated by the shadow of his grandmother, Natsu, who took the boy and separated him from his immediate family for several years. Natsu was the illegitimate granddaughter of Matsudaira Yoritaka
Matsudaira Yoritaka
was a Japanese daimyo of the late Edo Period who served as daimyo of Shishido han. Retiring early, he was succeeded by his son Matsudaira Yorinori, but Yoritaka returned to headship following Yorinori's death in 1864...

, the daimyo
Daimyo
is a generic term referring to the powerful territorial lords in pre-modern Japan who ruled most of the country from their vast, hereditary land holdings...

 of Shishido in Hitachi Province
Hitachi Province
was an old province of Japan in the area of Ibaraki Prefecture. It was sometimes called . Hitachi Province bordered on Iwashiro, Iwaki, Shimousa, and Shimotsuke Provinces....

, and had been raised in the household of Prince Arisugawa Taruhito
Prince Arisugawa Taruhito
became the 9th head of line of shinnōke cadet branches of the Imperial Family of Japan on September 9, 1871. He was a career officer in the Imperial Japanese Army.-Early life:...

; she maintained considerable aristocratic
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 pretensions even after marrying Mishima's grandfather, a bureaucrat who had made his fortune in the newly opened colonial frontier and who rose to become Governor-General of Karafuto. She was also prone to violence and morbid outbursts, which are occasionally alluded to in Mishima's works. It is to Natsu that some biographers have traced Mishima's fascination with death. Natsu did not allow Mishima to venture into the sunlight, to engage in any kind of sport or to play with other boys; he spent much of his time alone or with female cousins and their dolls.

Mishima returned to his immediate family at 12. His father, a man with a taste for military discipline, employed such tactics as holding the young boy up to the side of a speeding train; he also raided Mishima's room for evidence of an "effeminate" interest in literature and often ripped up the boy's manuscripts.

Schooling and early works

At age six, Mishima enrolled in the elite Peers School
Gakushuin
The or Peers School is an educational institution founded in Tokyo in 1877, during the Meiji period, for the education of the children of the Japanese aristocracy, though it eventually also opened its doors to the offspring of extremely wealthy commoners...

 (Gakushuin 学習院).
At 12, Mishima began to write his first stories. He read voraciously the works of Oscar Wilde
Oscar Wilde
Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s...

, Rainer Maria Rilke
Rainer Maria Rilke
René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke , better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a Bohemian–Austrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language...

 and numerous classic Japanese authors. After six years at school, he became the youngest member of the editorial board in its literary society. Mishima was attracted to the works of Michizō Tachihara, which in turn created an appreciation for the classical
Japanese poetry
Japanese poets first encountered Chinese poetry during the Tang Dynasty. It took them several hundred years to digest the foreign impact, make it a part of their culture and merge it with their literary tradition in their mother tongue, and begin to develop the diversity of their native poetry. For...

 form of the waka
Waka (poetry)
Waka or Yamato uta is a genre of classical Japanese verse and one of the major genres of Japanese literature...

.
Mishima's first published works included waka poetry, before he turned his attention to prose.

He was invited to write a prose
Prose
Prose is the most typical form of written language, applying ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure...

 short story for the Peers' School literary magazine
Literary magazine
A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. Literary magazines usually publish short stories, poetry and essays along with literary criticism, book reviews, biographical profiles of authors, interviews and letters...

 and submitted Hanazakari no Mori (花ざかりの森 The Forest in Full Bloom), a story in which the narrator describes the feeling that his ancestors somehow still live within him. Mishima’s teachers were so impressed with the work that they recommended it for the prestigious literary magazine, Bungei-Bunka (文芸文化 Literary Culture). The story, which makes use of the metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

s and aphorism
Aphorism
An aphorism is an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and memorable form.The term was first used in the Aphorisms of Hippocrates...

s which later became his trademarks, was published in book form in 1944, albeit in a limited fashion (4,000 copies) because of the wartime shortage of paper. In order to protect him from a possible backlash from his schoolmates, his teachers coined the pen-name "Yukio Mishima".

Mishima's story Tabako (煙草 The Cigarette), published in 1946, describes some of the scorn and bullying he faced at school when he later confessed to members of the school's rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 club that he belonged to the literary society. This trauma
Psychological trauma
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event...

 also provided material for the later story Shi o Kaku Shōnen (詩を書く少年 The Boy Who Wrote Poetry) in 1954.

Mishima received a draft
Conscription
Conscription is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of national service, most often military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names...

 notice for the Imperial Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. At the time of his medical check up, he had a cold and spontaneously lied to the army doctor about having symptoms of tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

; he was thus declared unfit for service.

Although his father had forbidden him to write any further stories, Mishima continued to write secretly every night, supported and protected by his mother, who was always the first to read a new story. Attending lectures during the day and writing at night, Mishima graduated from the University of Tokyo
University of Tokyo
, abbreviated as , is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is considered to be the most prestigious university...

 in 1947. He obtained a position as an official in the government's Finance Ministry and was set up for a promising career.

However, Mishima had exhausted himself so much that his father agreed to his resigning from his position during his first year in order to devote his time to writing.

Post-war literature

Mishima wrote novels, popular serial novellas, short stories and literary essays, as well as highly acclaimed plays for the Kabuki
Kabuki
is classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.The individual kanji characters, from left to right, mean sing , dance , and skill...

 theater and modern versions of traditional Noh
Noh
, or - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and...

 drama.

Mishima began the short story Misaki nite no Monogatari (岬にての物語 A Story at the Cape) in 1945, and continued to work on it through the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In January 1946, he visited famed writer Yasunari Kawabata
Yasunari Kawabata
was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award...

 in Kamakura
Kamakura, Kanagawa
is a city located in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, about south-south-west of Tokyo. It used to be also called .Although Kamakura proper is today rather small, it is often described in history books as a former de facto capital of Japan as the seat of the Shogunate and of the Regency during the...

, taking with him the manuscripts for Chūsei (中世 The Middle Ages) and Tabako, and asking for Kawabata’s advice and assistance. In June 1946, per Kawabata's recommendations, Tabako was published in the new literary magazine Ningen (人間 Humanity).

Also in 1946, Mishima began his first novel, Tōzoku (盗賊 Thieves), a story about two young members of the aristocracy drawn towards suicide. It was published in 1948, placing Mishima in the ranks of the Second Generation of Postwar Writers. He followed with Confessions of a Mask
Confessions of a Mask
is Japanese author Yukio Mishima's first novel. Published in 1948, it launched him to national fame though he was only in his early twenties.The main protagonist is referred to in the story as Kochan. Being raised during Japan’s era of right-wing militarism and Imperialism, he struggles from a very...

, a semi-autobiographical
Autobiography
An autobiography is a book about the life of a person, written by that person.-Origin of the term:...

 account of a young latent homosexual who must hide behind a mask in order to fit into society. The novel was extremely successful and made Mishima a celebrity at the age of 24. Around 1949, Mishima published a series of essays in Kindai Bungaku on Yasunari Kawabata
Yasunari Kawabata
was a Japanese short story writer and novelist whose spare, lyrical, subtly-shaded prose works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1968, the first Japanese author to receive the award...

, for whom he had always had a deep appreciation.

His writing gained him international celebrity and a sizable following in Europe and the United States, as many of his most famous works were translated into English. Mishima traveled extensively; in 1952 he visited Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, which had fascinated him since childhood. Elements from his visit appear in Shiosai (潮騒 Sound of the Waves), which was published in 1954, and which drew inspiration from the Greek legend
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

 of Daphnis and Chloe
Daphnis and Chloe
Daphnis and Chloe is the only known work of the 2nd century AD Greek novelist and romancer Longus.-Setting and style:It is set on the isle of Lesbos during the 2nd century AD, which is also assumed to be the author's home. Its style is rhetorical and pastoral; its shepherds and shepherdesses are...

.

Mishima made use of contemporary events in many of his works. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a novel by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. It was published in 1956 and translated into English by Ivan Morris in 1959.-Plot introduction:...

in 1956 is a fictionalization of the burning of the famous temple in Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

. Utage no Ato (After the Banquet), published in 1960, so closely followed the events surrounding politician Hachirō Arita
Hachiro Arita
was a Japanese politician and diplomat who served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs for three terms. He is believed to have originated the concept of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.- Biography :...

's campaign to become governor of Tokyo that Mishima was sued for invasion of privacy
Invasion of privacy
United States privacy law embodies several different legal concepts. One is the invasion of privacy, a tort based in common law allowing an aggrieved party to bring a lawsuit against an individual who unlawfully intrudes into his or her private affairs, discloses his or her private information,...

. In 1962, Mishima's most avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 work, Utsukushii Hoshi (Beautiful Star), which at times comes close to science fiction, was published to mixed critical response.

Mishima was among those considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature three times and was the darling of many foreign publications. However, in 1968 his early mentor Kawabata won the Nobel Prize and Mishima realized that the chances of it being given to another Japanese author in the near future were slim.

Acting and modelling

Mishima was also an actor, and had a starring role in Yasuzo Masumura
Yasuzo Masumura
was a Japanese film director.Masumura was born in Kōfu on Honshū. After dropping out of a law course at the University of Tokyo he worked as an assistant director at the Daiei studio, later returning to university to study philosophy; he graduated in 1949...

's 1960 film, Afraid to Die. He also has had roles in films including Yukoku (1966), Black Lizard (1968) and Hitokiri (1969). He also sang the theme song for Hitokiri.

Mishima was featured as a photo model in Ba-ra-kei: Ordeal by Roses by Eikoh Hosoe
Eikoh Hosoe
is a Japanese photographer and filmmaker who emerged in the experimental arts movement of post-World War II Japan. He is known for his psychologically charged images, often exploring subjects such as death, erotic obsession, and irrationality...

, as well as in Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan and OTOKO: Photo Studies of the Young Japanese Male by Tamotsu Yatō
Tamotsu Yato
was a Japanese photographer and occasional actor responsible for pioneering Japanese homoerotic photography and creating iconic black-and-white images of the Japanese male...

. Donald Richie
Donald Richie
Donald Richie is an American-born author who has written about the Japanese people and Japanese cinema. Although he considers himself only a writer, Richie has directed many experimental films, the first when he was 17...

 gives a short lively account of Mishima, dressed in a loincloth and armed with a sword, posing in the snow for one of Tamotsu Yato's
Tamotsu Yato
was a Japanese photographer and occasional actor responsible for pioneering Japanese homoerotic photography and creating iconic black-and-white images of the Japanese male...

 photoshoots.

Private life

In 1955, Mishima took up weight training
Weight training
Weight training is a common type of strength training for developing the strength and size of skeletal muscles. It uses the weight force of gravity to oppose the force generated by muscle through concentric or eccentric contraction...

 and his workout regimen of three sessions per week was not disrupted for the final 15 years of his life. In his 1968 essay Sun and Steel
Sun and Steel (essay)
Sun and Steel: Art, Action and Ritual Death is a book by Yukio Mishima. It is an autobiographical essay, a memoir of the author's relationship to his body...

, Mishima deplored the emphasis given by intellectuals to the mind over the body. Mishima later also became very skillful at kendō
Kendo
, meaning "Way of The Sword", is a modern Japanese martial art of sword-fighting based on traditional Japanese swordsmanship, or kenjutsu.Kendo is a physically and mentally challenging activity that combines strong martial arts values with sport-like physical elements.-Practitioners:Practitioners...

.

Although it is known that he visited gay bar
Gay bar
A gay bar is a drinking establishment that caters to an exclusively or predominantly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clientele; the term gay is used as a broadly inclusive concept for LGBT and queer communities...

s in Japan, Mishima's sexual orientation
Sexual orientation
Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attractions to the opposite sex, the same sex, both, or neither, and the genders that accompany them. By the convention of organized researchers, these attractions are subsumed under heterosexuality, homosexuality,...

 annoyed his widow: she wanted that part of his life downplayed after his death. However, the writer Jiro Fukushima published a revealing homosexual correspondence between himself and the famed novelist. Soon after publication, Mishima's children successfully sued Fukushima for violating Mishima's privacy. After briefly considering a marital alliance with Michiko Shōda — who later married Crown Prince Akihito
Akihito
is the current , the 125th emperor of his line according to Japan's traditional order of succession. He acceded to the throne in 1989.-Name:In Japan, the emperor is never referred to by his given name, but rather is referred to as "His Imperial Majesty the Emperor" which may be shortened to . In...

 and is now Empress Michiko — he married Yoko Sugiyama on June 11, 1958. The couple had two children, a daughter named Noriko (born June 2, 1959) and a son named Ichiro (born May 2, 1962).

In 1967, Mishima enlisted in the Ground Self Defense Force
Japan Self-Defense Forces
The , or JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post–World War II Allied occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period the JSDF was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed...

 (GSDF) and underwent basic training. A year later, he formed the Tatenokai
Tatenokai
The Tatenokai or Shield Society was a private militia in Japan dedicated to traditional Japanese values and veneration of the Emperor. It was founded and led by the author Yukio Mishima....

 (Shield Society), a private army composed primarily of young students who studied martial principles and physical discipline, and swore to protect the Emperor
Emperor of Japan
The Emperor of Japan is, according to the 1947 Constitution of Japan, "the symbol of the state and of the unity of the people." He is a ceremonial figurehead under a form of constitutional monarchy and is head of the Japanese Imperial Family with functions as head of state. He is also the highest...

. Mishima trained them himself. However, under Mishima's ideology, the emperor was not necessarily the reigning Emperor, but rather the abstract essence of Japan. In Eirei no Koe (Voices of the Heroic Dead), Mishima actually denounces Emperor Hirohito
Hirohito
, posthumously in Japan officially called Emperor Shōwa or , was the 124th Emperor of Japan according to the traditional order, reigning from December 25, 1926, until his death in 1989. Although better known outside of Japan by his personal name Hirohito, in Japan he is now referred to...

 for renouncing his claim of divinity at the end of World War II.

In the last 10 years of his life, Mishima wrote several full length plays, acted in several movies and co-directed an adaptation of one of his stories, Patriotism, the Rite of Love and Death
Patriotism (film)
is a 1966 Japanese short drama film directed by Yukio Mishima and Domoto Masaki. The English-language release was originally entitled The Rite of Love and Death.Mishima wrote Yûkoku four years before his death...

.
He also continued work on his final tetralogy
Tetralogy
A tetralogy is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works, just as a trilogy is made up of three works....

, Hōjō no Umi (Sea of Fertility), which appeared in monthly serialized format starting in September 1965.

Mishima espoused a very individual brand of nationalism towards the end of his life. He was hated by leftists, in particular for his outspoken and anachronistic commitment to bushidō
Bushido
, meaning "Way of the Warrior-Knight", is a Japanese word which is used to describe a uniquely Japanese code of conduct and a way of the samurai life, loosely analogous to the concept of chivalry. It originates from the samurai moral code and stresses frugality, loyalty, martial arts mastery, and...

 (the code of the samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

) and by mainstream nationalists for his contention, in Bunka Bōeiron (文化防衛論 A Defense of Culture), that Hirohito should have abdicated and taken responsibility for the war dead.

Coup attempt and ritual suicide

On November 25, 1970, Mishima and four members of the Tatenokai, under pretext, visited the commandant of the Ichigaya
Ichigaya
Ichigaya is an area in the eastern portion of Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.-Places in Ichigaya:*Hosei University Ichigaya Campus*Chuo University Graduate School...

 Camp — the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan's Self-Defense Forces
Japan Self-Defense Forces
The , or JSDF, occasionally referred to as JSF or SDF, are the unified military forces of Japan that were established after the end of the post–World War II Allied occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period the JSDF was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed...

. 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 a coup d'état restoring the powers of the emperor. He succeeded only in irritating them, and was mocked and jeered. He finished his planned speech after a few minutes, returned to the commandant's office and committed seppuku
Seppuku
is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies , or as a form of capital punishment...

. The customary kaishakunin
Kaishakunin
A kaishakunin is an appointed second whose duty is to behead one who has committed seppuku, Japanese ritual suicide, at the moment of agony...

 duty at the end of this ritual
Ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....

 had been assigned to Tatenokai member Masakatsu Morita
Masakatsu Morita
was the Tatenokai member who attempted to commit seppuku with Yukio Mishima at the Ichigaya Camp.He was the youngest child of a headmaster. Losing both parents at the age of two, he was cared for by his brother Osamu and educated at a Catholic school...

, but Morita was unable to properly perform the task. After several failed attempts, he allowed another Tatenokai member, Hiroyasu Koga
Hiroyasu Koga
Hiroyasu Koga is a former Tatenokai member and kaishakunin responsible for the decapitations of Yukio Mishima and Masakatsu Morita during their seppuku on November 25, 1970...

, to behead Mishima. Morita himself attempted to commit seppuku that day as well. When he failed, Koga once again performed the kaishakunin duty.

Another traditional element of the suicide ritual was the composition of jisei no ku (death poem
Death poem
A death poem is a poem written near the time of one's own death. It is a tradition for literate people to write one in a number of different cultures, especially in Joseon Korea and Japan.-History:...

s) before their entry into the headquarters. Mishima planned his suicide meticulously for at least a year and no one outside the group of hand-picked Tatenokai members had any indication of what he was planning. His biographer, translator and former friend John Nathan
John Nathan
John Nathan is the translator of Japanese works written by celebrated authors such as Yukio Mishima and Kenzaburō Ōe. Nathan is also an Emmy-award winning producer, writer and director of many films about Japanese culture and society and American business.He studied at University of Tokyo...

 suggests that the coup attempt was only a pretext for the ritual suicide of which Mishima had long dreamed. Mishima made sure his affairs were in order and left money for the legal defense of the three surviving Tatenokai members.

Much speculation has surrounded Mishima's suicide. At the time of his death he had just completed the final book in his Sea of Fertility
The Sea of Fertility
is a tetralogy written by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. The four novels include Spring Snow , Runaway Horses , The Temple of Dawn and The Decay of the Angel . The series, which Mishima began writing in 1964 and which was his final work, is usually thought of as his masterpiece...

tetralogy
Tetralogy
A tetralogy is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works, just as a trilogy is made up of three works....

. He was recognized as one of the most important post-war stylists of the Japanese language. Mishima wrote 40 novels, 18 plays, 20 books of short stories, and at least 20 books of essays, one libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

, as well as one film. A large portion of this oeuvre comprises books written quickly for profit, but even if these are disregarded, a substantial body of work remains.

Awards

  • Shincho Prize from Shinchosha Publishing, 1954, for The Sound of Waves
    The Sound of Waves
    is a novel written by celebrated Japanese author Yukio Mishima and published in 1954. It is a coming of age novel detailing the maturity of protagonist Shinji and his romance with Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthy ship owner Terukichi. For this book Mishima was awarded the Shincho Prize...

    .
  • Kishida Prize for Drama from Shinchosha Publishing, 1955.
  • Yomiuri Prize
    Yomiuri Prize
    The is a prestigious literary award in Japan. The prize was founded in 1948 by the Yomiuri Shinbun Company to help form a "cultural nation". The winner is awarded one million Japanese yen and an inkstone.-Award categories:...

     from Yomiuri Newspaper Co., for best novel, 1957, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
    The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
    The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a novel by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. It was published in 1956 and translated into English by Ivan Morris in 1959.-Plot introduction:...

    .
  • Yomiuri Prize from Yomiuri Newspaper Co., for best drama, 1961, Toka no Kiku.

Literature

Japanese Title English Title Year English translation, year ISBN
假面の告白
Kamen no Kokuhaku
Confessions of a Mask
Confessions of a Mask
is Japanese author Yukio Mishima's first novel. Published in 1948, it launched him to national fame though he was only in his early twenties.The main protagonist is referred to in the story as Kochan. Being raised during Japan’s era of right-wing militarism and Imperialism, he struggles from a very...

1948 Meredith Weatherby
Meredith Weatherby
Meredith Weatherby was a Texas-born American publisher who spent a large part of his life in Japan and who is known in particular for his English translations of the literary works by Yukio Mishima...

, 1958
愛の渇き
Ai no Kawaki
Thirst for Love
Thirst for Love
Thirst for Love is a 1950 novel by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. The word "kawaki" literally means thirst, but has a sense of parched dryness associated with it...

1950 Alfred H. Marks, 1969
禁色
Kinjiki
Forbidden Colors
Forbidden Colors
is a novel by Yukio Mishima, translated into English in 1968. The name kinjiki is a euphemism for homosexuality. The kanji 禁 means "forbidden" and 色 in this case means "erotic love", although it can also mean "color". The word "kinjiki" also means colors which were forbidden to be worn by people of...

1953 Alfred H. Marks, 1968–1974
潮騷
Shiosai
The Sound of Waves
The Sound of Waves
is a novel written by celebrated Japanese author Yukio Mishima and published in 1954. It is a coming of age novel detailing the maturity of protagonist Shinji and his romance with Hatsue, the beautiful daughter of the wealthy ship owner Terukichi. For this book Mishima was awarded the Shincho Prize...

1954 Meredith Weatherby
Meredith Weatherby
Meredith Weatherby was a Texas-born American publisher who spent a large part of his life in Japan and who is known in particular for his English translations of the literary works by Yukio Mishima...

, 1956
金閣寺
Kinkaku-ji*
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion is a novel by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. It was published in 1956 and translated into English by Ivan Morris in 1959.-Plot introduction:...

1956 Ivan Morris
Ivan Morris
Ivan Ira Esme Morris was a British author and teacher in the field of Japanese Studies.Ivan Morris was born in London, of mixed American and Swedish parentage, to Ira Victor Morris and Edita Morris. He studied at Gordonstoun, before graduating from Phillips Academy...

, 1959
鏡子の家
Kyōko no Ie
Kyoko's House
Kyoko's House
is a 1959 novel by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima.The book tells the interconnected stories of four young men who represent different facets of the author's personality...

1959  
宴のあと
Utage no Ato
After the Banquet
After the Banquet
After the Banquet is a novel by Yukio Mishima. It follows Kazu, a middle-age proprietress of an upscale Japanese restaurant that caters to politicians. She meets a semi-retired ambassador, Noguchi, grows to like him, and eventually marries him...

1960 Donald Keene
Donald Keene
Donald Lawrence Keene is a Japanologist, scholar, teacher, writer, translator and interpreter of Japanese literature and culture. Keene was University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, where he taught for over fifty years...

, 1963

Kuro Tokage
(play)
The Black Lizard and Other Plays 1961 Mark Oshima, 2007
午後の曳航
Gogo no Eikō
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea , is a novel written by Yukio Mishima, published in Japanese in 1963 and translated into English by John Nathan in 1965.- Plot summary :...

1963 John Nathan
John Nathan
John Nathan is the translator of Japanese works written by celebrated authors such as Yukio Mishima and Kenzaburō Ōe. Nathan is also an Emmy-award winning producer, writer and director of many films about Japanese culture and society and American business.He studied at University of Tokyo...

, 1965
絹と明察
Kinu to Meisatsu
Silk and Insight
Silk and Insight
Silk and Insight was written in 1964 by Yukio Mishima. It was translated in 1998 by Hiroaki Sato as the seventh volume in The Library of Japan series, produced by the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College...

1964 Hiroaki Sato, 1998
三熊野詣
Mikumano Mōde
(short story)
Acts of Worship 1965 John Bester
John Bester
John Bester , born and educated in England, is one of the foremost translators of modern Japanese fiction. He is a graduate of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.-Works:...

, 1995
サド侯爵夫人
Sado Kōshaku Fujin
(play)
Madame de Sade
Madame de Sade
Madame de Sade is a 1965 play written by Yukio Mishima. It was first published in English, translated by Donald Keene by Grove Press and is currently out of print....

1965 Donald Keene
Donald Keene
Donald Lawrence Keene is a Japanologist, scholar, teacher, writer, translator and interpreter of Japanese literature and culture. Keene was University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, where he taught for over fifty years...

, 1967
憂國
Yūkoku
(short story)
Patriotism
Patriotism (short story)
"Patriotism" is a short story by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. It was written in 1960, first published in 1966, and translated into English the same year....

1966 Geoffrey W. Sargent, 1966
真夏の死
Manatsu no Shi
Death in Midsummer and other stories
Death in Midsummer and other stories
Death in Midsummer and other stories is a 1966 collection of stories by Yukio Mishima that had been previously translated into English. It contains one play, Dōjōji, based on a Nō drama of that name.-Stories:...

1966 Edward G. Seidensticker, Ivan Morris
Ivan Morris
Ivan Ira Esme Morris was a British author and teacher in the field of Japanese Studies.Ivan Morris was born in London, of mixed American and Swedish parentage, to Ira Victor Morris and Edita Morris. He studied at Gordonstoun, before graduating from Phillips Academy...

,
Donald Keene
Donald Keene
Donald Lawrence Keene is a Japanologist, scholar, teacher, writer, translator and interpreter of Japanese literature and culture. Keene was University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, where he taught for over fifty years...

, Geoffrey W. Sargent, 1966
葉隠入門
Hagakure Nyūmon
Way of the Samurai 1967 Kathryn Sparling, 1977
わが友ヒットラー
Waga Tomo Hittorā
(play)
My Friend Hitler
My Friend Hitler
My Friend Hitler is a 1968 play written by Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. The four characters include Adolf Hitler, Gustav Krupp, Gregor Strasser and Ernst Roehm , the action is happening in 1934. The evaluations of the play include considering it to be anti-fascist as well as preaching fascism....

and Other Plays
1968 Hiroaki Sato, 2002
太陽と鐡
Taiyō to Tetsu
Sun and Steel
Sun and Steel (essay)
Sun and Steel: Art, Action and Ritual Death is a book by Yukio Mishima. It is an autobiographical essay, a memoir of the author's relationship to his body...

1970 John Bester
John Bester
John Bester , born and educated in England, is one of the foremost translators of modern Japanese fiction. He is a graduate of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.-Works:...

豐饒の海
Hōjō no Umi
The Sea of Fertility
The Sea of Fertility
is a tetralogy written by the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. The four novels include Spring Snow , Runaway Horses , The Temple of Dawn and The Decay of the Angel . The series, which Mishima began writing in 1964 and which was his final work, is usually thought of as his masterpiece...

tetralogy
Tetralogy
A tetralogy is a compound work that is made up of four distinct works, just as a trilogy is made up of three works....

:
1964-
1970
 
  I. 春の雪
  Haru no Yuki
   1. Spring Snow
Spring Snow
is a 1966 novel by Yukio Mishima, the first in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy. Mishima did extensive research, including visits to Enshō-ji in Nara, to prepare for the novel.-Plot:...

1968 Michael Gallagher
Michael Gallagher (translator)
Michael Gallagher is an author and translator of Japanese literature. His translation of Yukio Mishima's Spring Snow was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1973, while his nonfiction work Laws of Heaven was the winner of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Award in Theology. As a Jesuit...

, 1972
  II. 奔馬
  Honba
   2. Runaway Horses
Runaway Horses
is a 1969 novel by Yukio Mishima, the second in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy. Mishima did much research to prepare for this novel, including visiting locations recorded in the book and searching for information on the Shimpūren Rebellion .-Plot:Set between June 1932 and December 1933, it tells...

1969 Michael Gallagher
Michael Gallagher (translator)
Michael Gallagher is an author and translator of Japanese literature. His translation of Yukio Mishima's Spring Snow was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1973, while his nonfiction work Laws of Heaven was the winner of the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Award in Theology. As a Jesuit...

, 1973
  III. 曉の寺
  Akatsuki no Tera
   3. The Temple of Dawn
The Temple of Dawn
is the third novel in the Sea of Fertility tetralogy by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. Like for the other novels in the series, Mishima traveled to various places to conduct research, including Wat Arun in Bangkok, Thailand.-Plot:...

1970 E. Dale Saunders
E. Dale Saunders
E. Dale Saunders was an American scholar of Romance languages and literature, Japanese Buddhism, classical Japanese literature, and East Asian civilization....

 and Cecilia S. Seigle, 1973
  IV. 天人五衰
  Tennin Gosui
   4. The Decay of the Angel
The Decay of the Angel
is a novel by Yukio Mishima and is the fourth and last in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy.-Explanation of the title:In Buddhist scriptures, Devas are mortal angels...

1970 Edward Seidensticker
Edward Seidensticker
Edward George Seidensticker was a noted scholar and translator of Japanese literature. He was particularly known for his English version of The Tale of Genji , which is counted among the preferred modern translations...

, 1974
*For the temple called Kinkaku-ji, see Kinkaku-ji
Kinkaku-ji
, also known as , is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. The garden complex is an excellent example of Muromachi period garden design. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is one of 17 locations comprising the Historic Monuments of Ancient...

.

Plays for classical Japanese theatre

In addition to contemporary-style plays such as Madame de Sade, Mishima wrote for two of the three genres of classical Japanese theatre: Noh
Noh
, or - derived from the Sino-Japanese word for "skill" or "talent" - is a major form of classical Japanese musical drama that has been performed since the 14th century. Many characters are masked, with men playing male and female roles. Traditionally, a Noh "performance day" lasts all day and...

 and Kabuki
Kabuki
is classical Japanese dance-drama. Kabuki theatre is known for the stylization of its drama and for the elaborate make-up worn by some of its performers.The individual kanji characters, from left to right, mean sing , dance , and skill...

 (as a proud Tokyoite, he would not even attend the Bunraku
Bunraku
, also known as Ningyō jōruri , is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater, founded in Osaka in 1684.Three kinds of performers take part in a bunraku performance:* Ningyōtsukai or Ningyōzukai—puppeteers* Tayū—the chanters* Shamisen players...

 puppet theatre, always associated with Osaka
Osaka
is a city in the Kansai region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a designated city under the Local Autonomy Law, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture and also the biggest part of Keihanshin area, which is represented by three major cities of Japan, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe...

 and the provinces).

Though Mishima took themes, titles and characters from the Noh canon, his twists and modern settings, such as hospitals and ballrooms, startled audiences accustomed to the long-settled originals.

Donald Keene
Donald Keene
Donald Lawrence Keene is a Japanologist, scholar, teacher, writer, translator and interpreter of Japanese literature and culture. Keene was University Professor Emeritus and Shincho Professor Emeritus of Japanese Literature at Columbia University, where he taught for over fifty years...

 translated Five Modern Noh Plays (Tuttle, 1981; ISBN 0-8048-1380-9). Most others remain untranslated and so lack an "official" English title; in such cases it is therefore preferable to use the rōmaji title.
Year Japanese Title English Title Genre
1950 邯鄲
Kantan
Noh
1952 卒塔婆小町
Sotoba Komachi
Komachi at the Stupa
Stupa
A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics, typically the remains of Buddha, used by Buddhists as a place of worship....

(gravepost)
Noh
1954 鰯賣戀曳網
Iwashi Uri Koi Hikiami
Iwashi Uri Koi Hikiami
Iwashi Uri Koi Hikiami is a 1954 comedic Kabuki play by Yukio Mishima . It was first performed in November 1954 at the Kabukiza theatre in Tokyo, and was praised for its "refreshing originality"-Plot:...

The Sardine Seller's Net of Love Kabuki
1955 綾の鼓
Aya no Tsuzumi
Aya no Tsuzumi
Aya no Tsuzumi is a Japanese Noh play by an unknown author which depicts the evil consequences of unrequited desire.-Title:...

The Damask Drum Noh
1955 芙蓉露大内実記
Fuyō no Tsuyu Ōuchi Jikki
The Ōuchi Clan (oversimplified/not standardised) Kabuki
1956 班女
Hanjo
Noh
1956 葵の上
Aoi no Ue
Aoi no Ue
is a fictional character in The Tale of Genji . Daughter of the Minister of the Left and Genji’s first principal wife, she marries Genji when she is sixteen and he only twelve. Proud and distant to her husband, Aoi is constantly aware of the age difference between them and very much hurt by...

The Lady Aoi Noh
1965 弱法師
Yoroboshi
The Blind Young Man Noh
1969 椿説弓張月
Chinsetsu Yumiharizuki
The Crescent, or Crescent Moon: The Adventures of Tametomo, literally "The Strange Theory of a Paper Lantern's Appearance" Kabuki

Films

Year Title USA release title(s) Character Director
1951 純白の夜
Jumpaku no Yoru
Unreleased in the U.S.   Hideo Ōba
1959 不道徳教育講座
Fudōtoku Kyōikukōza
Unreleased in the U.S. himself Katsumi Nishikawa
Katsumi Nishikawa
was a Japanese film director most famous for his youth films . Graduating from Nihon University, he started out at the Shochiku studio in 1939 and directed his first film in 1952...

1960 からっ風野郎
Karakkaze Yarō
Afraid to Die
is a 1960 yakuza film directed by Yasuzo Masumura and starring Yukio Mishima.-Cast:* Yukio Mishima - Takeo Asahina* Ayako Wakao - Yoshie Koizumi* Keizo Kawasaki - Shoichi Koizumi* Eiji Funakoshi - Susumu Aikawa* Takashi Shimura - Gohei Hirayama...

Afraid to Die Takeo Asahina Yasuzo Masumura
Yasuzo Masumura
was a Japanese film director.Masumura was born in Kōfu on Honshū. After dropping out of a law course at the University of Tokyo he worked as an assistant director at the Daiei studio, later returning to university to study philosophy; he graduated in 1949...

1966 憂国
Yūkoku
Patriotism (film)
is a 1966 Japanese short drama film directed by Yukio Mishima and Domoto Masaki. The English-language release was originally entitled The Rite of Love and Death.Mishima wrote Yûkoku four years before his death...

The Rite of Love and Death
Patriotism
Shinji Takeyama Domoto Masaki, Yukio Mishima
1968 黒蜥蝪
Kurotokage
Black Lizard (film)
Black Lizard is a 1968 Japanese detective film directed by Kinji Fukasaku. The film is based on a 1934 novel by Edogawa Rampo and its theatrical adaptation by Yukio Mishima, who, at the time, was the lover of Akihiro Maruyama, the actor who plays the notorious female criminal "Black Lizard" in...

Black Lizard Human Statue Kinji Fukasaku
Kinji Fukasaku
was a Japanese film actor, screenwriter, and best known as a celebrated and innovative filmmaker. He was born in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan, and died in Tokyo, from prostate cancer...

1969 人斬り
Hitokiri
Hitokiri (film)
is a 1969 Japanese samurai film directed by Hideo Gosha set during the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate. It is notable for starring the famous author Yukio Mishima.-Plot:...

Tenchu! Shimbei Tanaka Hideo Gosha
Hideo Gosha
was a Japanese film director.Among his most famous films are Goyokin and Hitokiri, released in 1969, and The Wolves, released in 1971. His most famous film in the West is Sword of the Beast, released by Criterion....


Works about Mishima

  • Ba-ra-kei: Ordeal by Roses by Eikō Hosoe and Mishima (photoerotic collection of images of Mishima, with his own commentary) (Aperture 2002 ISBN 0-89381-169-6)
  • Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence, and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima by Roy Starrs
    Roy Starrs
    Roy Starrs is a scholar of Japanese literature and culture who teaches at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has written critical studies of the major Japanese writers Yasunari Kawabata, Naoya Shiga, Osamu Dazai, and Yukio Mishima, and edited books on Asian nationalism , globalization, and...

     (University of Hawaii
    University of Hawaii
    The University of Hawaii System, formally the University of Hawaii and popularly known as UH, is a public, co-educational college and university system that confers associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees through three university campuses, seven community college campuses, an employment...

     Press
    University of Hawaii Press
    The University of Hawaii Press is a university press that is part of the University of Hawaii.The University of Hawaii Press was founded in 1947, with the mission of advancing and disseminating scholarship by publishing current research in all disciplines of the humanities and natural and social...

    , 1994, ISBN 0-8248-1630-7 and ISBN 0-8248-1630-7)
  • Escape from the Wasteland: Romanticism and Realism in the Fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series, No 33) by Susan J. Napier
    Susan J. Napier
    Dr. Susan Jolliffe Napier is Professor of the Japanese Program at Tufts University. She was formerly Professor of the Japanese Literature and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin, and a visiting professor at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University...

     (Harvard University Press, 1995 ISBN 0-674-26181-X)
  • Mishima: A Biography by John Nathan
    John Nathan
    John Nathan is the translator of Japanese works written by celebrated authors such as Yukio Mishima and Kenzaburō Ōe. Nathan is also an Emmy-award winning producer, writer and director of many films about Japanese culture and society and American business.He studied at University of Tokyo...

     (Boston
    Boston
    Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

    , Little, Brown and Company
    Little, Brown and Company
    Little, Brown and Company is a publishing house established by Charles Coffin Little and his partner, James Brown. Since 2006 it has been a constituent unit of Hachette Book Group USA.-19th century:...

     1974, ISBN 0-316-59844-5)
  • Mishima ou la vision du vide (Mishima : A Vision of the Void), essay by Marguerite Yourcenar
    Marguerite Yourcenar
    Marguerite Yourcenar was a Belgian-born French novelist and essayist. Winner of the Prix Femina and the Erasmus Prize, she was the first woman elected to the Académie française, in 1980, and the seventeenth person to occupy Seat 3.-Biography:Yourcenar was born Marguerite Antoinette Jeanne Marie...

     trans. by Alberto Manguel 2001 ISBN 0-226-96532-5)
  • Rogue Messiahs: Tales of Self-Proclaimed Saviors by Colin Wilson
    Colin Wilson
    Colin Henry Wilson is a prolific English writer who first came to prominence as a philosopher and novelist. Wilson has since written widely on true crime, mysticism and other topics. He prefers calling his philosophy new existentialism or phenomenological existentialism.- Early biography:Born and...

     (Mishima profiled in context of phenomenon of various "outsider" Messiah types), (Hampton Roads Publishing Company 2000 ISBN 1-57174-175-5)
  • The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima, by Henry Scott Stokes
    Henry Scott Stokes
    Henry Scott Stokes is a British journalist who has been the Tokyo bureau chief for The Financial Times , The Times and The New York Times ....

     London : Owen, 1975 ISBN 0-7206-0123-1)
  • The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima by Jerry S. Piven. (Westport
    Westport, Connecticut
    -Neighborhoods:* Saugatuck – around the Westport railroad station near the southwestern corner of the town – a built-up area with some restaurants, stores and offices....

    , Connecticut, Praeger Publishers, 2004 ISBN 0-275-97985-7)
  • Teito Monogatari
    Teito Monogatari
    is a massive Japanese historical fantasy epic written by Hiroshi Aramata.-Overview:The story is a retelling of the history of Edo from an occultist perspective. The premise is based on the idea that the curse of Taira no Masakado greatly influenced the city's history from its inception to the...

    (vol. 5–10) by Hiroshi Aramata
    Hiroshi Aramata
    is a Japanese author, translator, and screenplay writer, as well as a specialist in natural history and cartography.His most popular novel was Teito Monogatari , which has sold over 3.5 million copies in Japan alone. He also wrote Alexander Senki, a novel which eventually evolved into the anime...

     (a fantasy/historical novel featuring Mishima as a central character contending with malignant spiritual forces which feed off his nationalist pride), (Kadokawa Shoten
    Kadokawa Shoten
    is a well-known Japanese publishing company based in Tokyo, Japan. Kadokawa has published both manga novels and magazines, such as Newtype magazine...

     ISBN/ASIN 4041690056)
  • Yukio Mishima by Peter Wolfe
    Peter Wolfe
    Peter William Randall changed his name to Peter Wolfe because of his admiration of Desmond Wolfe the alter ego of Withnail from the cult film, Withnail and I. He is also known as Wolfman. He is an English poet, and a musician of the band, Wolfman and the Side-Effects. He is also a friend of Pete...

     ("reviews Mishima's life and times, discusses, his major works, and looks at important themes in his novels," 1989, ISBN 0-8264-0443-X)
  • Yukio Mishima, Terror and Postmodern Japan by Richard Appignanesi (2002, ISBN 1-84046-371-6)
  • Mishima's Sword – Travels in Search of a Samurai Legend by Christopher Ross (2006, ISBN 0-00-713508-4)
  • Yukio Mishima's Report to the Emperor by Richard Appignanesi (2003, ISBN 978-0954047665)
  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
    Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters is an American/Japanese film co-written and directed by Paul Schrader in 1985. It was co-produced by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas....

    (1985), a film directed by Paul Schrader
    Paul Schrader
    Paul Joseph Schrader is an American screenwriter, film director, and former film critic. Apart from his credentials as a director, Schrader is most notably known for his screenplays for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Raging Bull....

  • The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima (1985) BBC documentary) directed by Michael Macintyre
  • Yukio Mishima: Samurai Writer, a BBC documentary on Yukio Mishima, directed by Michael Macintyre, (1985, VHS ISBN 978-1-4213-6981-5, DVD ISBN 978-1-4213-6982-2)
  • Yukio Mishima, a play by Adam Darius
    Adam Darius
    Adam Darius is an American dancer, mime artist, writer and choreographer. As a performer, he has appeared in over 85 countries across six continents...

     and Kazimir Kolesnik, first performed at Holloway Prison, London, in 1991, and later in Finland, Slovenia and Portugal.
  • String Quartet No.3, "Mishima", by Philip Glass. A compilation of his soundtrack for the film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters it has a duration of 18 minutes.


External links

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