After the Banquet

After the Banquet

4.0 3
by Yukio Mishima, Donald Keene
     
 

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With vast psychological acuity and an unblinking vision of the stratagems of marital warfare, the author tells of the shrewd but charming Kuzu who must choose between her marriage and the demands of her irrepressible vitality.

Overview

With vast psychological acuity and an unblinking vision of the stratagems of marital warfare, the author tells of the shrewd but charming Kuzu who must choose between her marriage and the demands of her irrepressible vitality.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
Published in the United States during the 1960s but written years earlier, this Mishima trio, while vastly different in plot, all sport the common theme of idealism destroyed by reality. Nearly three decades after his death, Mishima continues to be a compelling novelist. (LJ 1/15/63, LJ 3/15/68, LJ 9/1/69) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399504860
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
01/01/1981
Series:
The Perigee Japanese Library
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 5.00(h) x 1.00(d)

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Toros More than 1 year ago
If westerners are at all familiar with Yukio Mishima, it may be due to his overtly nationalist activities and his larger than life - or larger than death - attempt to end his life with the ritual Japanese seppuku suicide, thrusting a short blade into his belly and trying not to flinch as he dragged the blade horizontally through his midsection while a man stood behind him, holding aloft a longer blade, ready to decapitate Mishima should he fail to die with dignity. Whenever I have read a Mishima story, I have struggled to reconcile the images in my mind of his presumably glorious death with the very simple people and events that populate his novels. It has certainly been a while since I last read a work by Yukio Mishima. And I am very pleased to have returned to him with his After the Banquet, the story of Kazu, proprietress of the Setsugoan, a country restaurant outside Tokyo catering to the wealthy and powerful of Japan's conservative elite. That is, until Kazu weds Noguchi, a thin, stern, aging representative of the Radical Party. And consequently, Kazu's conservative clientele abandon her. The more she throws herself and her quickly depleting wealth into her husband's campaign to win the Tokyo governorate, the more her enemies crawl out of the word work, seeking to defame her once good name. And she takes such risks apparently for something that most westerners would have trouble understanding - not for the love of her husband, but for the right to be buried in the Noguchi family cemetery and thereby wash away the potentially eternal stain of her own low-class roots. Naturally, every reader will respond to all of this differently. For me, Mishima was Japan. His style reflects the culture of Japan more than the literary style of others can be said to do. After the Banquet does not relate heroic adventures or earth-shattering events. Most lives are not of such a fantastic quality anyway. Yet western writers, and I am guilty of this as well, seek to create the grandiose within everyday lives, as if to blot out the simplicity of the mundane everyday events we wander through. Mishima revels in the mundane. In his description of fine kimonos, restaurant menus, leaves dancing in the wind, motes of dust floating to the ground, I see again the Japan I used to call home. And I see it, not from my own western perspective, but as a virtual insider. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I see, taste, smell Japan better in Mishima's writing that I ever really did residing there. Which I think is a shame on my part. But all the more praise to Yukio Mishima.
GeorgeEllington More than 1 year ago
If westerners are at all familiar with Yukio Mishima, it may be due to his overtly nationalist activities and his larger than life - or larger than death - attempt to end his life with the ritual Japanese seppuku suicide, thrusting a short blade into his belly and trying not to flinch as he dragged the blade horizontally through his midsection while a man stood behind him, holding aloft a longer blade, ready to decapitate Mishima should he fail to die with dignity. Whenever I have read a Mishima story, I have struggled to reconcile the images in my mind of his presumably glorious death with the very simple people and events that populate his novels. It has certainly been a while since I last read a work by Yukio Mishima. And I am very pleased to have returned to him with his After the Banquet, the story of Kazu, proprietress of the Setsugoan, a country restaurant outside Tokyo catering to the wealthy and powerful of Japan's conservative elite. That is, until Kazu weds Noguchi, a thin, stern, aging representative of the Radical Party. And consequently, Kazu's conservative cliental abandon her. The more she throws herself and her quickly depleting wealth into her husband's campaign to win the Tokyo governorate, the more her enemies crawl out of the word work, seeking to defame her once good name. And she takes such risks apparently for something that most westerners would have trouble understanding - not for the love of her husband, but for the right to be buried in the Noguchi family cemetery and thereby wash away the potentially eternal stain of her own low-class roots. Naturally, every reader will respond to all of this differently. For me, Mishima was Japan. His style reflects the culture of Japan more than the literary style of others can be said to do. After the Banquet does not relate heroic adventures or earth-shattering events. Most lives are not of such a fantastic quality anyway. Yet western writers, and I am guilty of this as well, seek to create the grandiose within everyday lives, as if to blot out the simplicity of the mundane everyday events we wander through. Mishima revels in the mundane. In his description of fine kimonos, restaurant menus, leaves dancing in the wind, motes of dust floating to the ground, I see again the Japan I used to call home. And I see it, not from my own western perspective, but as a virtual insider. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I see, taste, smell Japan better in Mishima's writing than I ever really did residing there. Which I think is a shame on my part. But all the more praise to Yukio Mishima.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of more easy to understand stories by Mishima. The scenes are vivid, psychological tensions are palpable and the ending is a relief, but sad. It is one of those memorable stories whose descriptions linger on years later.