Mishima: A Biography

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Overview

At forty-five, Yukio Mishima was the outstanding Japanese writer of his generation, celebrated both at home and abroad for The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. In 1970 he startled the world by stepping out onto a balcony in Tokyo before an assembly of troops and plunging a sword into his abdomen; a disciple then beheaded him, completing the ritual of hara-kiri. John Nathan's riveting biography traces the life of this tortured, nearly superhuman personality. Mishima survived a grotesque childhood, and ...
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Overview

At forty-five, Yukio Mishima was the outstanding Japanese writer of his generation, celebrated both at home and abroad for The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea. In 1970 he startled the world by stepping out onto a balcony in Tokyo before an assembly of troops and plunging a sword into his abdomen; a disciple then beheaded him, completing the ritual of hara-kiri. John Nathan's riveting biography traces the life of this tortured, nearly superhuman personality. Mishima survived a grotesque childhood, and subsequently his sadomasochistic impulses became manifest-as did an increasing obsession with death as the supreme beauty. Nathan, who knew Mishima professionally and personally, interviewed family, colleagues, and friends to unmask the various-often seemingly contradictory-personae of the genius who felt called by "a glittering destiny no ordinary man would be permitted."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306809774
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2000
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 4.98 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Nathan, the Takashima Professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has translated the novels of both Yukio Mishima and the Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oë. He recently published Sony, a portrait of the giant Japanese corporation.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2001

    Disclosed: behind the mask

    This book remarkably succeeds in revealing the meaning of Mishima's intention in his life and work. To many people Mishima's aestheticism may seem to be nothing but perversion, and his political attitude reactionary. But John Nathan goes beyond stereotyping Mishima's achievements in his life and work as such, and gives a very balanced overview of Mishima, not just as a Japanese literary author (bungo, as you may call him in Japanese), but as a global artist. It is also interesting to find his personal episodes with Mishima, as a translator of Mishima's work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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