Yukio Mishima (b. 1925) was a brilliant writer and intellectual whose relentless obsession with beauty, purity, and patriotism ended in his astonishing self-disembowelment and decapitation in downtown Tokyo in 1970. Nominated for the Nobel Prize, Mishima was the best-known novelist of his time (works like Confessions of a Mask and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion are still in print in English), and his legacy—his persona—is still honored and puzzled over.
Who was Yukio Mishima really? This, the first full biography to appear in English in almost forty years, traces Mishima's trajectory from a sickly boy named Kimitake Hiraoka to a hard-bodied student of martial arts. In detail it examines his family life, the wartime years, and his emergence, then fame, as a writer and advocate for traditional values. Revealed here are all the personalities and conflicts and sometimes petty backbiting that shaped the culture of postwar literary Japan.
Working entirely from primary sources and material unavailable to other biographers, author Naoki Inose and translator Hiroaki Sato together have produced a monumental work that covers much new ground in unprecedented depth. Using interviews, social and psychological analysis, and close reading of novels and essays, Persona removes the mask that Mishima so artfully created to disguise his true self.
Naoki Inose, currently vice governor of Tokyo, has also written biographies of writers Kikuchi Kan and Osamu Dazai.
New York–based Hiroaki Sato is an award-winning translator of classical and modern Japanese poetry, and also translated Mishima's novel Silk and Insight.
|Publisher:||Stone Bridge Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 10.00(h) x 2.10(d)|
About the Author
Naoki Inose: Naoki Inose is a prize-winning Japanese author and vice governor of Tokyo.
Hiroaki Sato: Hiroaki Sato is a prize-winning translator of classical and modern Japanese poetry into English. He has also translated Mishima’s novel, Silk and Insight, and his dramas, My Friend Hitler and Other Plays. Since 2000 Sato has written a monthly Japan Times column, “The View from New York.” Since 1998, he has been an adjunct at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Peasant Ancestors and Grandfather 8
Chapter 2 Samurai Ancestors and Grandmother 32
Chapter 3 "The Boy Who Writes Poems" 57
Chapter 4 Literary Correspondents 77
Chapter 5 First Love 99
Chapter 6 The War and Its Aftermath 126
Chapter 7 To Be a Bureaucrat or a Writer 147
Chapter 8 Confessions 168
Chapter 9 Boyfriends, Girlfriends 192
Chapter 10 Going Overseas 219
Chapter 11 The Girlfriend 241
Chapter 12 The Kinkakuji 265
Chapter 13 Overseas Again 288
Chapter 14 Marriage 311
Chapter 15 Kyoko's House 333
Chapter 16 The 2.26 Incident, Yukoku 358
Chapter 17 Assassinations 381
Chapter 18 Contretemps 409
Chapter 19 The Nobel Prize 435
Chapter 20 Shinpuren, Men of the Divine Wind 459
Chapter 21 "The Way of the Warrior is to die" 482
Chapter 22 Death in India 509
Chapter 23 The Anti-Vietnam War Movement 533
Chapter 24 Sun and Steel 557
Chapter 25 The Shield Society, Counterrevolution 580
Chapter 26 The Yakuza 605
Chapter 27 Wang Yangming: "To know is to act" 627
Chapter 28 The Constitution 651
Chapter 29 Hailstones, Ghouls, Golden Death 673
Chapter 30 Toward Ichigaya 689
Chapter 31 The Seppuku 713