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One of Japan's greatest novelists. 

—The Economist

Yukio Mishima

20th Century Japanese novelist and playwright

Yukio Mishimia (1925–1970) was many people. The best known in Japan of the writers to emerge there after World War II, he was by far the most published abroad. Mishima completed his first novel the year he entered the University of Tokyo. More followed (some twenty-three, the last completed the day of his death on November 25, 1970), along with more than forty plays, over ninety short stories, several poetry and travel volumes, hundreds of essays, and one film (Patriotism). Influenced by European literarture, in which he was exceptionally well read, he was an interpreter to his own people of Japan’s ancient virtues, to which he urged a return. He was a strict disciplinarian and undertook a rigid bodybuilding and martial arts regime. He seemed at the height of his career and vitality at the age of forty-five, when after a demonstration in the public interest he commited suicide by ceremonial seppuku

Confessions Of A Mask

Fiction by Yukio Mishima

Confessions of a Mask tells the story of Kochan, an adolescent boy tormented by his burgeoning attraction to men: he wants to be "normal." Kochan is meek-bodied and unable to participate in the more athletic activities of his classmates. He begins to notice his growing attraction to some of the boys in his class, particularly the pubescent body of his friend Omi. To hide his homosexuality, he courts a woman, Sonoko, but this exacerbates his feelings for men. As news of the war reaches Tokyo, Kochan considers the fate of Japan and his place within its deeply rooted propriety.
Confessions of a Mask reflects Mishima's own coming of age in post-war Japan. Its publication in English – praised by Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and Christopher Isherwood – propelled the young Yukio Mishima to international fame.

Death In Midsummer

Fiction by Yukio Mishima

Here are nine of Mishima's finest stories, personally selected by the Japanese writer himself; they represent his extraordinary ability to depict, with deftness and penetration, a wide variety of human beings during significant moments. His characters are geisha who request wishes from the moon, sophisticates who scorn yet follow tradition, and seppuku-committing soldiers and their loyal wives who follow them in death. This edition includes one of Mishima's "modern Noh plays," remarkable for its uncanny intensity. The English versions have been done by five outstanding translators: Donald Keene, Meredith Weatherby, Ivan Morris, Geoffrey Sargent, and Edward Seidensticker.


Fiction by Yukio Mishima

translated by Geoffrey W. Sargent

By now, Yukio Mishima’s (1925-1970) dramatic demise through an act of seppuku after an inflammatory public speech has become the stuff of literary legend. With Patriotism, Mishima was able to give his heartwrenching patriotic idealism an immortal vessel. Shinji Takeyama, a lieutenant in the Japanese army, comes home to his wife and informs her that his closest friends have become mutineers. Torn between his allegiances to the Emperor and his rebellious friends, Shinji and his beautiful, loyal wife Reiko decide to end their lives together. With an incredible eye for detail, Mishima describes Shinji and Reiko making love for the last time and the ritual suicide by seppuku that follows.