by Yukio Mishima
Translated from the Japanese 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.