Is anyone here familiar with how Yukio Mishima is regarded in Japan? Is he considered an essential author and taught in schools? or is he an author that most don't want to associate themselves with due to his nationalist sentiments and the scandalous elements of his homosexuality?
Sorry if this is a redundant topic but it doesn't seem like the archive is functioning.
He has appeared in vidyia over there so is probably well regarded :^)
I've heard professors (not specially conservative) say that he had the best Japanese of all modern writers, and sometimes people (a bit more on the conservative side) wonder in relation to him why someone like Kenzaburo Oe got the Nobel prize.
His far-right antics and his homosexual tendencies are usually subsumed, I think, in the artist-as-a-monster idea, which is present all over the world but a bit more extreme in Japan.
He's also the inspiration for the 2nd season of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. They couldn't use his real name and work because of copyright issues so instead he becomes a dead fictional author called "Patrick sylvester" who wrote of individuality and revolution, he wrote Noh theatre and was obcessed with the May 15 incident. Then there are two other characters who are influenced by the work also encompassing Mishima's views. Kuze as a revolutionary leader willing to sacrfice himself and Gouda as a Japanese ultranationalist wanting to reform the state through an internal Gov coup. Very interesting to watch
>At a more serious level, Mishima's disease was of a philosophical kind, which is the toxic mix of Zen, Nietzsche and Heidegger - a prejudicial trilogy that still bugs Japanese intellectuality, along with the cultic Buddha-Samurai-Emperor hodgepodge. Mishima hated rationality and Christianity, attempting as a chosen one to transcend them all and go far beyond, like a Nietzschean Superiorman dreaming in the bubble of Dionysian orgies, hellbent on bringing about creative destruction with will-to-power cruelty and finally triumph over modernity - a philosophical response to the modern age rife with dog-eat-dog Darwinian strife. Nietzschean prescription was god-is-dead atheism and back-to-the-future paganism. Mishima's pills were a fascistic concoction of Buddha-killing Zen meditation and self-immolating Samurai bravado and Banzai-Emperor war cry.
He's despised by Jap SJW's (seriously, interesting essay)
Even here people come to post this kind of this shit? How boring.
In any case, he was not only short, also very sickly when he was young --something common for the urban generation that grew up during the war because of scarcity-- and that played a role when later in life he fought to reach the peak of his physical abilities.
Not as far-fetched as it might sound, considering the connection Budhhism-Schopenhauer-Nietzsche and the links between the Kyoto School and continental thought, Germany in particular.
I work with a large amount of Japanese women, many of whom are pretty frequent readers. They generally regard him as a gay Bill O'Reilly, with more emphasis on the gay than the Bill O'Reilly. Most of them know about him but very few have much interest in his work, though the books they have read are usually his potboilers (not the ones that have been translated into English) since most of those were romance novel-tier.
He's regarded as a decent author but he's nowhere near top revered writer status as he's made out to be on /lit/. He's usually considered secondary to writers like:
He's probably considered on the same tier as someone like Dazai.
Check out his other reviews and his website, he's a liberal academic in Japan. He's seriously butthurt about the legacy of Nationalism/Imperialism, he also promtes the Korean language (make of that what you will)
I was going to mention the significance of his work in the western Traditionalist school (aswell as in the Alt right). Mishima also had a strong base on western anti-modernists like Yeats (who desperate liberals also like to call a facsist)
I found that he's regarded there the same way that Hemigway is here. He was really very very famous for a long time.
The Japanese aren't exactly homophobic, but it is one of those things that isn't really talked about outside of pertainant circles-- there are a lot of these kinds of topics in Japan; xenophobia, homosexuality, and Mishima's this incl.
yes but then mishima offed himself after he finished his first good work. i've no doubt he wouldve been one of the best japanese writers to have ever lived if he didnt, you know, just transition from art to seppuku
It's kind of weird to compare Akutagawa with any other 20 century Japanese writer. Aku is a cult classic writer, inseparable part of everyday culture. A totally different level of fame and recognition. By the way, that doesn't mean he's any better than Mishima, Oe, Dazai etc. I just want to say that your comparison is not working here.
My buddy said while traveling that people either didn't know Mishima, only had heard of his suicide/coup or knew pieces of his but never read any. I don't think he met anyone who really knew much about Mishima's ideals. I think though that Mishima's aesthetic vision is often overlooked due to the way he satisfied it, and probably comes off as dry to an average layman hearing about a right wing author who attempted a coup.
I'm just rambling, I like Mishima's work but the more I read and the closer I get to what I believe Mishima was trying to get out of himself, I disagree with him more and more.
With good reason Japanese traditionalists are opposed to everything western. The reason Mishima appeals to so many in the west is I believe the strong influence of european literature on his worldview, I imagine there would be many trad detractors of his in Japan because of that
My Japanese ex-gf didn't read much of him but was sympathetic to his far-right politics because she felt Japanese culture was fading into the globalist hodgepodge. This was a 24 year old woman who felt like she was losing her homeland.
If far-right politics gain more traction worldwide, Mishima may become much more famous.
Seems kind of odd that Dazai would be viewed well. He seems to have been a pretty miserable person, and I didn't think his suicide and communist involvement would have really won him any points with the public.
when will edgy teens realize that people that committed suicide clearly had no clue how to deal with life and so should not be looked up to...how are you going to take advice from a 5 foot tall homo who killed himself?
Mishima literary value is given mainly by his representation of traditional Japanese values and political views. His writing doesn't explore often the human being in general like Oe or Kawabata do.
reminds me of a review where someone said "a lot of people like him but in reality he was probably a fascist."
No actual review of his work, just that fact that him being fascist immediately discredits everything he did
Holy shit I just wrote a wall of text explaining why I disagree on a personal level with Mishima's aesthetics, how he chose to think and act but I just lost it all so I'll make a quick summary of that here.
My disagreeing with Mishima is personal, as I think it must be, by nature of Mishima's aesthetic understanding. It, to an extent obviously, guides what a person ought to, not necessarily do, but definitely understand as beautiful or worthy of experiencing, IE The visceral ephemeral moments in life. (hence the picturesqueness of Mishima's depictions of nature and the purity of idealism he has) Now this is all fine until -also where I disagree with him- Mishima torques this into a egotistic self satisfaction play where he makes a scenario that satisfies what is the most aesthetic or beautiful or (in my words) the most visceral experience of reality by hitting all these, almost cliche, parameters to ultimately commit suicide (of which you can find online but those were not in any order 1. amassing his following. 2. physically beautiful. 3. finishing his sea of fertility. 4. not really something he might of planned but he was one of the first of his contemporaries to commit suicide. There are more but off the top of my head) And by committing suicide essentially satisfying what he thought to be aesthetic or worth living ect. ect.
I don't agree with his exact understanding of aesthetics because it ultimately led him to make a huge cockride fest just so he could look cool in my eyes, maybe he was a pure king of political and philosophical idealism but I think deep down it was more of a way for him to make a splash and I feel like that the more I read him. Take what I say with a grain of salt I'm analyzing Mishima at a very layman's level but I cannot shake the idea that how I feel is true.
I should also say I disagree as in this is not how I would live, not that I don't see the genius (or I think and I'm willing to cockride) in either situation where Mishima is a king or where he was egotistically satisfying himself, both scenerio's don't change what he did but only why he did it and I think even the acts he did (writing a fucking shit load, getting that political following, getting physically fit ect. ect.) are worth recognizing and even learning from, I just don't know how much people should idolize someone who's climax in life was potentially misconstruing they're own idealism and using that to hoodwink themselves into believing this suicide to be the climax. I still like the guy though and the cock-riding of any figure is most often not in anyone's best interest.
Here's your response.
When will edgy teens realize suicide isn't as simple as people not being able to deal with life and to construe it as such shows a small, poorly functioning mind. Many well known thinkers chose to take their own life, the act does not negate their work - especially considering they would've died anyway eventually. If a person dies in a car wreck, would you refuse to take anything they said in life seriously, because they chose to put their life at risk by sitting in a deadly automobile?
Japanese /lit/ is so fucking awkward, I cannot see the appeal to anyone except a weaboo. It's full of these infantile "morbidities," and juvenile bits of platonism, and platitudinous nonsense: the "end of an era" etc
It's like a country of weakling edgar allan poes
I spoke to a few people about Mishima. He is well-regarded as a writer and there is definitely a sympathetic streak for his nationalism, especially with ~40-50 y/o men. The guys I spoke with (sample size of 3) about him, didn't think that his actions were "good" but related to the feeling that Japan had been emasculated and that life as a Japanese had become "gray" for lack of a better word. Most educated people know who he is, if only in name. I don't think any of his work is assigned in high school.
Younger types tend to be less willing to accept his extreme point of view, but I didn't have much contact with Japanese who were into literature in this age group.
It's also important to understand that just going, "suicide = weakness" isn't something that's true in Japanese culture. It isn't an admission of weakness at all, and in many ways suicide is to be celebrated. Considering how deeply involved Mishima was in the Showa period and its love of traditional Japanese culture (especially as WW2 dragged on) it's not that surprising he did something so overtly.
Mishima's something of a cult-classic in reactionary circles for that very reason: his celebration of Japan's classical attitudes, while somehow managing to be quite western at the same time.
>and in many ways suicide is to be celebrated.
It's nothing to be celebrated anymore. Japan nowadays doesn't values THAT different from western society, in particular, in relation to suicide. In fact, people's reaction to Mishima's death was a good example of that, since people reacted to the news with almost a sense of horror and that something wrong has been done - the reaction to what japan at the time considered already an archaic tradition.
I blame americans t.b.h
They took they're still taking their lack of culture overseas.
Akutagawa and Dasai are essential reading (in the high-school sense). Temple of the Golden blahbiddity-blah is pretty well know to high school/college students and anybody else that's literate, so you could say that's "essential." But overall Mishima is just another post-war dude with all those post-war sentiments. Yeah his whole SDF cult leader thing and seppuku happened (which /lit/ loves), but cults and nationalism are pretty much a part of Japanese society anyway (maybe nationalism less so nowadays).
It also depends heavily on the fact that Mishima was a writer. A good writer (although most reactionaries/neo-fascists/anti-modernists have read him, just like Evola) but just a writer, certainly not the "spiritual samurai" that Mishima occasionally billed himself as. As to the reaction by the Japanese, it might have as much to do with what Mishima was trying to accomplish as with the act itself (I'm willing to bet that despite everything, most Japanese in history tended to view suicide as something to be avoided).
As for who to blame, well, the Japanese were already embracing western ideas and values (reluctantly) during the interwar period. And the problem isn't necessarily American culture, since American culture isn't being exported abroad. It's not like the Japanese back in the day were hearing stories about Paul Bunyan, Sasquatch, Ichabod Crane, etc.
Instead what we have is the spread of a parasitic, monolithic, globalist culture. Created in part by Americans, but not that well-liked by Americans.
>Japan throws away its culture to become a smelly modernist fascism
>kills 10 million Chinese civilians, soldiers film themselves raping Chinese women and smile into the the camera
>Japan attacks American navy, commencing war
>loads of death, torturing on both sides
>Japan refuses to surrender
>America drops one bomb to kill 80,000 civilians in Hiroshima
>Japan still refuses to surrender
>America drops ANOTHER bomb to kill 40,000 civilians in Nagasaki
>Japan STILL REFUSES TO SURRENDER
>threats reach emperor's ears about a potential bombing of Tokyo
>Ok we surrender now
>muh fuck America for takin away our suicide :'( ur uncultured
Hemingway is overrated, yes, though I think you're not lending him the context of modernism, which is key to understanding his importance.
More importantly, though, we were talking about how these artists were percieved by the general public. I was making a comparison on this grounds
>>America drops one bomb to kill 80,000 civilians in Hiroshima
>>Japan still refuses to surrender
>>America drops ANOTHER bomb to kill 40,000 civilians in Nagasaki
>>Japan STILL REFUSES TO SURRENDER
That's debatable, the atomic bomb was unknown, the government in Tokyo didn't know the extend of the damage in Hiroshima/Nagasaki immediately (as no-one survived) and after the damage was surveyed, Japanese physicists (correctly!) hypothesized that there can't be many bombs of this kind and that they should just carry on (after Nagasaki it would have taken about 2 weeks until the next bomb would have been ready).
Japan was already prepared to surrender but wanted a few promises by the US, but what actually forced the hand of the government to unconditional surrender was the declaration of war by the Soviet Union. In his declaration to the soldiers Hirohito only talked about the Soviets and didn't talk about atomic bombs. He completely reversed that in his final speech though.
Thanks, The lost post was better put together but this works too. I still want to emphasis that the politics of Mishima aren't what actually matter here they were used as a vehicle for his "aesthetic" suicide.
If I remember correctly he actually was trying to incite a revolt and to lead the JDSF in a coup. Meaning, the suicide was a result of his failure, not the main objective --I think the troops couldn't really hear or understand what he was saying during what he thought was going to be his glorious revolutionary speech, etc.
Moreover, he botched the death ritual and needed his assistant to cut his head, which was normal. Even during feudal times most of the samurai ordered to commit seppuku weren't able to go through with it, according to historical documents.
No no, both points you've said are wrong. I'm not trying to make Mishima out to be something he's not but we can't have false information floating around. Have you read Sun and Steel?
The suicide was planned, as told in Sun and Steel and eluded to heavily all through out Mishima's other Novels, also suicide/dieing and the aforementioned purity idealism/visceral ephemeralism (It's a word now I guess).
Also Mishima planned to have his friend cut off his head (more honour/show boating/picturesque/emotional then traditional sepukku) but it was his friend who failed to fully cut off his head and another had to come finish, it was botched but not by Mishima himself.
See my previous posts to see why I think Mishima is much more of an artist then a politician and what I believe to be the true nature that Mishima lived under.
Also Sun and Steel is required reading for this conversation.
No I can't but using loose deductive reasoning, you can see how it makes more sense that the coupe was planned to fail and suicide was a predetermined event. There were other means to influence government and the people at the time, this wasn't 1940's, It's obvious Mishima had political motivations but it all stemmed off his aesthetic principles and to me seems more of a catalyst/vehicle for self satisfaction.
People who would be the equivalent of this board would like him while everybody else thinks he's insane and don't want to be associated. He's kind of like Nietzsche for the anglosphere where everybody who doesn't read thinks he's a Nazi
Mishima was highly inspired by the May 15th incident, a coup which also failed but gained massive public sympathy for the principled perpetrators and resulted in reignited nationalism and contributed to greater authoritarianism by the Military. Mishima always intended to commit sempekku, but as in Patriotism, he wanted a beautiful performance that would seal himself and his act as the purest ideal. I don't beleive he really though it would work, only that he would go onto inspire others as a legend
a personal matter or the silent cry with oe. possibly the changeline.
snow country with kawabata, or master of go, but be warned master of go is significantly different from his other stuff. don't start with the old capital.
The thing that makes Mishima an interesting writer is his almost delirious adherence to traditionalism in spite of an epochal shift in japanese ideology. I suspect that he actually well knew the tenuousness of the values he was raised to believe in, but also understood that if he were to forsake them, he would be leading a purposeless , volatile existence. All my speculation, but it's this question that fascinates me with Mishima as an author
I had recently finished Sailor and wanted another book, but the only other Mishima book the library had was that. Even though it's completely different from Sailor in tone and content, I was pleasantly surprised by how it pulled me in.