Mishima: A Biography

Paperback | April 7, 2000

byJohn NathanEditorJohn Nathan

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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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 In 1970, Nobel Prize nominated writer Yukio Mishima stepped out onto a Tokyo balcony and in front of a gathering of troops, pushed a sword into his stomach. His disciple then completed the hara-kire ceremony by beheading him. Mishima: A Biography is the riveting story of a truly original figure in world literature. John Nathan reveals...

From the Publisher

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, c...

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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Format:PaperbackDimensions:348 pages, 7.75 × 5 × 0.9 inPublished:April 7, 2000Publisher:Da Capo BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:030680977X

ISBN - 13:9780306809774

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 In 1970, Nobel Prize nominated writer Yukio Mishima stepped out onto a Tokyo balcony and in front of a gathering of troops, pushed a sword into his stomach. His disciple then completed the hara-kire ceremony by beheading him. Mishima: A Biography is the riveting story of a truly original figure in world literature. John Nathan reveals his horrific childhood, sado-masochistic thoughts and ultimately consuming fascination with death. Few biographies portray such darkness and unflinching truth.