Mishima: A Biography

Front Cover
Hachette Books, Apr 7, 2000 - Literary Collections - 348 pages
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."

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PhoenixTerran - LibraryThing

After finishing Yukio Mishima's The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, I decided that I wanted to learn more about the author, a major figure in Japanese literature. The one thing that I was vaguely aware of ... Read full review


Mishima in his study 1966

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

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 OŽ. He recently published Sony, a portrait of the giant Japanese corporation.

Bibliographic information