Yukio Mishima, the Unambiguous, and Myself: Living through a Writer’s Legacy*


The recent release by Criterion on DVD of Paul Schrader’s film Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters(1985) and Mishima’s own film Patriotism(1965) has caused the author of this essay to reconsider his relationship with the late Japanese writers’ books and literary legacy. Believing that these fine films’ presence on DVD will stimulate much renewed discussion of Mishima both in the US and Japan, the author recalls his first discovery of Mishima’s existence shortly after his famous suicide in 1970, reading and responding to his literary output, and prodding famous authors such as Tennessee Williams and Cormac McCarthy for their thoughts on Mishima’s influence. The author’s two poems about Mishima are included to illustrate his changing inner perceptions of the internationally famous writer and the (now-fading) adverse reaction to his work in Japan caused by his politics and his virtually public suicide.

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Johnson, L. (2013) Yukio Mishima, the Unambiguous, and Myself: Living through a Writer’s Legacy*. Advances in Literary Study, 1, 50-53. doi: 10.4236/als.2013.14012.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Napier, S. J. (1995). Escape from the wasteland: Romanticism and realism in the fiction of Mishima Yukio and Oe Kenzaburo. Cambridge, MA: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University.
[2] Piven, J. S. (2004). The madness and perversion of Yukio Mishima. Westport, CT: Praeger.
[3] Rayns, T. (2008). The word made flesh. Booklet. Patriotism (1965). Dir. Yukio Mishima. Perf. Yukio Mishima and Yoshiko Tsuruoka. DVD. Criterion.

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