Yukio Mishima quotes

Yukio Mishima photo
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Yukio Mishima

Birthdate: 14. January 1925
Date of death: 25. November 1970
Other names: ਯੂਕੀਓ ਮਿਸ਼ੀਮਾ

Yukio Mishima is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka , a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, and film director. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. He was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968 but the award went to his countryman Yasunari Kawabata. His works include the novels Confessions of a Mask and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and the autobiographical essay Sun and Steel. His avant-garde work displayed a blending of modern and traditional aesthetics that broke cultural boundaries, with a focus on sexuality, death, and political change. Mishima was active as a nationalist and founded his own right-wing militia, the Tatenokai. In 1970, he and three other members of his militia staged an attempted coup d'état when they seized control of a Japanese military base and took the commander hostage, then tried and failed to inspire a coup to restore the Emperor's pre-war powers. Mishima then committed ritual suicide by seppuku. The coup attempt became known as the "Mishima Incident".

The Mishima Prize was established in 1988 to honor his life and works.

Works

Runaway Horses
Runaway Horses
Yukio Mishima
Thirst for Love
Thirst for Love
Yukio Mishima
Ken
Yukio Mishima
Spring Snow
Spring Snow
Yukio Mishima
The Sound of Waves
The Sound of Waves
Yukio Mishima
After the Banquet
Yukio Mishima
Forbidden Colors
Forbidden Colors
Yukio Mishima

„My "act" has ended by becoming an integral part of my nature, I told myself. It's no longer an act.“

—  Yukio Mishima, book Confessions of a Mask

Source: Confessions of a Mask (1949), p. 153.
Context: My "act" has ended by becoming an integral part of my nature, I told myself. It's no longer an act. My knowledge that I am masquerading as a normal person has even corroded whatever of normality I originally possessed, ending by making me tell myself over and over again that it too was nothing but a pretense of normality. To say it another way, I'm becoming the sort of person who can't believe in anything except the counterfeit.

„Words are a medium that reduces reality to abstraction for transmission to our reason, and in their power to corrode reality inevitably lurks the danger that the words will be corroded too.“

—  Yukio Mishima, book Sun and Steel

Source: Sun and Steel (1968), p. 9.
Context: Words are a medium that reduces reality to abstraction for transmission to our reason, and in their power to corrode reality inevitably lurks the danger that the words will be corroded too. It might be more appropriate, in fact, to liken their action to excessive stomach fluids that digest and gradually eat away the stomach itself.
Many people will express disbelief that such a process could already be at work in a person's earliest years. But that, beyond doubt, is what happened to me personally, thereby laying the ground for two contradictory tendencies within myself. One was the determination to press ahead loyally with the corrosive function of words, and to make that my life's work. The other was the desire to encounter reality in some field where words should play no part at all.

„All my life I have been acutely aware of a contradiction in the very nature of my existence.“

—  Yukio Mishima

As quoted in Mishima : A Life in Four Chapters (1985).
Context: All my life I have been acutely aware of a contradiction in the very nature of my existence. For forty-five years I struggled to resolve this dilemma by writing plays and novels. The more I wrote, the more I realized mere words were not enough. So I found another form of expression.

„At no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it.“

—  Yukio Mishima, book Confessions of a Mask

Source: Confessions of a Mask (1949), p. 118.
Context: At no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it. After that, there remains only the journey itself, which is nothing but the process through which we lose our ownership of it.

„By means of microscopic observation and astronomical projection the lotus flower can become the foundation for an entire theory of the universe and an agent whereby we may perceive the Truth.“

—  Yukio Mishima

"The Priest of Shiga Temple and His Love" in Death in Midsummer, and Other Stories (1966), p. 61.
Context: By means of microscopic observation and astronomical projection the lotus flower can become the foundation for an entire theory of the universe and an agent whereby we may perceive the Truth. And first we must know that each of the petals has eighty-four thousand veins and that each vein gives eighty-four thousand lights.

„Only through the group, I realised — through sharing the suffering of the group — could the body reach that height of existence that the individual alone could never attain.“

—  Yukio Mishima, book Sun and Steel

Source: Sun and Steel (1968), p. 87.
Context: Only through the group, I realised — through sharing the suffering of the group — could the body reach that height of existence that the individual alone could never attain. And for the body to reach that level at which the divine might be glimpsed, a dissolution of individuality was necessary. The tragic quality of the group was also necessary, the quality that constantly raised the group out of the abandon and torpor into which it was prone to lapse, leading it to an ever-mounting shared suffering and so to death, which was the ultimate suffering. The group must be open to death — which meant, of course, that it must be a community of warriors.

„What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.“

—  Yukio Mishima, book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (1959).
Context: What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed. You may ask what good it does us. Let's put it this way — human beings possess the weapon of knowledge in order to make life bearable. For animals such things aren't necessary. Animals don't need knowledge or anything of the sort to make life bearable. But human beings do need something, and with knowledge they can make the very intolerableness of life a weapon, though at the same time that intolerableness is not reduced in the slightest. That's all there is to it.

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„He'd been mistaken in thinking that if he killed himself the sordid bourgeois world would perish with him.“

—  Yukio Mishima

"Raisin Bread", quoted in 三島由紀夫短編集: Seven Stories, translated by John Bester (2002), p. 21.

„Human beings — they go on being born and dying, dying and being born. It's kind of boring, isn't it?“

—  Yukio Mishima, Ken

"Sword" ("Ken"), quoted in 三島由紀夫短編集: Seven Stories, translated by John Bester (2002), p. 67.

„As he saw it, there was only one choice — to be strong and upright, or to commit suicide.“

—  Yukio Mishima, Ken

"Sword" ("Ken"), quoted in 三島由紀夫短編集: Seven Stories, translated by John Bester (2002), p. 46.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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