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

„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.

„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.

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