Yukio Mishima

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Mishima delivering a speech just before committing seppuku

Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫 Mishima Yukio), born Kimitake Hiraoka (平岡 公威 Hiraoka Kimitake) (1925–1970), was a celebrated Japanese author, polymath, and (infamously) a massive wingnut. Considered a groundbreaking, taboo-breaking avant-gardist, he infamously took the adage "the pen is mightier than the sword" far too literally, and attempted to incite an overthrow of what he deemed the corrupting influence of the westernized Japanese government through his own personal militia, invariably failing miserably and committing ritual suicide (seppuku). Needless to say, he's a bit of a darling in alt-right and far-right nationalist circles,[1] a sort of orientalist Julius Evola. Of course, most of his most fervent wingnut fanboys conveniently ignore every facet of his life except for the "overthrow the capitalist hegemony and restore the soul of our glorious nation" part. (And the fact the JSDF laughed him off the balcony when he attempted his coup)


Mishima was born in the Yotsuya neighborhood of Shinjuku, Tokyo, to a civil servant father and prep school principal mother.[2] His family had numerous ties to the aristocracy; it had long served under the Maeda samurai clan, his Mishima's grandmother Natsuko was descended from the Hitachi province daimyō and was the direct descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a legendary historical figure whose shogunate controlled Japan between 1600 and the Meiji restoration. His grandfather was Governor-General of Karafuto Prefecture on what is now Sakhalin Island, Russia. Mishima was taken from his mother at an early age by said grandmother, who was prone to random violent and morbid outbursts, telling Mishima he would die if exposed to sunlight, and forbidding him to interact with other boys his age. Mishima's early childhood would come to influence the author's later fascination with death. Mishima was enrolled in Gakushūin, a private school frequented by the nobility, and began writing at the age of 12. His first story for the school's literary magazine, Hanazakari no Mori (花ざかりの森, "Forest in Full Bloom"), alludes to many themes that would come to define Mishima's philosophy and ideology; with a narrator describing the feeling that his ancestors somehow still lived within him.

During World War II, Mishima was rejected from the draft after the examiner at his medical check-up misdiagnosed his cold as tuberculosis.