Yukio Mishima was a revolutionary author. His dramatic public suicide is the perfect capstone to a life full of turmoil and unrest. Mishima himself was as conflicted as his many stories and plays, which tend to play out the problem of which direction is Japan heading, and should the nation be developing that way. Mishima romanticized the samurai and nurtured a lifelong affair with traditional Japanese theater. At the same time, he admired the West and studied Western art and literature avidly. The influence is evident, from the decidedly 19th Century British feel of his novel, Spring Snow, to the many references therein to Western art, literature, film, and philosophy. Mishima was not the only Japanese citizen to feel their country was in danger of becoming too Westernized, and his novels reflect the conflicted state of Japan’s national consciousness during the Meiji era.
Before the Meiji Restoration the idea of blending Japanese and Western culture was prevalent in the land of the rising sun. It was generally thought that Japanese ideology was superior to its Western counterpart, but that Western technology would be essential to Japan’s success as a modern nation. While the pros and cons of the differing ideologies are almost impossible to get to the bottom of, Japan could not succeed in an industrial global society without adopting Western technology. But along with steam engines and steel mills came Western food, fashion, and customs, threatening long-established Japanese tradition. The Shishi samurai ushered in the Meiji Restoration, and they preached the motto, "Japanese thought, Western technology." Mishima identified with this philosophy, and does his best to suppo...
... middle of paper ...
... similarities. It is Dickens’ great work of cultural upheavel, A Tale of Two Cities, that really pertains to Spring Snow. As with the French revolution, the Meiji Restoration forced a complete restructuring of the class system. Dickens focuses on the chaos caused by such a change. Mishima focuses on similar issues.
It is fitting, too, that Mishima provides us with very few answers. At the time of the novel’s publication, 1972, Japan was on the rebound from American occupation and defeat in WWII. The nation was becoming a true player in the global economy, and facing yet another wave of change. And it is important to remember that Spring Snow is the first of a four-novel cycle, a tetralogy. Mishima has chosen to begin with Japan’s restructuring, the most significant social, political, and economic change in hundreds of years. I am eager to see where he leaves off.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- "Patriotism" by Yukio Mishima Death, in many places death is feared, taking one's own life is looked upon as cowardly and weak. This story sheds a different light on death; it shows the honor and respectful way of bowing out. To see the honor in death, one must understand the culture and the time period. The story 'Patriotism' written by Yukio Mishima shows a couple?s courage, love and faith as well as the man?s commitment to his country. As the story goes, Shinji is a member of the Imperil forces.... [tags: Yukio Mishima Patriotism Death]
552 words (1.6 pages)
- In our current society, children are experiencing negative effects of parental conflicts among married couples. The conflicts are either direct or indirect however, they result in several inefficiencies in cognitive development, behavior, and overall performance in the involved children. Nevertheless, research can possible prove that there is a incisive percentage of individuals who have derived from prior conflicting homes, and now exemplify the ideal successful lifestyle. It is in my interest and the interest of some other researchers that these individuals reach out to the younger portion of their connected counterparts in understanding/empathizing, mentoring and giving them direction to... [tags: conflicted homes,marital conflict, child behavior]
1022 words (2.9 pages)
- Yukio Mishima was a brilliant Japanese novelist whose work began to thrive in the late nineteen forty's. His novels focused mainly on Eastern religion, homosexual eroticism and fantasies of death. These controversial themes seem to repel some readers (Magill); however, Mishima remained a dedicated literary artist. In his lifetime he wrote multiple volumes of literature, but only about six or seven earned him a great deal of attention from critics and readers in Japan (Yourcenar 24-25). However, he has earned himself the reputation of Japan’s greatest contemporary novelist (Gale, Magill).... [tags: Biography ]
852 words (2.4 pages)
- Yukio Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea In Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, only three main characters are present – Noboru, a misguided youth; his widowed mother, Fusako; and his mother’s lover, the sailor Ryuji. All other characters exist solely to complement these three key people and to further emphasize their qualities by acting as foils. With only three personalities to develop, Mishima is able to deeply explore the inner workings of the son, the mother, and the sailor.... [tags: Mishima Sailor Grace Sea Essays]
2185 words (6.2 pages)
- In post-World War 2, Japan was in a state of change as it was attempting to embrace the Westernisation of their country. Yukio Mishima was one person who was completely against this change. Yukio Mishima regularly portrayed his views through writing, and in A Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, as we see the character Noboru vehemently disagree with the Westernisation of Japan. Through out the novel the readers discovered that Yukio Mishima and Noboru could share a lot of similarities, which would explain why Mishima portrays Noboru’s views and curiosities in such detail.... [tags: Yukio Mishima, post WWII Japan]
754 words (2.2 pages)
- Cultural Contradictions: An Analysis of Contrasting Elements in Yukio Mishima’s The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea In every direction the sea rages and growls, tumbling its inhabitants in an ever-lasting rumble. Glory, honor, and duty are washed upon the glimmering golden shores of the Japanese empire. The sturdy land-bearers clasp hands with those thrown into the savage arms of the ocean. This junction of disparate milieus forms the basis of an interlocking relationship that ties conflicting elements and motifs to paint a coherent, lucid final picture.... [tags: cultural contradictions, japan]
1163 words (3.3 pages)
- ... This portrayed that Mishima believed that the tradition of the Japanese social class can be broken if it is true love that brought two people together. Another example where social class has become a conflict is when Yasuo assumed that he would be the one marrying Hatsue, and he would become Terukichi’s new son. This assumption of Yasuo shows that in tradition, it is known that a person of a certain level in the social class marries another person of the same level. Since Hatsue and Yasuo come from the same social class, Yasuo believed they were bound to marry each other.... [tags: japanese traditionalism, social class]
634 words (1.8 pages)
- Culture of Japan The Japanese have been around for many years. They are a very distict population where their culture influences many aspects of our lives. A brief history of Japan will enlighten the many ideas and topics in which explains how and why these ideas play a role in their culture. Shinto is the older animist religion of traditional Japan. However, Japans’ religious status is Buddhism. This faith has been sacred for just litte over twelve hundred years. These two religions have intertwined and influenced each other and Japanese culture.... [tags: Japan]
690 words (2 pages)
- The Prague Spring The Prague Spring is referred to when the Warsaw Pact allies invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968. Below are the details surrounding the incident. In 1948, communism was the only political party in Czechoslovakia. The communist take-over was a very popular movement. The first reason why it was a popular movement is because Joseph Stalin signed an agreement with Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt that the Red Army, which would then lead to pro-communism, would liberate Czechoslovakia.... [tags: History Prague Spring Invasion]
1440 words (4.1 pages)
- Japan Geographical Setting Japan is an island country in the North Pacific Ocean. It lies off the northeast coast of mainland Asia and faces Russia,Korea, and China. Four large islands and thousands of smaller ones make up Japan. The four major islands- Hokkaido,Honshu,Kyushu and Shikoku form a curve that extends for about 1,900 kilometres. Topography Japan is a land of great natural beauty. mountains and hills cover about 70% of the country. IN fact, Japanese islands consist of the rugged upper part of a great mountain range that rises from the floor of the North Pacific Ocean.... [tags: Geography Geographical Japan Essays]
2668 words (7.6 pages)
- Globalization: A Continuation of Euro-American Colonialism
- The Media and the Environment
- Globalization: A Continuation of Western Imperialism
- Robert Boyle (1627-1691)
- Postcolonial Theory and Late Capitalist Criticism Aplied to The Night of the Living Dead Trilogy
- Kurt Vonnegut - The Man and His Work