Yukio Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea Essay

Yukio Mishima's The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea Essay

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Yukio Mishima’s novel The Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea, represents the conflicts between pre-WW2 Japan and post-WW2 Japan, the author constructs the novel with characters whose lives are pulled into conflicting directions that portray the changing culture of Japan during that era. In the novel Fusako, the mother of Noboru and the girlfriend of Ryuji, is a woman who is caught up by conflicts, that many post-WWII Japanese women would face, which take place in her life and are direct cause of her actions throughout the novel. Fusako’s conflicts symbolize the issues faced by post-WWII Japan. Fusako is a woman with who has needs for intimacy but seeks these needs as if she was man, she has to deal with the needs of her growing boy, Noboru, who is fatherless at the moment, and also has the need to transform into a Westernized business woman as opposed to representing a traditional Japanese woman.
Mishima presents Fusako as a woman who seeks a man due to her long years of abstinence after the death of her husband. As most single women do, Fusako not only wants a man to take the role as a father for her offspring, but also to satisfy her in intimate ways. It is brought to our attention that Noboru would watch his mother and discovered that numerous times throughout the story Fusako would walk around naked in her room before she went to bed, “He discovered that it was her habit… to sit completely naked for a few minutes before going to bed…. Usually she got right into bed after touching her flesh with perfumed water, but sometimes she would sit at the dressing table and gaze into the mirror at her profile for a few minutes” (Mishima 7),this symbolizes the magnitude of Fusako’ loneliness, and her desire to have a man that will...


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...e novel is a figurative war between pre-WW2 Japan and post-WW2 Japan and how the author portrays Fusako as a woman who was raised in the old ways of Japan must now try to adjust to its new westernized ways and avoid those who oppose the new Japan where in the past women weren’t allow to run businesses, but now she is, as well as how she eagerly seeks another mate due to the fact that she’s over thirty and single while trying to be the provider and nurturing mother to her fatherless son Noboru.


Works Cited

Friedman, Seth. "The Changing Roles of Women in Japanese Society." The Changing Roles of Women in Japanese Society.N.p., Dec. 1992. Web. 27 Apr. 2014.
"Japanese Women." - GHN: IEEE Global History Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

Mishima, Yukio, and John Nathan. The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970. Print.




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