Japanese Author- Yukio Mishima


Yukio Mishima was a Japanese writer, poet, actor, playwright, film director and a nationalist. He was born on January 14, 1925. This was his pen name, he was christened KimitakeHiraoka. His life and eventually his death overshadowed his works.


Yukio Mishima was born in Yotsuya, Tokyo. He lived with his maternal grandparents as a little boy. His maternal grandmother Natsuko influenced the young Mishima. He was never allowed to play outside and spent most of his time with his female cousins and played their games. Later when he was 12 he joined his immediate family. He started writing when he was quite young. His father who followed military discipline was irked with the effeminate works of Mishima. Mishima’s first novel was Tozoku which was a story about nobility drawn to commit suicide. It was written in 1946 and published in 1948 putting him in the lines of second generation of post-war writers. He was a recipient of many literary awards in Japan.  He was also one of the six finalists for Nobel Prize in 1963.

Between 1948 and 1949 he worked with the Japanese Ministry of Finance. Slowly he began to veer towards the right wing nationalism and wanted to restore power to the Japanese Emperor. He formed a militia named Tatenokai which was unarmed. On November 25th, 1970 four members of his group and militia attempted a coup which failed miserably. When this coup proved unsuccessful he committed suicide, seppuku, on the same day. He had planned his seppuku for years and it came to light as his affairs were in order after his death and money were given to the surviving members of his militia.


Yukio Mishima’s novels were imaginative and sensuous. It represented the changing Japanese culture. The plots were solid and proficient. A lot of psychological analysis is seen in the novels. There was a little bit of wit also making his work popular all over the world. Books written towards the end of his life showed that he was obsessed with suicide, death and blood. His rejection of modern life was also evident in his works.

Popular works by the author

The popular works of Yukio Mishima are The Sound of Waves, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, Silk and Insight, Madame de Sade.


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