It was on this day in 1970 that the noted Japanese author Yukio Mishima ceremoniously killed himself in traditional Japanese fashion after a failed attempt at a coup to take over the Japanese Self-Defense Force and restore the Emperor of Japan to actual power. He founded the group Tatenokai in 1968, a sort of private militia made up of young, traditionally-minded Japanese students sworn to defend the Emperor. It is highly doubtful whether he actually expected his attempted coup to work. Many believe that this was simply a way for Yukio to die for his principles in the traditional Japanese fashion. In many ways he was a man out of his time and had known for quite a while that his opinions were out of date in modern Japan.
I didn't realize that this coup attempt had a monarchist raison d'être, although I am old enough to remember the news coverage of it at the time. Mishima (in English translation of course) was one of the most widely read novelists of my childhood. I wonder if the young still read him now. My impression is that they don't.ReplyDelete
That is my impression as well. His more right-wing ideas was hurting his reputation with the liberal elites in his own time and from what I've seen today very few have heard of him. Certain people are still very big fans but it's not widespread.ReplyDelete
I do not believe that Mishima Yukio's objective was suicide, but rather that there was a serious counterrevolutionary conspiracy that came very close to succeeding. A certain patchwork of information about this has become public over the years, and I expect that more will after all the principals are deceased. He is one of the great heroes of the modern age, regardless.