Yukio Mishima (b. 1925) was a brilliant writer and intellectual whose relentless obsession with beauty, purity, and patriotism ended in his astonishing self-disembowelment and decapitation in downtown Tokyo in 1970. Nominated for the Nobel Prize, Mishima was the best-known novelist of his time (works like Confessions of a Mask and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion are still in print in English), and his legacy--his persona--is still honored and puzzled over.
Who was Yukio Mishima really? This, the first full biography to appear in English in almost forty years, traces Mishima's trajectory from a sickly boy named Kimitake Hiraoka to a hard-bodied student of martial arts. In detail it examines his family life, the wartime years, and his emergence, then fame, as a writer and advocate for traditional values. Revealed here are all the personalities and conflicts and sometimes petty backbiting that shaped the culture of postwar literary Japan.
Working entirely from primary sources and material unavailable to other biographers, author Naoki Inose and translator Hiroaki Sato together have produced a monumental work that covers much new ground in unprecedented depth. Using interviews, social and psychological analysis, and close reading of novels and essays, Persona removes the mask that Mishima so artfully created to disguise his true self.
Naoki Inose, currently vice governor of Tokyo, has also written biographies of writers Kikuchi Kan and Osamu Dazai.
New York-based Hiroaki Sato is an award-winning translator of classical and modern Japanese poetry, and also translated Mishima's novel Silk and Insight.
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No woman in the three-hundred-year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story--until now.Many say I was the best geisha of my generation, writes Mineko Iwasaki. And yet, it was a life that I found too constricting to continue. And one that I ultimately had to leave. Trained to become a geisha from the age of five, Iwasaki would live among the other women of art in Kyoto's Gion Kobu district and practice the ancient customs of Japanese entertainment. She was loved by kings, princes, military heroes, and wealthy statesmen alike. But even though she became one of the most prized geishas in Japan's history, Iwasaki wanted more: her own life. And by the time she retired at age twenty-nine, Iwasaki was finally on her way toward a new beginning. Geisha, a Life is her story -- at times heartbreaking, always awe-inspiring, and totally true.
Explains in detail the weapons, techniques, strategies and principles of combat that made the Japanese warrior a formidable foe. An essential work for anyone with an interest in Japanese battle techniques or military traditions.
Located only blocks from Tokyo's glittering Ginza, Tsukiji-the world's largest marketplace for seafood-is a prominent landmark, well known but little understood by most Tokyoites: a supplier for countless fishmongers and sushi chefs, and a popular and fascinating destination for foreign tourists. Early every morning, the worlds of hi-tech and pre-tech trade noisily converge as tens of thousands of tons of seafood from every ocean of the world quickly change hands in Tsukiji's auctions and in the marketplace's hundreds of tiny stalls. In this absorbing firsthand study, Theodore C. Bestor-who has spent a dozen years doing fieldwork at fish markets and fishing ports in Japan, North America, Korea, and Europe-explains the complex social institutions that organize Tsukiji's auctions and the supply lines leading to and from them and illuminates trends of Japan's economic growth, changes in distribution and consumption, and the increasing globalization of the seafood trade. As he brings to life the sights and sounds of the marketplace, he reveals Tsukiji's rich internal culture, its place in Japanese cuisine, and the mercantile traditions that have shaped the marketplace since the early seventeenth century.