He describes them as follows. In this act we are introduced to all the characters and are given a glimpse at their personalities. The scene opens with Simiane and Saint-Fond waiting in the saloon after being summoned by Madame de Montreuil. We soon learn that Montreuil has asked them to her home for a favor. She asks them to use their influences to get her son-in-law, the Marquis de Sade, out of prison.
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Early life[ edit ] Mishima in his childhood c. April Mishima was born in the Yotsuya district of Tokyo now part of Shinjuku. His father was Azusa Hiraoka, a government official, and his mother, Shizue, was the daughter of the 5th principal of the Kaisei Academy. He had a younger sister, Mitsuko, who died of typhus in at the age of 17, and a younger brother, Chiyuki. Through his grandmother, Mishima was a direct descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu. His father, a man with a taste for military discipline, employed parenting tactics such as holding the young boy up to the side of a speeding train.
He voraciously read the works of numerous classic Japanese authors as well as Raymond Radiguet , Oscar Wilde , Rainer Maria Rilke and other European authors, both in translation and in the original.
He studied German, French, and English. After six years at school, he became the youngest member of the editorial board of its literary society.
The story makes use of the metaphors and aphorisms that later became his trademarks and was published in book form in in a limited edition 4, copies because of the wartime shortage of paper. To protect him from a possible backlash from his schoolmates, his teachers coined the pen-name "Yukio Mishima". At the time of his medical check up, he had a cold, and the young army doctor heard rales from the lung which was misdiagnosed as tuberculosis ; Mishima was declared unfit for service.
Attending lectures during the day and writing at night, Mishima graduated from the University of Tokyo in However, Mishima had exhausted himself so much that his father agreed to his resigning from the position during the first year of employment to devote himself to writing.
He followed with Confessions of a Mask , a semi-autobiographical account of a young homosexual who must hide behind a mask to fit into society. The novel was extremely successful and made Mishima a celebrity at the age of Around , Mishima published a series of essays in Kindai Bungaku on Yasunari Kawabata , for whom he had always had a deep appreciation. His writing gained him international celebrity and a sizable following in Europe and the United States, as many of his most famous works were translated into English.
Mishima traveled extensively; in he visited Greece, which had fascinated him since childhood. Mishima made use of contemporary events in many of his works.
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion published in is a fictionalization of the burning of the famous temple in Kyoto. Mishima was considered for the Nobel Prize for Literature three times  and was a favorite of many foreign publications. He also had roles in films including Yukoku directed by himself, , Black Lizard directed by Kinji Fukasaku , and Hitokiri directed by Hideo Gosha , In his essay Sun and Steel ,  Mishima deplored the emphasis given by intellectuals to the mind over the body.
Mishima later also became very skilled at kendo , traditional Japanese swordsmanship. The couple had two children: a daughter named Noriko born June 2, and a son named Iichiro born May 2, While working on Forbidden Colors, Mishima visited gay bars in Japan.
A year later, he formed the Tatenokai "shield society" , a private militia composed primarily of young students who studied martial principles and physical discipline, and swore to protect the Emperor of Japan. Mishima trained them himself. In the final ten years of his life, Mishima wrote several full-length plays, acted in several films, and co-directed an adaptation of one of his stories, Patriotism, the Rite of Love and Death.
Mishima espoused a very individual brand of nationalism towards the end of his life. Coup attempt and ritual suicide[ edit ] Mishima delivering his speech in the failed coup attempt just prior to performing seppuku November 25, On November 25, , Mishima and four members of the Tatenokai, under pretext, visited the commandant of the Ichigaya Camp, the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of the Japan Self-Defense Forces.
With a prepared manifesto and a banner listing their demands, Mishima stepped onto the balcony to address the soldiers gathered below. He succeeded only in irritating the soldiers, and was mocked and jeered. The assisting kaishakunin duty at the end of this ritual to decapitate Mishima had been assigned to Tatenokai member Masakatsu Morita , who was unable to properly perform the task. Morita then knelt and stabbed himself in the abdomen and Koga again performed the kaishakunin duty.
Another traditional element of the suicide ritual was the composition of so-called death poems before their entry into the headquarters. His biographer, translator John Nathan , suggests that the coup attempt was only a pretext for the ritual suicide of which Mishima had long dreamed.
At the time of his death he had just completed the final book in his Sea of Fertility tetralogy. Mishima wrote 34 novels, about 50 plays, about 25 books of short stories, and at least 35 books of essays, one libretto , as well as one film. Grave of Yukio Mishima in Tama Cemetery. The Mishima Prize was established in to honor his life and works. A biographical film by Paul Schrader titled Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters depicts his life and work; however, it has never been given a theatrical presentation in Japan.
Madame de Sade
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