Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima Hardcover – January 1, 2013
|New from||Used from|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"This is a whale of a bookboth unusually massive and extremely informative and stimulating. . . . Those who are interested in the brilliantly gifted writer of mid-20th century Japan who is its subject will learn much from this volume, and should be stimulated to go back and read, or re-read, what Yukio Mishima has left us."Paul McCarthy, The Japan Times
"From this biography the reader gains a great sense of the milieu from which Mishima arose, the approaches he took in his cutting-edge writing, and his increased fascination with conservative, hypermasculine Japanese traditions... this is an essential addition to all collections with a strong emphasis on world literature and Japanese history, and for English-reading students of 20th-century Japanese literature."Library Journal, November 2012
"Naoki Inose's biography is immensely detailed and punctilious and not easy reading for a foreigner not versed in Japanese culture and history... but does show him to have been an extraordinary man, in many respects a sympathetic one, and a writer of extraordinary range... I hope that this biography revives interest in the best of his novels, especially in the tetralogy. "Wall Street Journal, December 2012
"Personais a book about Japan itself, as filtered through the life of one of its perhaps most important creations.... If Japan truly represents the Occident and the Orient as so many would have us believe, it’s because of icons like the talented, tragic Mishima."Will Eells, Three Percent
"Mishima's life and his many interests... make for fascinating reading, and Persona is a riveting account."M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review
"Persona deftly reveals to us the actual man and writer who willingly traded his life for a legend: Yukio Mishima. Lurching forward vivid drama by drama and then backtracking to provide us with context, the biography opens up a whole epoch of sexual, literary, and artistic creativity, guiding us through the fiction, the friendships, and the passions that ultimately made Mishima Mishima." poet Forrest Gander, 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist
About the Author
Hiroaki Sato: Hiroaki Sato is a prize-winning translator of classical and modern Japanese poetry into English. He has also translated Mishima's novel, "Silk and Insight," and his dramas, "My Friend Hitler and Other Plays." Since 2000 Sato has written a monthly "Japan Times" column, "The View from New York." Since 1998, he has been an adjunct at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Top Customer Reviews
Yukio Mishima, the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka was born on January 14, 1925 to Azusa and Shizue Hiraoka. His upbringing was a bit peculiar--his controlling grandmother snatching him away from his parents. As a child he often struggled with health issues, but exhibited an intellectual precociousness and a talent for writing at a young age. Mishima would eventually become one of the preeminent and most visible authors of his day. He was also an extremely prolific writer, responsible for creating thirty-four novels, more than one hundred seventy short stories, close to seventy plays, six hundred sixty poems, and numerous essays, articles, and other works. Many of Mishima's writings have been translated, but only a fraction of his total output is available in English. He was also involved in the film industry, served as a subject and model for photographers, and was active in martial arts and bodybuilding.Read more ›
It contains many details that fascinate, but the sentence structures, and the often literal-feeling translations, make it such an effort to read that all joy in learning or knowledge gained is seriously vitiated.
Compared to the translations of Mishima's own work for Tuttle by Gallagher or Marks, that sparked my love of Mishima's subtle, evocative and directly human explorations of man in society, this is a tremendous, anti-literary let-down.
In addition, the writer seems to feel that listing out everything is sufficient, but there is little in the presentation of facts to layer their relative importance, which is a task all good authors perform on behalf of the reader... Ruskin, George Steiner, Donald Richie, Ruth Benedict, Susan Sontag, &c all managed it.
On balance, I'm pleased to own this book, but what a struggle to read it!
The physical description of this 852 page creation deserves comment. There are few books in which I resist scribbling my multiple and detailed impressions, but this is one. I admit washing my hands before handling the book and take care in turning the pages.
The cover art is exceptionally pleasing, showing a samurai sword blade plucking off one petal of a red rose, surrounded with ghostly grey on black images of falling rose petals. It is a perfect understanding of Mishima’s pursuit of the “Divine Spirit” of Japan through the twins of aristocratic samurai dedication and the softer bed of Japanese art, poetry, and emersion in death.
Removing the soft cover, the reader sees a more stark representation of the samurai blade on a hazy black hard cover background, matching perfectly the blade position seen on the soft cover. In short, what we have is a beautifully written and visually illustrated account of one of the most influential Asian writers and social commentators of the last century. And, he was productively Machiavellian in personality, with a narcissist lifestyle, somewhat callous in his personal interactions, lacking empathy with those who opposed him, manipulative, and low in fear. He was also a risk-taker and highly sensual, with startling obsessions about his place in history.
The authors trace all of their statements and analyses through original sources from Mishima’s insatiable and productive life. We also see how he was seen by his contemporaries and those outside his immediate sphere.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a GREAT work of scholarship and makes me aware of how much of Yukio Mishima's work is still yet to be translated. If you like Yukio Mishima's work this is a must read. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Josesph M. Lin
Well-written and well-researched. I disagree with those who maintain that one must know Japanese culture very well in order to benefit from the book. There is much to learn here.Published on June 30, 2013 by Adam Donaldson Powell
I read the chapter on the making of Hideo Gosha's Hitokiri and was stunned by the amount of errors and falsehoods like Hitokiri was Gosha's first film it was not! Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by katheleen