If you have lived in Japan for sometime and have taken a passing interest into Japanese culture then you'll be familiar with the name Yukio Mishima. Of the twentieth century, he was one of Japan's literary stars, and also one of its most tragic, even romantic figures, certainly from what I've read about him so far he saw himself as such.
On the 25th November 1970, exactly thirty five years ago this friday he stormed the Jeitai HQ with four members of his Military organisation the Tatenokai, and after holding hostage an SDF general, made a speech appealing for the constitution to be changed to allow the SDF to become a proper military force and then soon after committed seppuku, in the tradition of the Samurai.
Currently I'm reading Henry-Scott-Stokes biography of the writer, review coming soon, and have become fascinated with his subject, how one becomes as extreme as a character like Mishima is one of eternal fascination for any writer, and now even thirty five years after his death, there is still much speculation for his actions. On his suicide's anniversary a new book will be published revealing a hitherto unpublished interview with Mishima only a week before his death. The author is 69 year old Hirokazu Maeda who was working as journalist during that time.
For more details about the book and the reasons for its delay in being published check out the link at Japan Today. In a few days time there will be a more extensive look at the Biography of Yukio Mishima by Henry Scott-Stokes.