Tuesday, October 10, 2006

One of My Favorite Ultra-nationalists

  • Yukio Mishima's Runaway Horses

In Runaway Horses, Yukio Mishima, who committed seppuku after leading a failed 1970 attempt to incite a military coup in Japan, writes about a young man who, in 1932, plans to incite a military coup in Japan, then commit seppuku.

Write what you know, I guess.

This is the second book of his Sea of Fertility tetralogy, the last volume of which was completed on the day of the coup/ritual disemboweling. I read the first volume, Spring Snow a ways back and loved it. The second one doesn't quite measure up to the first, in my opinion, mostly because all of the political detail sort of dilutes the characters, some of whom deserve to be more distinct than they seemed to me.

Still, I stayed up way too late reading the last 100 pages or so in a frenzy to see what happened next. So, you know, I'm not dissing it. Good stuff. I'll be reading the rest of this tetralogy before long.

Also, I hope tetralogy sounds better in Japanese than it does in English.

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