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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima

Every now and again, I receive spam and other odd advertisements in my e-mail account... most of which are unsolicited. And that's fine. It's called phishing... because sometimes a person will nibble on the e-mail and be drawn in.

While in this case, I am hardly being drawn in to my death, the subject matter was.

The e-mail from the publishers Stone Bridge Press are - in November of 2012 - publishing an 858 page hardback entitled Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima, written by Naoki Inose with Hiroaki Sato.

I'm going to be a bit lazy here and pretty much present what they sent me, and see if it doesn't capture your attention as it did mine.

Yukio Mishima 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 three times, Mishima was the best-known novelist of his time and his legacy—his persona—is still honored and puzzled over.

, the first full biography to appear in English in 30 years, traces Mishima's trajectory from a sickly boy named Kimitake Hiraoka to a hard-bodied student of martial arts. In detail, Inose and Sato examine Mishima's family life, war experience and enormous literary output. Persona reveals the ideologies, conflicts and occasional petty backbiting that shaped the literary and political culture of postwar Japan.
Naoki Inose is a prize-winning Japanese author, writing on Mishima and Osamu Dazai - both well-known Japanese authors who killed themselves (Or was Dazai's death, murder?). He is also the vice-governor of Tokyo, elected in 2007.

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." He lives in Manhattan. 

Stone Bridge Press published books about Asia... and if they asked to write a book about my adventures there, I would. I would also accept any books they send me for review. I'm just saying.

Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima will be released in November of 2012, and costs: $39.95 US / $43.99 CAN, and is distributed by Consortium.

Andrew Joseph

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