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Mishima's Sword: Travels in Search of a Samurai Legendby Christopher Ross
Synopses & Reviews
On November 25, 1970, the world renowned Japanese writer Yukio Mishima committed seppuku with his own antique sword. Mishimas spectacular suicide has been called many things: a hankering for heroism; a beautiful, perverse drama; a political protest against Japans emasculated postwar constitution; the epitaph of a mad genius. Part travelogue, part biography, and part philosophical treatise, Mishimas Sword is the story of Christopher Rosss journey to find a sword and maybe an understanding of Mishimas country. The cold trail the author follows inspires a tale of the most engaging-and occasionally bizarre-sort, with glimpses of the real Japan that is not seen by tourists, with digressions on, among other things, bushido and socks, mutineers and Noh ghosts, nosebleeds and metallurgy-and even how to dress for suicide.
In 1970, the world-famous Japanese writer Yukio Mishima plunged a knife into his belly and was decapitated using his own antique sword. In the decades since, people have asked endless far-ranging questions about this spectacular suicide. Christopher Ross wondered, What on earth happened to Mishima's sword? And so Ross sets off for Tokyo on a journey into the heart of the Mishima legend--the very heart of Japan. It was a country Ross knew well after nearly five years of living there--but nothing could have prepared him for this. While searching for the fabled sword, Ross encounters the rather startling range of those who knew Mishima...a world, or perhaps more accurately a demimonde, of craftsmen and critics, soldiers and swordsmen, boyfriends and biographers (even the man who taught Mishima hara-kiri). The trail Ross follows inspires a travelogue of the most eye-opening--and occasionally bizarre--sort, a window into the real Japan that is never seen by tourists and the occasion for digressions on, among other things, socks and the code of the samurai, nosebleeds and metallurgy...even how to dress for suicide. Mishima's Sword is a dazzling read--the perfect book for all those intrigued by things Japanese, from gangsters to Genji, from manga to Mishima.
In the tradition of Pico Iyer, a witty and revealing insider's journey through a modern Japan that outsiders seldom glimpse
About the Author
Christopher Ross lives in Paris. His first book, Tunnel Visions: Journeys of an Underground Philosopher, was a bestseller in the United Kingdom.
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