Social Sciences and Media Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara, Isla Vista, CA 93117
For many years after his shocking suicide in 1970 Mishima’s name was virtually taboo in Japanese intellectual circles. But his reputation in Japan has grown considerably during this century, and today there is more serious interest in his work than ever before. This talk will examine some of Mishima’s pronouncements on the congruence of art and evil, a recurrent theme in his work, from his earliest poems and essays to his final violent outburst, which Mishima himself characterized as an act of ‘aesthetic terrorism’.
Andrew Rankin received his Ph.D. in Japanese Studies from Cambridge University and has lived in Tokyo for many years. He is the author of Seppuku: A History of Samurai Suicide (2011) and has translated works by Mishima, Nakagami Kenji, and others.