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While Mishima was doing his antics, the real men of Japan who actually pulled the country out of desperate poverty were knuckling down and reinventing themselves as inventors, engineers, and small business owners, all responsible for their own little piece of society (in Japan, people live and work, work, work for EACH OTHER). Westerners are distracted by Mishima because he jabbered a lot and got translated. Source: I lived in Japan for eight years.

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The last wilting perennial chrysanthemum in a garden being sown with annuals.

His was a chosen end, seeing the sun had set, but I fault him for not taking the harder path of creating purpose in this modern darkness.

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A martyr is, by definition, a witness. Their death gives testimony to some thing or some one. If you hold Mishima's death up to that standard, what do we find? And Perpetua?

On the other side of that Gate of Death, Perpetua experienced LIFE as she never could here, truly. Can the same be said for Mishima?

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Nov 20, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz

To what, or whom, we dedicate our lives is the most consequential decision we will ever make. Choose wisely.

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At first, I am tempted to condemn Mishima for killing himself without cause; almost selfishly, as though to prove he could. He chose to die rather than fight on for a traditional Japan that he knew he would never again see in his lifetime.

I think a comparable figure is Ernst Junger. I don't know the extent of Mishima's military experience, but Junger knew war, killing, and death. Even as he saw the fall of German civilization, even deep into the late 20th century (he died in the '90s, I believe) he still fought in the most sensible way he could: by writing works that we now, today, still read and are inspired by.

I suppose that Mishima could be considered a martyr in this regard, as we give his ideas attention in large part because of his suicide, but the Christian martyrs that we might compare him to did not choose to die, and would have continued to preach and evangelize had they not been killed.

I think we would do well to characterize this kind of ritual suicide as the antithesis of the Western warrior spirit. Its better to be killed for wholesale refusal or resistance than to kill oneself.

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International gangsters, a plush mouse in conversation at dinner, female vampire and poison. Beauty is indeed the enemy and the article constructed is worthy of veneration. High praise.

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Great article, i navigate my life as a samurai in a suburban society and it helps alot.

Thanks

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This was a very moving and powerful article. Thanks for writing it.

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But Mishima’s possession by Hagakure brought with it a problem: what was he to be fanatical about? What was left to die for?

This is an important question for us too. In the past, we had channels for male restlessness -- go to sea, go west, etc. All of these are sealed up now. Intellectual exploration is still possible, but this isn't for everyone. Today, the most bold and daring thing a man of average or below average intelligence can do is shoot up an elementary school.

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Yukio Mishima was a fascist sympathizer who hated his country's embrace of Western democracy and civilized modernity. He and other samurais were a medieval death cult, with all the trappings of religious fanaticism.

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deletedNov 20, 2023Liked by Johann Kurtz
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