Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) Movie Script

Yukio Mishima was
Japan's most celebrated author.
On his death, he left
a body of work consisting of
35 novels, 25 plays, 200 short stories
and 8 volumes of essays.
Both his personal life and artistic works
were closely followed by the general public.
On November 25, 1970, Mishima
and 4 cadets from his private army
entered the Eastern Army Headquarters,
forcibly detained the commander
and addressed the garrison.
Improved & Timing by
a life in four chapters
1- Beauty ... "Temple of the Golden Pavilion"
2- Art ... "Kyoko's House"
3- Action ... "Runaway Horses"
4- Harmony of Pen and Sword
1- Beauty
Good morning.
Good morning, Mr. Mishima.
Would you like breakfast now?
Not today.
What about the children?
Your wife's already
taken them to school.
Recently I've sensed
an accumulation of many things
which cannot be expressed
by an objective form like the novel. TO
Words are insufficient.
So I found
another form of expression.
Is everything as planned?
Read these in the car.
I'll be right out.
Did you get my letter?
Don't worry. You'll find
our little drama newsworthy.
And bring a photographer.
When I examine
my early childhood,
I see myself as a boy
leaning at the window...
forever watching a world
I was unable to change,
forever hoping
it would change by itself.
At seven weeks of age,
I was taken from my mother
by my grandmother.
Close the curtain!
It's almost time
for him to visit his mother.
No! I need him to rub my legs.
Tell her
I'm too sick this week.
Next week.
You would have died
in your mother's care.
A delicate plant like you...
must not go outdoors.
If you want her so much,
just go!
Leave me forever!
Be a good boy
and rub my legs.
That's wonderful.
Only you can make
Grandma feel better.
I looked after
my grandmother's failing health.
She entertained me with stories
and provided playmates.
On special occasions,
she arranged
trips to the theater.
- Watch it!
- Sorry.
Don't apologize
to these commoners.
Can you believe these crowds?
When I was a girl,
people still had
a modicum of manners.
Eat your lunch.
Look. All this riff-raff.
You're just a fragile plant.
The theater is very stimulating.
You're old enough to go now.
It would have been too much
for you before.
The stage made everything
more beautiful.
It turned men into women.
It transformed the entire world.
Look this way.
Look up, sweet.
When I was 12,
my grandmother, then dying,
permitted me to return
to the care of my mother.
Later that year
I entered middle school.
All right, you cowards!
Who's next?
Who is this? The poet?
Mr. Tough.
I'm shaking.
- You'll get killed!
- Mama's boy!
In my earliest years,
I realized life consisted
of two contradictory elements.
One was words,
which could change the world.
The other was the world itself,
which had nothing to do with words.
For the average person,
the body precedes language.
In my case,
words came first.
Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Published 1956
I can't hear
a word you're saying.
Your name's Mizoguchi.
I know what you want.
To be friends
because we're both cripples.
Your stuttering
and my frog feet.
That's all right.
I do too.
You're still a virgin, right?
Yeah, I thought so.
No success with girls,
and not enough guts
to go to a whore.
If you're looking for another virgin,
you struck out with me.
Go ahead and stutter.
Virgins are beautiful,
but there's nothing
beautiful about you.
Guys like us
are just like beautiful girls.
We get sick
of always being stared at.
It's like...
a m-m-mirror...
you can't b-b-break.
You're so self-important.
You make too big a deal
about your stuttering.
I suppose you're a damn poet.
G- G-Golden Pavilion.
It's too beautiful.
An acolyte.
Even worse.
Face the fact
you'll never be loved.
It's the same for everybody.
You can trick girls
into loving your deformity
instead of hating it.
Come on. I'll show you.
You did that on purpose!
What can I do?
You just going to walk away?
Help me up.
Is there a doctor nearby?
My house
is around the corner.
Suddenly I came across
a picture
whose only purpose had been to lie
in wait for centuries and ambush me.
The white matchless beauty
of the youth's body
hung against the tree trunk,
his hands tied by thongs.
I trembled with joy.
My loins swelled.
My hand unconsciously began
a motion it had never been taught.
My need to transform reality
was an urgent necessity,
as important
as three meals a day or sleep.
Mm, really.
Scenic beauty is hell,
isn't it?
Take that one up the path
and screw her.
She wants it.
B- b-but how?
Make her pity your stutter.
Make her worship it.
That's why we're here.
Maybe she'll fall in love
with a stutterer.
Do you stutter?
Well, are all the deformities
here today?
Let's split up.
We'll meet here again
in two hours.
D- d-do you want
to go home?
He's gone off
and made her feel she's a saint.
That's his usual trick.
H- h-how do you know?
Oh, come on.
How do you think?
What are you doing?
What's wrong?
Just as I thought.
It seems you haven't
been going to school.
Have you been ill?
That's no way
for a Zen acolyte to behave.
Nothing's that unbearable.
You'll get over it.
No. Everything...
is p-p-powerless.
What happened?
She ran away?
It was as s-s-small as this
but grew so big.
It filled the world...
like tremendous music.
That's the p-p-power...
of beauty's eternity.
It poisons us.
It blocks out...
our lives.
Please, enough of your pride!
Beauty is like a rotten tooth.
It rubs against your tongue,
insisting on its own importance.
Finally you go to a dentist
and have it pulled.
Then you look at the small
bloody tooth in your hand
and say,
"Is that all it was?"
That's the way it is.
Only knowledge
can turn life's unbearableness
into a weapon.
is now...
my enemy.
Life is b-b-bearable
only when I imagine...
the G-Golden Pavilion...
has been destroyed.
The American b-b-bombers
will come.
I'll be free.
When I was 18,
my class was assigned air-raid duty.
I wrote short stories
and poems
but dreamed only
of joining the war
and dying for the emperor.
I wanted to explode
like a rocket,
light the sky for an instant
and disappear.
I took the pen name
Yukio Mishima.
What are you doing?
I thought you were at Lit. Club.
You kidding?
That mediocre bunch?
You should try to make
more friends, sweet.
It's not good
to be alone so much.
" This is no precocious genius.
He is not a writer.
And never will be. "
What's this?
That's a " respected" poet.
He's talking about me.
Don't show it to anyone else.
They might agree.
Do you sometimes cough blood?
Yes, sir.
How long have you had a fever?
About six months, sir.
" Unfit for military service. "
" Incipient tuberculosis. "
Get dressed and go home.
I'd always dreamed
of dying on the battlefield.
So why did I lie?
Why did I exaggerate my illness?
My words were lies.
I was a coward.
I never really wanted to die.
Did you hear?
The war is over!
B- b-but the American bombers?
Where are the bombers?
The Golden Pavilion...
who'll set it free?
Did you steal this
from the temple?
Be careful.
You acolytes are
my girls' best customers.
I wonder why
they didn't bomb Kyoto.
That was your first time?
I thought so.
Don't worry.
You did fine.
Are you always so serious?
Didn't you enjoy it?
I hope you remember my name.
In a day or two
I'm going to be famous.
What's so funny?
You're such a terrible liar!
And you keep
such a straight face!
It's no lie!
I'll make headlines.
You're too much.
1- Art
Good morning.
It's a nice day.
Good morning, sensei.
You've read the letters?
You three must not
follow our example.
But we're ready to -
The letters are very clear.
No matter what happens,
make sure the general
does not commit seppuku.
This is our day...
not his.
Sensei, we've talked it over.
We want to die with you.
Why must we be left behind?
This is my final day.
I've said good-bye to my parents,
my girlfriend, everyone.
must stay alive.
You must defend
our actions in court.
We want to be with you
to the end.
You refuse to obey orders?
Morita and I are going to do our duty.
You must do yours.
Don't worry.
We'll meet again.
Everyone ready?
Let's go.
At the end of the war,
I felt left behind.
I thought I was
the symbol of my times -
a kamikaze for beauty.
But I'd only been
a boy who wrote bad poetry.
I quit my job at the Ministry of Finance
to become a writer.
I wrote Confessions of a Mask
in six months.
Thirst for Love
took five months.
Forbidden Colors took nine,
Sound of Waves four,
Modern Noh Dramas three,
The Temple
of the Golden Pavilion ten.
The rehearsals look great.
Easy for you to say.
Why worry?
You're already the youngest writer...
to publish
his Collected Works.
What good is it
if I'm not translated in the West?
Sound of Waves
was translated.
One book.
Four, five languages?
It's like a dream come true.
But it feels like being confined
to a hospital bed.
A luxurious hospital bed.
Can't I just have the bed?
Every night I return to my desk
precisely at midnight.
I thoroughly analyze why I am
attracted to a particular theme.
I drag everything
into my conscious mind.
I boil it into abstraction.
I am constantly calculating
until I sit down to write.
Only then can my unconscious
dreams take over.
Kyoko's House
Published 1959
Come, night! Come, Romeo!
Come, gentle night.
Who were you with last night?
I don't remember.
Who'd you sleep with?
What a thing
to say to your mother.
he was too drunk to walk.
Nothing goes right
for me anymore.
You should see
the loan on this place.
I can't even buy lipstick.
My back gets worse and worse.
I could die
and nobody would care.
What's so funny?
I love how you exaggerate
your misery,
like some
cheap movie poster.
You even look the part -
like the madam
of a French brothel.
How would you know?
You've never left Tokyo.
Besides, I'm not exaggerating.
You're never here
when the loan sharks come.
Do me a favor, please.
Go see them.
I need six months more.
It's getting
so I can't sleep anymore.
I'm busy.
Doing what? Daydreaming?
Like you.
Got a role?
What do you think?
Would they look good in tights?
I guess so.
This nail polish sure chips easy.
These damn legs.
I pay too much attention
to my face,
but what about my body?
If only I were more muscular...
like a matador.
Then my whole body
could be my face.
That's not very realistic.
I'm going to take up
I mean it.
Oh no, you don't.
Then you'll have
more girls chasing you.
Who were you with last night?
Come on, tell me who.
Someone new?
All right, muscle man.
You are a weakling!
Cut it out.
I'll be your mirror.
This is your hair.
This is your face.
This is your breast.
See? Isn't this better
than a mirror?
My life is in many ways
like that of an actor.
I also wear a mask.
I play a role.
When he looks in the mirror,
the homosexual, like the actor,
sees what he fears most.:
the decay of the body.
What's this?
You're so flabby.
Ah, it's you.
What happened?
Suddenly you just...
Don't worry.
It's nothing.
Please tell me,
or I'll never calm down.
I'm calling from nearby.
I'll see you in 15 minutes.
Tell me.
I must know.
Both you and I have
a strong sense of aesthetics.
When you look in the mirror,
you see beauty.
I can't even look at myself.
So don't make jokes
like that again.
As the ship approached Hawaii,
I felt as if I'd emerged from a cave
and shook hands with the sun.
I'd always suffered
under a monstrous sensitivity.
What I lacked was health -
a healthy body, a physical presence.
Words had separated me
from my body.
The sun released me.
Greece cured my self-hatred
and awoke a will to health.
I saw that beauty and ethics
were one and the same.
Creating a beautiful work of art and
becoming beautiful oneself are identical.
I obtained physical health
after becoming an adult.
Such people are different
from those born healthy.
We feel we have the right
to be insensitive to trivial concerns.
The loss of self through sex
gives us little satisfaction.
Where have you been?
I've become a bodybuilder.
How about you?
Still painting?
Still at it.
You mean Natsuo Yamagata?
I've seen some of them.
At least you don't attempt
to paint human bodies.
Forgive his bluntness.
Takei and I
were just talking about art.
And what did you decide?
I got interested because of the way
Michelangelo and Rodin
treated the human body.
The human body
is the work of art.
It doesn't need artists.
Okay, let's say you're right.
What good does
your sweating and grunting do?
Even the most beautiful body
is soon destroyed by age.
Where is beauty then?
Only art makes
human beauty endure.
You must devise
an artist's scheme to preserve it.
You must commit suicide
at the height of your beauty.
What have you been doing?
You promised we'd go to the theater.
You need money again?
No, that's not it.
Don't you notice anything new?
Just this awful shirt.
You call my taste gaudy.
Looks like blood.
No, it's not that.
I've put two inches
on my chest.
You? Why?
Somebody even said my ass
looked like that
of a foreign sailor.
Here, feel my chest.
I can hardly pinch it.
Lady! Get us some lunch!
We only serve snacks.
Then go get some.
Until you pay back your loan,
this dump belongs to my boss.
Now move your ass.
The check!
Come in.
I hope you accept my apology.
I'm sorry about yesterday.
I fired that punk immediately.
I've put up with your mother
long enough.
She's very difficult.
I'll soon take possession
of her place.
In such cases,
people are often
driven to suicide.
What do you mean?
You're like me.
My beautiful shadow.
You're vain and bored.
Full of yourself.
You like to play
childish games.
You're an actor, aren't you?
I feel that...
a certain woman
wants a certain something.
Don't pretend you love me.
I've had too much of that.
Mm, as for me,
I don't love women much.
They make me feel
emptied out.
All the better.
What do you want?
This is your mother's loan.
It comes to 11/2 million yen.
Sign this.
If you do,
I'll cancel the loan.
" I hereby certify
that my life and body
belong to Kiyomi Akita. "
I want to buy you.
It's just a little cut.
Your skin is so beautiful...
I just had to cut it.
It felt pleasant.
A thought
just occurred to me.
" This is the woman
I've been looking for.
I've finally found her. "
I don't need a mirror anymore.
I feel clearly that I exist.
In that case...
will you stay by me to the end?
Will you die with me?
I'd watch you writhe
in a pool of blood...
until you stopped moving.
Then I'd drink poison.
Fine with me, but...
no matter what happens,
don't kiss me...
until I'm good and dead.
A writer is a voyeur
par excellence.
I came to detest this position.
I sought to be not only the seer
but also the seen.
Men wear masks
to make themselves beautiful.
But unlike a woman's,
a man's determination
to become beautiful
is always a desire for death.
Have you been to the gym?
I don't need to go.
You are in good shape.
Look, those ladies are jealous.
They don't think
we're mother and son.
Let 'em think what they want.
Two, please.
Two hundred yen, please.
Thank you.
It's such a relief not to worry
about money anymore.
I'm finally able to sleep again.
Thanks to Akita-san.
And to you.
You're not having trouble
with her, are you?
Not at all.
In fact, I decided
to go all the way with her.
Do you love her?
Of course not.
Isn't that a little extreme?
On the other hand,
we've got to be nice to her.
But don't go too far.
Just find a way to cancel the loan.
Don't worry about money.
I got a good part.
You did?
Which role?
It's a surprise.
You've got the body
of a matador.
I can't even go to the gym.
Those guys at the theater
are even worse.
They're still having
the same boring discussions...
about the "wounds of art. "
I'd like to show them...
your wounds.
They don't even know
that art is a shadow...
that stage blood...
is not enough.
3- Action
When duty and sympathy
Are on the scales
A man always finds
Duty heavier
O merciful Kannon
My childhood friend
You can see
Right into my heart
The lion and the peony
Roar on my back
There it is.
We're a little early.
Swing around the loop.
What if something
goes wrong?
Just stick to the plan.
Runaway Horses
Published 1969
Has anything changed?
You're still going
through with it? Why?
Don't you understand?
The emperor's face
is not pleased.
Japan is losing her soul.
But why you?
I was lucky enough
to be chosen.
Why did you pull out
of the tournament?
I lost interest.
Because you win so easily?
I lost interest
in wooden swords, sensei.
They have no real power.
You're old enough
for a sword of steel?
Yes, sensei.
How about your team
and your school?
They can't win without you.
Report to your dorm, Isao.
Contemplate the danger of a man
who thinks only of himself.
Excuse me, Lieutenant Hori.
I heard about
your kendo exercises.
We expect
great things from you.
You wrote this?
How many of you?
How will you do this?
In a single stroke.
We'll assassinate
the leaders of capitalism.
Burn the Bank of Japan.
At dawn, law will restore power
to the emperor.
What will happen
to your group?
At sunrise, on a cliff,
paying reverence to the sun,
looking down on the sea,
we'll commit seppuku.
We'd never ask anyone
to join us in death.
Who would you kill?
If we could kill ten,
Marquis Nagasaki,
Baron Shinkawa -
If only five?
Premier Saito -
Only one?
Japan will be purified.
What do you want from me?
An airplane to drop leaflets.
Explosives to knock out
the power station.
You have firearms?
We'll only use swords.
Our best weapon is purity.
And you schoolboys
can use swords?
Words are a deceit.
But action is never deceitful.
" The harmony of pen and sword. "
This samurai motto
used to be a way of life.
Now it's forgotten.
Can art and action
still be united?
Today this harmony can only occur
in a brief flash, a single moment.
The average age for men
in the Bronze Age was 18,
in the Roman era, 22.
Heaven must have been
beautiful then.
Today it must look dreadful.
When a man reaches 40,
he has no chance to die beautifully.
No matter how he tries,
he will die of decay.
He must compel himself
to live.
What's wrong?
Call off your plan.
Someone found out?
No, but they will.
I'm being transferred
to Manchuria.
Without me,
it's too dangerous.
Can you get the airplane?
It won't work.
Call it off.
You must not
throw away your lives.
" Don't fear the death of the body,
only the spirit. "
Your intentions
are admirable, but...
Please swear you'll call it off.
And destroy
any reference to me.
Do you swear?
There'll be no airplane,
no explosives.
The army has deserted us.
The capitalists
have bought them out.
This meeting is useless.
Do you understand?
Go home.
Go back to your books.
This is my final command.
I want to be alone now. Go.
What's wrong?
Didn't you hear me?
Go home.
We have no plan.
No hope. Nothing.
We understand.
Are you still willing
to pay the price...
for something which may
accomplish nothing?
One: We vow
to go forth to death
to purge our nation
of capitalist evils.
Two: We hereby vow to forge
eternal friendship
among ourselves.
Three: We hereby vow
to restore His Imperial Majesty.
"We hereby vow to be
the foundation of imperial Japan. "
Now let's sign with our blood.
This paper could be
lost in the wind,
but these vows
will be eternal in our hearts.
It doesn't hurt.
After the signatures,
we'll drink a blood toast
to our new Shield Society.
No one here has VD, I hope.
You can't use the National Theater
for a private political party.
This is a scandal.
What's all this nonsense
about a private army?
Up there I create
action in the sunshine.
Here I create
art in the dark.
Isn't it perfect?
Who'd have thought
you could still combine them?
Byron did it.
He had 300 men.
Are you serious?
The media can make you look
so ridiculous.
You're our best writer.
Haven't I always
looked ridiculous?
I walk on stage determined
to make the audience cry.
they burst out laughing.
Some people have called us
toy soldiers.
But our goal
is to restore
the noble tradition
of the way of the samurai.
I have always supported
the tradition of elegant beauty
in Japanese literature.
I cannot stop striving
to unite these two
great traditions.
Now I would like to address
our foreign guests in English.
I hope my poor English
is not too hard
on your ears.
A month after the radical Left
occupied Tokyo University,
they challenged me to speak.
For a moment I felt I was entering
the realm where art and action converge.
For a moment I was alive.
You're not only wrong,
you're not even logical!
Having got this far
out of sheer pride...
I'm not going
to become logical now.
That doesn't mean you've defeated me
with your lack of logic.
I'd gladly join hands with you
if you'd only call the emperor
by his rightful name.
We all want to improve Japan.
Are we so far apart?
We're playing a serious game.
We've both played the same cards.
You're speaking nonsense!
Think about it.
But I have the joker.
I have the emperor.
Sitting alone at my desk
at midnight,
as I had every night
for 20 years,
I felt empty.
Then again came the words.
Effortlessly, urgently.
Again the rehearsal began.
We strike Friday night.
This date can change anytime,
so always be ready.
Are there any objections?
Is it inconvenient for anyone?
If we're going to die,
how can it be inconvenient?
Okay, Friday night.
Where are the maps
to Kurahara's house?
Is that you?
Sit down.
Are you hungry?
- I can have something brought.
- That's okay.
- Did your group plan anything else?
- No.
You're third degree
in kendo, I hear.
Too bad you got involved
in this business.
Otherwise we might be having
a pleasant match.
Are they having a match now?
You're still
too young and pure.
You will learn
to tone down your feelings.
If purity is toned down,
it's no longer purity.
Total purity is not possible
in this world.
Yes, it is...
if you turn your life into a line of poetry
written with a splash of blood.
Calm down.
Dying isn't everything,
you know.
I admire your loyalty,
but the emperor also treasures our lives.
I'm not attacking your beliefs.
I'm just saying...
take it easy.
You don't think I'm serious.
If my ideas aren't dangerous,
let me do my duty.
If not, torture me
like the others.
Ah, such a debater.
Torture me.
There's no need
to torture you.
We torture those
who won't talk.
You want to talk.
Who are you?
The punishment you deserve!
Is something wrong?
How does it look?
It's hard enough
directing and acting.
It looks great. Honest.
Very well.
We need more shadow.
This premieres in Paris -
you know how the French love shadows.
Why did you make your film
without dialogue?
That's a surprise.
You always say I use too much dialogue.
I was doing you a favor.
Does your film
have any political message?
No, none at all.
Your favorite writer?
- Thomas Mann.
- Your most unique habit?
Laughing for no reason.
Who would you like to be?
Elvis Presley.
Your favorite food?
Does this mean
you'll stop writing novels?
I can't help you out on that.
I couldn't survive
if I didn't continue
writing one more line,
one more line, one more line...
one more line.
And one more line.
4- Harmony of Pen and Sword
Just follow the plan.
But what if we can't?
Watch me.
If something goes wrong,
I'll give you a signal.
Now is the time to be calm.
Let's go.
We're here to see
General Mashita.
You have an...?
11:00 a. m.
Ah, Mishima-sensei!
Just a moment.
Go ahead.
Running in the early mist
with the members of the Shield Society,
I felt something emerging
as slowly as my sweat.:
the ultimate verification
of my existence.
Our members were allowed to train
in the facilities of the regular army.
I flew in a combat fighter.
These privileges
were granted us
because of the symbolic
significance of our society.
Even in its present
weakened condition,
the army represented
the ancient code of the samurai.
It was here,
on the stage of Japanese tradition,
that I would conduct my action.
Look at that!
At least he can eat
faster than this old man.
All right: Eat!
Can't see Fuji at all.
Morita, what do you think?
Their hearts are pure.
Yes. Are they " strong" enough?
Having come to my solution,
I never wavered.
Who knows what others
will make of this?
There would be
no more rehearsals.
General Mashita
is waiting for you.
Mishima-sensei is here.
Yes, come right in.
good to see you again.
You too.
May I invite some members
of the Shield Society to join us?
You don't mind?
Come in.
Please sit down.
We've just finished
a maneuver.
These four
distinguished themselves.
I see.
I wanted them
to have the honor
of meeting you.
That's why we're in uniform.
Please sit down.
Your new uniforms
are very handsome.
Really splendid.
Who designed them? You?
Yes - with some help
from De Gaulle's tailor.
Is that real?
Is it all right
to carry it around like that?
I have a permit.
It's a certified antique,
made in 1620 by Seki-no-Magoroku.
Would you like to see it?
- By all means.
As I expected,
it has the wave pattern.
You must be an expert.
It's hard to see through the oil.
Polishing cloth.
There's a cloth over here.
A true museum piece.
The cloth.
Stop joking around!
Be quiet
and you won't be injured.
Barricade the doors.
Put your hachimaki on.
Remove the gag.
If this is a demonstration
of commando tactics,
it's gone far enough.
Tell the garrison
to assemble out front
to hear a speech.
Are you serious?
Are you crazy?
If you do, we will surrender
our weapons after the speech.
Stop playacting.
I can't approve a speech
until I've read it.
If you try to stop us,
I will kill you and commit seppuku.
This is madness.
What will you gain?
Order your officers to obey.
These are our demands.
" One: The men
of the 32nd garrison
will be assembled
at 11:30 a. m.
Two: Commander Mishima
will address the garrison. "
Get out!
Release the general!
Who's in charge?
Who's in command?
I am the colonel.
Let me see the general.
Listen to our demands.
I guarantee
the general's safety.
Let's talk this over.
There's nothing to talk about!
One: The men of the 32nd garrison
will be assembled
in front of headquarters
at 11:30 a. m.
Two: Commander Mishima
will address the garrison.
Three: The garrison
will attend
the speech in silence.
We agree.
But it's already past 11:30.
When shall they assemble?
Assemble the garrison.
Come out here!
Come down!
The police are everywhere.
Our little drama has attracted
quite an audience.
Time for the last act.
Dear soldiers!
It's a terrible affair
to have to speak
to army men
in circumstances like these.
I thought that the army
was the last hope of Japan,
the last stronghold
of the Japanese soul.
But the Japanese people today
think only of money.
Where is our national spirit?
We thought the army
was the soul of national honor!
The nation
has no spiritual foundation.
What will you do when you are
just a big soulless arsenal?
The politicians
care nothing for Japan.
They are greedy for power.
The army must be
the soul of Japan!
Listen! Listen!
Never in physical action
had I discovered
the chilling satisfaction of words.
Never in words
had I experienced
the hot darkness of action.
Somewhere there must be
a higher principle
which reconciles art and action.
That principle, it occurred to me,
was death.
The vast upper atmosphere,
where there is no oxygen,
is surrounded with death.
To survive in this atmosphere,
man, like an actor, must wear a mask.
Flying at 45,000 feet,
the silver phallus of the fuselage
floated in sunlight.
My mind was at ease,
my thought process lively.
No movement, no sound,
no memories.
The closed cockpit
and outer space
were like the spirit
and body of the same being.
Here I saw the outcome
of my final action.
In this stillness
was a beauty beyond words.
No more body or spirit,
pen or sword,
male or female.
Then I saw a giant circle
coiled around the earth,
a ring that resolved all contradictions,
a ring vaster than death,
more fragrant than any scent
I have ever known.
Here was the moment
I had always been seeking.
Are you men?
Are you bushi?
Are you bushi?
I appeal to you!
Listen to me!
Will no one join with me?
No one?
I see you will not rise up.
You will do nothing.
I have lost my dream for you.
I will now salute the emperor.
Long live the emperor!
Long live the emperor!
Long live the emperor!
I don't even think
they heard me.
Mishima-san, stop!
There's no reason to do it!
I am bound to do this, General.
You must not take
responsibility for this.
Stop! Please stop!
" The instant the blade tore open his flesh,
the bright disk of the sun
soared up behind his eyelids
and exploded,
lighting the sky for an instant. "
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