Yukio Mishima Biography
(One of the Most Important Japanese Authors of the 20th Century)
Birthday: January 14, 1925 (Capricorn)
Born In: Yotsuya, Tokyo, Japan
Kimitake Hiraoka was a Japanese author, playwright, filmmaker, actor, and right-wing activist. He is better known by his pen name, Yukio Mishima. Widely regarded as one of the most important contributors to Japanese literature of the 20th century, he was in the selected group of authors who were considered for the Noble Prize in Literature in 1968 but lost it to compatriot and former mentor Yasunari Kawabata. Some of his most prominent works, such as novels ‘Confessions of a Mask’ and ‘The Temple of the Golden Pavilion’, the Noh play ‘The Lady Aoi’, and the autobiographical essay ‘Sun and Steel’, display an avant-garde blending of traditional and modern aesthetics that transcend beyond cultural boundaries. Mishima was a right-wing nationalist who ardently believed in Japanese traditional values and veneration of the emperor. He founded the Tatenokai, a nationalist militia. In 1970, he led four other members of the Tatenokai to an attempted coup d'état in a military base in Tokyo. They took the commandant hostage and Mishima tried to convince the soldiers there to join the coup. Unsuccessful, he committed ritual suicide by performing seppuku. Since his death, his failed coup has come to be known as the “Mishima Incident”.