Yukio Mishima Quotes

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1. “True beauty is something that attacks, overpowers, robs, and finally destroys.”

Tags : Beauty Cruelty Love
Author : Yukio Mishima

2. “Amid the moon and the stars, amid the clouds of the night, amid the hills which bordered on the sky with their magnificent silhouette of pointed cedars, amid the speckled patches of the moon, amid the temple buildings that emerged sparkling white out of the surrounding darkness - amid all this, I was intoxicated by the pellucid beauty of Uiko's treachery.”

Tags : Beauty Moonlight Night Treachery
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

3. “What transforms this world is — knowledge. Do you see what I mean? Nothing else can change anything in this world. Knowledge alone is capable of transforming the world, while at the same time leaving it exactly as it is. When you look at the world with knowledge, you realize that things are unchangeable and at the same time are constantly being transformed.”

Tags : Knowledge Stillness Transformation
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

4. “Dreams, memories, the sacred--they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous. Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a touch. How strange man is! His touch defiles and yet he contains the source of miracles.”

Tags : Sense Of Wonder
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Spring Snow

5. “Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.”

Tags : Night Repetition Summer
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

6. “Abruptly he thrust his snow-drenched leather gloves against my cheeks.I dodged. A raw carnal feeling blazed up within me, branding my cheeks. I felt myself staring at him with crystal clear eyes...From that time on I was in love with Omi.”

Tags : Confessions Mask
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Confessions of a Mask

7. “An ugliness unfurled in the moonlight and soft shadow and suffused the whole world. If I were an amoeba, he thought, with an infinitesimal body, I could defeat ugliness. A man isn’t tiny or giant enough to defeat anything.”

Tags : Defeat Man Ugliness
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

8. “Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”

Tags : Beauty
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Forbidden Colors

9. “To see human beings in agony, to see them covered in blood and to hear their death groans, makes people humble. It makes their spirits delicate, bright, peaceful. It's never at such times that we become cruel or bloodthirsty. No, it's on a beautiful spring afternoon like this that people suddenly become cruel. It's at a moment like this, don't you think, while one's vaguely watching the sun as it peeps through the leaves of the trees above a well-mown lawn? Every possible nightmare in the world, every possible nightmare in history, has come into being like this.”

Tags : Cruelty Mishima
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

10. “…In the very simplicity of her desire to punish herself appeared egoism in its purest form. Never before had this woman who seemed to think only of herself experienced an egoism so immaculate.”

Tags : Egoism Guilt Japanese Literature
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Thirst for Love

11. “No human being can be so honest as to become completely false.”

Tags : Falsity Honesty Mishima Self Awareness
Author : Yukio Mishima

12. “Me siento responsable de la carne de esta mujer, pues me desgarra dulcemente como lo hacen otras cosas que son mías. Me estremece la dulzura de su presencia: cuando me sienta temblar se volcará como la hoja de un árbol sacudido por el viento y dejará que yo vea el lado vacío de sus ojos.”

Tags : Love At First Sight Metáfora Sexy Smut
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

13. “The path we're taking is not a road, Kiyo, it's a pier, and it ends someplace where the sea begins. It can't be helped.”

Tags : Impossible Love
Author : Yukio Mishima

14. “Young people get the foolish idea that what is new for them must be new for everybody else too. No matter how unconventional they get, they're just repeating what others before them have done.”

Tags : Classic Literature Japanese Literature
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : After the Banquet

15. “To Ryuji the smile seemed as brittle as fine glass crystal and very dangerous”

Tags : Dangers Metaphor Metaphorical Smile Smiling
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

16. “Possibly a man who hates the land should dwell on shore forever. Alienation and the long voyages at sea will compel him once again to dream of it, torment him with the absurdity of longing for something that he loathes.”

Tags : Loathing Ocean Sailing
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

17. “Japanese people today think of money, just money: Where is our national spirit today? The Jieitai must be the soul of Japan. … The nation has no spiritual foundation. That is why you don’t agree with me. You will just be American mercenaries. There you are in your tiny world. You do nothing for Japan. … I salute the Emperor. Long live the emperor!”

Tags : Mercenaries Money National Spirit Nihilism Patriotism Spirituality
Author : Yukio Mishima

18. “This time, Fusako was able to express herself with fluency and candor. The bold letters she had been writing week after week had granted her an unexpected new freedom.”

Tags : Communication Dating Letter Writing Letters Love Relationships
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

19. “How oddly situated a man is apt to find himself at age thirty-eight! His youth belongs to the distant past. Yet the period of memory beginning with the end of youth and extending to the present has left him not a single vivid impression. And therefore he persists in feeling that nothing more than a fragile barrier separates him from his youth. He is forever hearing with the utmost clarity the sounds of this neighboring domain, but there is no way to penetrate the barrier.Honda felt that his youth had ended with the death of Kiyoaki Matsugae. At that moment something real within him, something that had burned with a vibrant brilliance, suddenly ceased to be.Now, late at night, when Honda grew weary of his legal drafts, he would pick up the dream journal that Kiyoaki had left him and turn over its pages.(...)Since then eighteen years had passed. The border between dream and memory had grown indistinct in Honda’s mind. Because the words contained in this journal, his only souvenir of his friend, had been traced there by Kiyoaki’s own hand, it had profound significance for Honda. These dreams, left like a handful of gold dust in a winnowing pan, were charged with wonder.As time went by, the dreams and the reality took on equal worth among Honda’s diverse memories. What had actually occurred was in the process of merging with what could have occurred. As reality rapidly gave way to dreams, the past seemed very much like the future.When he was young, there had been only one reality, and the future had seemed to stretch before him, swelling with immense possibilities. But as he grew older, reality seemed to take many forms, and it was the past that seemed refracted into innumerable possibilities. Since each of these was linked with its own reality, the line distinguishing dream and reality became all the more obscure. His memories were in constant flux, and had taken on the aspect of a dream.”

Tags : Death Dreams Journal Memory Past Time Youth
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

20. “Was I ignorant, then, when I was seventeen? I think not. I knew everything. A quarter-century's experience of life since then has added nothing to what I knew. The one difference is that at seventeen I had no 'realism'.”

Tags : Youthful Arrogance
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Sun and Steel

21. “Otaguro’s bosom heaved with an ineffable surge of joy. “Every man is fighting,” he murmured. “Every man.”

Tags : Fight Joy War Warrior
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

22. “A todo el mundo le ocurre lo mismo, todos los seres humanos son iguales- replicó el viejo escritor, alzando la voz. -Pero creer lo contrario es el privilegio de la juventud.”

Tags : Juventud
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Forbidden Colors

23. “..Claro está que vivir no es más que el caos de la existencia, y más aún: es el afán loco y erróneo de ir desmantelando instante a instante la existencia hasta ver restaurado el caos inicial..”

Tags : Caos Existencia
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

24. “...la escuela, el colegio, no es sino una sociedad en miniatura. Por eso nos están dando órdenes continuamente. Un puñado de ciegos nos dice lo que tenemos que hacer, y hace trizas nuestras ilimitadas facultades.”

Tags : Sociedad
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

25. “When we plot the happiness of another, we unconsciously impute to the other person what is in another form the dream in which our own happiness is fulfilled. Thus by not thinking of our own happiness we make it possible for ourselves to become egotistic.”

Tags : Egoism Happiness
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Forbidden Colors

26. “É certo que me influenciaram e são mais ou menos responsáveis pelo acto que cometi em seguida; quero porém continuar a pensar que esse acto é apenas meu, e ficaria especialmente irritado se o imputassem à influência directa de alguma filosofia existente.”

Tags : Acção Responsabilidade
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

27. “A father is a reality-concealing machine, a machine for dishing up lies to kids, and that isn't even the worst of it: secretly he believes that he represents reality.”

Tags : Family Fathers Lies Parents Truth
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

28. “Though small, the shrine has a long history. In 1333—the Third Year of the Genko era—Lord Takeshigé Kikuchi ascended to it in order to implore the divine favor before going into battle. Victory was his, and in gratitude he had the shrine rebuilt. According to tradition, he himself carved the Worship Image, reciting a triple prayer after each stroke. This represented the god as standing on the mountain peak with one hand raised, gazing at the armed host he had blessed. It was an image of victory.Now, however, the morning after the rising, early on the auspicious Ninth Day of the Ninth Month, the time of the Chrysanthemum Festival, there were gathered around the shrine forty-six hunted survivors of a defeated force. Some standing, some sitting, they stared blankly about them, though the penetrating autumn chill made their wounds sting. The clear light of the rising sun cast a striped pattern as it shone down through the branches of the few old cedars that surrounded the shrine. Birds were singing. The air was fresh and clear. As for signs of last night’s sanguinary combat, these were visible in the soiled and bloodstained garments, the haggard visages, and the eyes that burned like live embers.Among the forty-six were Unshiro Ishihara, Kageki Abé, Kisou Onimaru, Juro Furuta, Tsunetaro Kobayashi, the brothers Gitaro and Gigoro Tashiro, Tateki Ura, Mitsuo Noguchi, Mikao Kashima, and Kango Hayami. Every man was silent, sunk deep in thought, looking off at the sea, or at the mountains, or at the smoke still rising from Kumamoto.Such were the men of the League at rest on the slope of Kimpo, some with fingers yellowed from brushing the petals of wild chrysanthemums that they had plucked while staring across the water at Shimabara Peninsula.”

Tags : Defeat
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

29. “By means of microscopic observation and astronomical projection the lotus flower can become the foundation for an entire theory of the universe and an agent whereby we may perceive the Truth. And first we must know that each of the petals has eighty-four thousand veins and that each vein gives eighty-four thousand lights.”

Tags : Japanese Lotus Philosophy
Author : Yukio Mishima

30. “Count Ayakura’s abstraction persisted. He believed that only a vulgar mentality was willing to acknowledge the possibility of catastrophe. He felt that taking naps was much more beneficial than confronting catastrophes. However precipitous the future might seem, he learned from the game of kemari that the ball must always come down. There was no call for consternation. Grief and rage, along with other outbursts of passion, were mistakes easily committed by a mind lacking in refinement. And the Count was certainly not a man who lacked refinement.Just let matters slide. How much better to accept each sweet drop of the honey that was Time, than to stoop to the vulgarity latent in every decision. However grave the matter at hand might be, if one neglected it for long enough, the act of neglect itself would begin to affect the situation, and someone else would emerge as an ally. Such was Count Ayakura’s version of political theory.”

Tags : Acceptance Elegance Inaction Indifference Japan Passivity Refinement
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Spring Snow

31. “The blossoms seem unusually lovely this year. There were none of the scarlet-and-white-striped curtains that are set up among the blossoming trees so invariably that one has to come to think of them as the attire of cherry blossoms; there were no bustling tea-stalls, no holiday crowds of flower-viewers, no one hawking balloons and toy windmills; instead there were only the cherry trees blossoming undisturbed among the evergreens, making one feel as though he were seeing the naked bodies of the blossoms. Nature's free bounty and useless extravagance had never appeared so fantastically beautiful as it did this spring. I had an uncomfortable suspicion that Nature had come to reconquer the earth for herself.”

Tags : Nature Spring
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Confessions of a Mask

32. “Beyond doubt it would speedily verify the proverb that a nation must ravage itself before foreigners can ravage it, a man must despise himself before others can despise him.”

Tags : Contempt Patriotism
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

33. “Again, there were maidens who cherished the firm belief that he had come from the sea. Because within his breast could be heard the roaring of the sea. Because in the pupils of his eyes there lingered the mysterious and eternal horizon that the sea leaves as a keepsake deep in the eyes of all who are born at the seaside and forced to depart from it. Because his signs were sultry like the tidal breezes of full summer, fragrant with the smell of seaweed cast upon the shore.”

Tags : Ocean Romantic Sea St Sebastian
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Confessions of a Mask

34. “The law is an accumulation of tireless attempts to block a man's desire to change life into an instant of poetry. Certainly it would not be right to let everybody exchange his life for a line of poetry written with a splash of blood. But the mass of men, lacking valor, pass away their lives without ever feeling the least touch of such a desire.”

Tags : Japanese Japanese Culture Japanese Literature The Law Yukio Mishima
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

35. “Do I, then, belong to the heavens?Why, if not so, should the heavensFix me thus with their ceaseless blue stare,Luring me on, and my mind, higherEver higher, up into the sky,Drawing me ceaselessly upTo heights far, far above the human?Why, when balance has been strictly studiedAnd flight calculated with the best of reasonTill no aberrant element should, by rights, remain-Why, still, should the lust for ascensionSeem, in itself, so close to madness?Nothing is that can satify me;Earthly novelty is too soon dulled;I am drawn higher and higher, more unstable,Closer and closer to the sun's effulgence.Why do these rays of reason destroy me?Villages below and meandering streamsGrow tolerable as our distance grows.Why do they plead, approve, lure meWith promise that I may love the humanIf only it is seen, thus, from afar-Although the goal could never have been love, Nor, had it been, could I ever haveBelonged to the heavens?I have not envied the bird its freedomNor have I longed for the ease of Nature,Driven by naught save this strange yearningFor the higher, and the closer, to plunge myselfInto the deep sky's blue, so contraryTo all organic joys, so farFrom pleasures of superiority But higher, and higher,Dazzled, perhaps, by the dizzy incandescenceOf waxen wings.Or do I then Belong, after all, to the earth?Why, if not so, should the earthShow such swiftness to encompass my fall?Granting no space to think or feel,Why did the soft, indolent earth thusGreet me with the shock of steel plate?Did the soft earth thus turn to steelOnly to show me my own softness?That Nature might bring home to meThat to fall, not to fly, is in the order of things,More natural by far than that improbable passion?Is the blue of the sky then a dream?Was it devised by the earth, to which I belonged,On account of the fleeting, white-hot intoxicationAchieved for a moment by waxen wings?And did the heavens abet the plan to punish me?To punish me for not believing in myself Or for believing too much;Too earger to know where lay my allegianceOr vainly assuming that already I knew all;For wanting to fly offTo the unknownOr the known:Both of them a single, blue speck of an idea?”

Tags : Icarus Poem
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Sun and Steel

36. “I hope that I am making myself understood. The Golden Temple once more appeared before me. Or rather, I should say that the breast was transformed into the Golden Temple.”

Tags : Breast Temple Zen
Author : Yukio Mishima

37. “Better to be caught in sudden, complete catastrophe than to be gnawed by the cancer of imagination.”

Tags : Destruction Dullness Imagination Life
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of Dawn

38. “And it seemed increasingly obvious that the world would have to topple if he was to attain the glory that was rightfully his. They were consubstantial: glory and the capsized world.”

Tags : Destiny Dreams Glory Life
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

39. “Only through the group, I realised — through sharing the suffering of the group — could the body reach that height of existence that the individual alone could never attain. And for the body to reach that level at which the divine might be glimpsed, a dissolution of individuality was necessary. The tragic quality of the group was also necessary, the quality that constantly raised the group out of the abandon and torpor into which it was prone to lapse, leading it to an ever-mounting shared suffering and so to death, which was the ultimate suffering. The group must be open to death — which meant, of course, that it must be a community of warriors.”

Tags : Community Strength Unity Warriors
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Sun and Steel

40. “Thus in a single phrase I can define the great illusion concerning 'love' in this world. It is the effort to join reality with the apparition.”

Tags : Love Reality Translated
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

41. “Él sabía que las dos conviven tranquilamente en este mundo, pero lo primero que ha de hacer el arte es violar las reglas de la realidad. Y ha de ser así a fin de que pueda existir por si mismo”

Tags : Arte Realidad
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Forbidden Colors

42. “If my self was my dwelling, then my body resembled an orchard that surrounded it. I could either cultivate that orchard to its capacity or leave it for the weeds to run riot in.There are some truths in this world that one cannot see unless one unbends one's posture.”

Tags : Body Image
Author : Yukio Mishima

43. “The only people in this world I really trust are my fans - even if they do forget you so fast.”

Tags : Fans Trust
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

44. “The special quality of hell is to see everything clearly down to the last detail.”

Tags : Hell Mishima
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

45. “Kazu, now that she thought of it, realized that for all her headstrong temperament, she had never loved a man younger than herself. A young man has such a surplus of spiritual and physical gifts that he is likely to be cocksure of himself, particularly when dealing with an older woman, and there is no telling how swelled up with self-importance he may become. Besides, Kazu felt a physical repugnance for youth. A woman is more keenly aware than a man of the shocking disharmony between a young man's spiritual and physical qualities, and Kazu had never met a young man who wore his youth well. She was moreover repelled by the sleekness of a young man's skin.”

Tags : Age Youth
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : After the Banquet

46. “She did not know it, but she was actually in despair at the poverty of human emotions. Was it not irrational that there was nothing to do except weep when ten people died, just as one wept for but a single person?”

Tags : Emotion Grief
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Death in Midsummer and Other Stories

47. “El intelecto, lejos de ser un valor cultural inofensivo, me había sido otorgado únicamente como un arma, un medio de supervivencia. Así, las disciplinas físicas que más adelanteserían tan necesarias para mi supervivencia se podían comparar en cierto sentido al modo en que una persona para quien el cuerpo ha sido el único medio de vida se embarca en un frenético intento de adquirir una educación intelectual cuando su juventud está en el lecho de muerte.”

Tags : Body Language Inspirational Attitude
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Sun and Steel

48. “We are not wounded so deeply when betrayed by the things we hope for as when betrayed by things we try our best to despise.In such betrayal comes the dagger in the back.”

Tags : Betrayal Thirst For Love Yukio Mishima
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Thirst for Love

49. “…Shunsuké hated the preoccupation with modern psychology that judged his casual, offhand remarks or his daily actions as betraying his identity or ideas with better clarity than did his highly polished sentences.”

Tags : Authorship Literary Criticism Pop Psychology
Author : Yukio Mishima

50. “The instant that the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up and exploded behind his eyelids.”

Tags : Suicide
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Runaway Horses

51. “Emprender un viaje produce un sentimiento misterioso. Uno cree haberse liberado no sólo de los lugares que quedan a sus espaldas, sino tambien del tiempo que deja detrás de si.”

Tags : Viajar
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Forbidden Colors

52. “On the spur of the moment she decided to go and view the blossoms by herself in the dark night. It was a strange decision for a timid and unadventurous young woman, but then she was in a strange state of mind and she dreaded the return home. That evening all sorts of unsettling fancies had burst open in her mind.("Swaddling Clothes")”

Tags : Fancies Night
Author : Yukio Mishima

53. “They had laid the tender, down-ruffled little bird on a platter and appeared now to be pondering a way to eat out its heart without causing it distress.”

Tags : Childhood Children News
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

54. “The perfectly ordinary girl and the great philosopher are alike: for both, the smallest triviality can become the vision that wipes out the world.”

Tags : Nihilism Philosophy
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Decay of the Angel

55. “The philosophy that prepares a revolution and the sentiment that underpins the philosophy have, in every case the two pillars of nihilism and mysticism.”

Tags : Mysticism Nihilism Revolution
Author : Yukio Mishima

56. “To put it in a rather vulgar way, I had been dreaming about love in the firm belief that I could not be loved, but at the final stage I had substituted desire for love and felt a sort of relief. But in the end I had understood that desire itself demanded for its fulfillment that I should forget about the conditions of my existence, and that I should abandon what for me constituted the only barrier to love, namely the belief that I could not be loved. I had always thought of desire as being something clearer than it really is, and I had not realized that it required people to see themselves in a slightly dreamlike, unreal way.”

Tags : Desire Love
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

57. “Honda did not necessarily cling to the historical school of law, which was influenced by nineteenth-century romanticism, nor to the ethnic school. The Japan of the Meiji era, indeed, needed a nationalistic type of law, one that had its roots in the philosophy of the historical school. But Honda's concerns were quite different. He had first been intent on isolating the essential principle behind all law, a principle which he felt must exist.”

Tags : Japan Romance Tradition
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Spring Snow

58. “For everything sacred has the substance of dreams and memories, and so we experience the miracle of what is separated from us by time or distance suddenly being made tangible.”

Tags : Culture Fiction Inspirational Japan Japanese Life Literature Quote Yukio Mishima
Author : Yukio Mishima
Source : Spring Snow