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“One learns from Confessions of a Mask how Mishima put “Circassians” (white boys) to the sword by the dozen in his dreams.”
Henry Scott Stokes, The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima

“Mishima is more a figure of parody than a force of politics.”
Alan Tansman, The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism

I read with great interest Guillaume Durocher’s recent Unz Review article on Yukio Mishima’s commentary on the Hagakure, the eighteenth-century guide to Bushido, or Japanese warrior ethics. I rate Durocher’s work very highly, and as someone who once shared his interest in Mishima, and Japanese culture more generally, I expected the piece to be well-informed, insightful and provocative. Much as I was intrigued by Durocher’s piece, I think the Dissident Right would benefit from an alternative view of Mishima, and perhaps also the subject of Japanese culture in the context of European rightist sensibilities, especially when right-wing treatments of Mishima other than Durocher’s (which is suitably measured in the assessment of Mishima’s fiction) tend towards hagiography. In the following essay, I offer not necessarily a rebuttal or rebuke of Durocher, but an alternative lens through which to view the Japanese author, his life, and politics. Since a movement’s choice of heroes can have an impact on its spirit and ethos, the following should be considered an attempt at spiritual ophthalmology, or the bringing of certain perspectives into clearer focus. This clearer focus, I argue, can only lead to the conclusion that Mishima was a profoundly unhealthy and inorganic individual who should be regarded as anathema to European nationalist thought.

My first introduction to Yukio Mishima came several years ago in the form of a recording of a 2011 lecture delivered in London, by the late Jonathan Bowden, at the 10th New Right meeting. Bowden was an exceptional orator, yet to find an equal in the current crop of dissident right leaders. In fact, as we move further and further into patterns of YouTube-based “content producing” I fear that oratory of Bowden’s type may become an increasingly rare art. One of Bowden’s great strengths as a speaker was the ability to take dense topics and biographical overviews and reduce them to an hour or so of dynamic, entertaining, and extremely accessible commentary. Those in the audience, or listening in other forms, found it impossible for their attention to wander. A downside to Bowden’s oratory was that it didn’t translate quite as well onto paper, often following Bowden’s stream of consciousness rather than more logical and structured progression, with the result that one laments that Bowden didn’t focus also on a more formal type of scholarship that would surely have constituted a monumental and lasting bequest to the movement he devoted so much to. As it stands, recovering Bowden’s legacy has for the most part been the task of tracking down lost recordings of his speeches, a task that Counter-Currents have admirably taken the lead in.

Prior to listening to Bowden on Mishima, I had already established an interest in Japanese history and culture. I trained for several years in jiu-jitsu, spent a great deal of time in my early 20s reading the works of D. T. Suzuki and Shunryu Suzuki on Zen Buddhism (the former also had some interesting and sympathetic things to say on National Socialism and anti-Semitism), and Brian Victoria’s 1997 Zen at War remains one of the most interesting works on the history of religion and warfare I’ve yet had the pleasure to read. Somehow, however, Mishima escaped my attention until Bowden’s lecture, which really offered only the most raw and basic of introductions to the man. Bowden presented Mishima as a rightist thinker but never quite explained why. He indicated that Mishima had some relevance for the European right but couldn’t articulate how. The lecture only clumsily situated Mishima within near-contemporary Japanese culture, and Bowden himself evinced equivocation and incomprehension on the reasons why Mishima undertook his now infamous suicidal final action. Who was Mishima? Why was he relevant? In a bid to follow up these loose ends, and trusting Bowden that the effort would be worthwhile, I spent around a year making my way through Mishima’s fiction, biographies, scholarship, and other forms of commentary on Mishima’s life and death. The result of my research was a deluge of notes, many of which will now make their way into this article, and profound disappointment that such a figure should ever have been promoted in our circles.

Explaining how and why Mishima came to be promoted in corners of the European Right requires that one confront what could be termed “the Mishima Myth,” or the vague and propagandized outlines of what constitutes Yukio Mishima’s biography and presumed ideology. The Mishima Myth runs something like this:

Yukio Mishima was a gifted and prolific Japanese author and playwright who became profoundly disillusioned with the political and spiritual trajectory of modern Japan; influenced by Samurai tradition and Western thought, especially the philosophy of Nietzsche, he embarked on a program of radical self-improvement; he took up bodybuilding and formed his own 100-strong private army — the Shield Society; he led this army in an attempted coup at a military base, taking a very senior officer hostage, and demanded that all troops follow him in rejecting the post-war constitution and supporting the return of the Emperor to his pre-war status as deity and supreme leader; finally, rejected and ridiculed by the troops, he took his life via seppuku, ritual disembowelment in the tradition of the Samurai.

Occasionally, for added effect, rightist promoters of Mishima will add that he wrote a 1968 play titled My Friend Hitler, which, despite the provocative title, is politically middling, and has been interpreted as anti-fascist as often as it has been as fascist. Taken together, one supposes that the relevant factors here are that Mishima was an authoritarian, monarchist “Man of Action” who seized control of his own life and attempted to divert his nation away from empty consumerism (cue applause). Thus, in the Mishima Myth, rather than focusing on his actual writings on fascism and politics (which are in any event very few in number), Mishima’s ideology is read from selected chapters of his life, especially his final actions. Mishima becomes a man of the right because he was Mishima, because of what he did. This, so the narrative goes, is why he should be relevant to us.

A critique of the Mishima Myth is therefore necessarily ad hominem, since there is a glaring absence of ideas to argue against and since the myth is merely a composite of slices of edited and heavily sanitized biography. Despite an abundance of English-language biographies, rightist promoters of Mishima rarely engage in serious exploration of Mishima’s life, preferring to focus on hagiographic presentations of selected episodes, especially their interpretation of the dramatic death. This should be the first cause of caution, and it was certainly mine. The primary reason for this evasion, as I was to find out, is profound embarrassment, since Mishima’s life is thin on right-wing politics, or for that matter politics of any description, and rather heavy on homosexual sadomasochism (which is far from the only questionable aspect of Mishima-ism). But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start at the beginning.

Yukio Mishima was born Kimitake Hiraoka on January 14 1925, into an upper middle-class family. One of the first things that struck me about Mishima’s life, and especially his childhood, is that it has attracted swathes of psychoanalysts,[1]See, for example, Abel, T. (1978). Yukio Mishima: A psychoanalytic interpretation. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 6(3), 403–424; Piven, J. (2001). Mimetic Sadism in the Fiction of Yukio Mishima. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 8, 69-89; McPherson, D.E. (1986). A Personal Myth—Yukio Mishima: The Samurai Narcissus. Psychoanalytical Review, 73C(3):361-378; Jerry Piven (2001). Phallic Narcissism, Anal Sadism, And Oral Discord: The Case Of Yukio Mishima, Part I. The Psychoanalytic Review: Vol. 88, No. 6, pp. 771-791; Piven, J. S. (2004). The madness and perversion of Yukio Mishima. Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group; Cornyetz, N., & Vincent, J. K. (Eds.). (2010). Perversion and modern Japan: psychoanalysis, literature, culture. Routledge. the reason being that he is an important and visible example of what these writers perceive to be the link between oppressive and abusive childhoods, latent homosexuality, sadism, masochism, and authoritarian and fascist politics. Indeed, if one makes the argument that Mishima was in fact a fascist, then one begins to consent to some of the central theses of the Frankfurt School. Mishima certainly had a strange and psychologically distorting childhood, and I concur with Sadanobu Ushijima’s conclusion that it resulted in Mishima suffering most of his life from a personality disorder involving “recurrent episodes of depression with severe suicidal preoccupation.”[2]Ushijima, S. (1987), The Narcissism and Death of Yukio Mishima –From the Object Relational Point of View–. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 41: 619-628.

According to Henry Scott Stokes, in my opinion Mishima’s best biographer as well as being the only Westerner invited to his funeral, almost as soon as Mishima was born his grandmother (Natsuko) “resolved to take personal responsibility for his upbringing and virtually kidnapped the little boy from his mother,” raising the child almost entirely in her sickroom.[3]H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40. Natsuko brought up Mishima “as a little girl, not as a boy,” and he was forced to stay inside, was prohibited with playing with most of his environment, and was told to be almost completely silent due to his grandmother’s complaints of constant head pain.[4]Ibid., 41.
(H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40.)
After some years, his mother was permitted to take him outside, but only when there was no wind.[5]Ibid., 47.
(H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40.)
There is some suggestion that he was beaten, or otherwise severely psychologically abused, with the result that he suffered a sequence of psychosomatic illnesses involving the retention of urine. There is also some suggestion of sexual abuse or “obscene” treatment at the hands of his grandmother’s nurse. Quasi-incestuous closeness in indicated by his later description of his grandmother as a “true-love sweetheart”, and on his death his mother described him as her “lover.”[6]Ibid., 47.
(H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40.)
Mishima was generally regarded by those around him as “an unusually delicate child.”[7]Ibid., 42.
(H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40.)

In keeping with scientific studies strongly suggesting that dressing, or otherwise treating, young boys as girls can induce homosexuality,[8]John Money, Anthony J. Russo, Homosexual Outcome of Discordant Gender Identity/Role in Childhood: Longitudinal Follow-Up, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 1979, Pages 29–41. and studies showing that homosexuals are more likely than the sexually normal to be predisposed to “brutal” violence[9]Mize, Krystal & Shackelford, Todd K., Intimate Partner Homicide Methods in Heterosexual, Gay, and Lesbian Relationships Violence and Victims, 23:1. (to say nothing of what anecdotally appears to be a disproportionate preponderance of homosexual serial killers and cannibals), Mishima would later write in his semi-autobiographical Confessions of a Mask (1949) that he had homosexual fantasies from a young age and that many of these were sadistic in nature. At this point I should pause and concede that the British “anti-Fascist” collective operating as Hope Not Hate have described me as perhaps the most “homophobic” “far right commentator” in the Dissident Right, as well as simplifying my perspective as framing “homosexuality and modern conceptions of gender as socially constructed as a symptom of societal decay, and LGBT+ rights as a tool of a Jewish conspiracy to undermine white society. This vein of thinking sometimes even results in open calls for the expulsion or violent eradication of LGBT+ people.”

This may or may not be an entirely accurate representation of my views, but the point I want to make here is that my critique of Mishima isn’t based on his homosexuality qua homosexuality, since the argument could be made by some that a homosexual fascist is still a fascist (though such arguments could be easily problematized and I will later critique his “fascism” in and of itself). Piven remarks that there has long been a “Mishima cult” in France (perhaps Durocher can confirm), adding “though his following outside Japan consists largely of gay populations who champion him.”[10]J. Piven The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima (Westport: Prager, 2004), 2. My argument against the Mishima myth is mainly that if key aspects of his biography, including the death, are linked significantly more to his sexuality than his politics, then this is grounds to reconsider the worth of promoting such a figure, already non-White and with no significant Western cultural impact, within the Dissident Right.

Mishima was “eternally excluded from the lives of ordinary men and women,” and developed early fantasies about taxi drivers, bartenders, but especially soldiers.[11]Stokes, 43, 44. He was particularly fixated on the idea of dying soldiers and death generally, and “the violent or excruciatingly painful death of a handsome youth was to be a theme of many of his novels.”[12]Ibid., 44.
(Stokes, 43, 44.)
In childhood, Mishima enjoyed playing dead, and he had eroticized notions of suicide from early adolescence. In his own words, he had a “compulsion toward suicide, that subtle and secret impulse.”[13]Ibid., 58.
(Stokes, 43, 44.)
His first erotic experience appears to have been masturbating to a print of Guido Reni’s St. Sebastian, which depicts the semi-nude and bleeding saint bound to a tree and impaled with arrows. Mishima would later explain that he “delighted in all forms of capital punishment and all implements of execution so long as they provided a spectacle of outpouring blood.”[14]Ibid., 61.
(Stokes, 43, 44.)
Stokes comments that “In Mishima’s aesthetic, blood was ultimately erotic.” Mishima fantasized about wounded, dying soldiers, imagining “I would kiss the lips of those who had fallen to the ground and were still moving spasmodically.”[15]Ibid.
(Stokes, 43, 44.)
He day-dreamed about execution devices studded with daggers, designed to shred the bodies of young men, and had a “fantasy of cannibalism” in which he fed on an athletic youth who had been “stunned, stripped, and pinned naked on a vast plate.”[16]Ibid.
(Stokes, 43, 44.)
Jerry Piven observes that Mishima’s fiction is replete with “innumerable fantasies of raping and killing beautiful young boys, of scenes of masturbating to images of slain men, of ceaseless loathing for despicable women.”[17]J. Piven The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima (Westport: Prager, 2004), 3.

St. Sebastian by Guido Reni (c. 1625)
St. Sebastian by Guido Reni (c. 1625)

In Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima (1994), Roy Starrs comments:

Few writers since the Marquis de Sade himself have made a more public and provocative “performance” of their “perverse” sexuality. … He found himself aroused by pictures not of naked women but of naked men, preferably in torment. Again he finds that homosexual pleasure is inextricably linked, for him, with sadistic pleasure, and he indulges in the most outrageous fantasies of managing a “murder theatre” in which muscular young men are slowly tortured to death for his amusement.[18]R. Starrs Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994), 35.

Mishima read both Freud and the works of the Jewish sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, and concurred with the latter (also a homosexual and transvestite) that pictures of the dying St. Sebastian were a favorite among homosexuals, with Mishima himself arguing that “the homosexual and sadistic urges are inextricably linked.”[19]R. Starrs (2009) A Devil of a Job, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 14:3, 85-99, 85 & 87. Far from the image of the austere Samurai, as he approached middle age the increasingly bipolar Mishima was known to dance in gay bars with a 17-year-old drag queen,[20]Stokes, 103 & 136. and once flew to New York solely for the purpose of finding a White man who would be sexually “rough” with him. His former lovers recall how he “liked to pretend he was committing seppuku,” making them watch, before asking them to stand over him with a sword as if about to behead him. He would pull out a red cloth, that he would pull across his abdomen explaining this was his “blood and guts.”[21]Starrs, A Devil of a Job, 89. Mishima once described himself as “strangely pathetic.”[22]Stokes, 91. Durocher may well be correct in his review of Mishima on the Hagakure that “Above all, Mishima would have men live full, worthy, and noble lives,” but readers should by now be aware of why I felt an alternative lens needed to be introduced to our perspective.

A theory thus presents itself that Mishima’s carefully orchestrated death was a piece of homosexual sadomasochist theatre rather than anything political, let alone fascistic or in the tradition of the Samurai. In order to parse this question more fully, it’s necessary to examine Mishima’s politics and spirituality, or what can at least be discerned in that direction.

One of the remarkable things about Mishima is that he seems hardly political at all. His fiction, denounced by early critics of all political hues as full of “evil narcissism” possessing “no reality,” is almost entirely devoid of ideology. (Durocher appropriately mentions how he tried to, and wanted to, like Mishima’s novels but couldn’t.) As such, Mishima is a pale shadow of ultra-nationalist literary contemporaries like Shūmei Ōkawa, Hideo Kobayashi, and Yasuda Yojūrō. Confessions of a Mask, his most autobiographical text and a style of novel (shishosetsu) that Kobayashi especially loathed as ‘popular’, “had nothing to say in it about political events that had influenced his life. … He was regarded as apolitical by his contemporaries.”[23]Ibid., 95.
(Stokes, 91.)
He was neither politically involved nor possessed of any real depth of feeling on political matters until the 1960s, when he was around 40 and becoming increasingly pessimistic and depressed — mainly because he was ageing and was disgusted and horrified by old age.[24]Ibid., 95 & 102.
(Stokes, 91.)
In his commentary on the Hagakure, Mishima would inflect his own anxieties about ageing and his own predilection for youthful suicide fantasies by telling his readers they should live for the moment and be content with a short life, and one gets the sense of personal inflections again when he informed his readers that “homosexual love goes very well with the Way of the Warrior.”[25]Ibid., 266.
(Stokes, 91.)
Otomo remarks that Mishima’s relationship to the Hagakure was simply peculiar and largely artificial, pointing to better, more authentic, examples of Bushido ethics and exploits such as Budoshoshinshu and the Kōyō Gunkan, and remarking on the Hagakure:

Ironically enough, the text is evidence of the absence of the code. It is an empty style that can be borrowed by anyone at any time of history and it no longer signifies a core culture of an Oriental entity called Japan. In fact, it has never signified as such except in one man’s nostalgia.[26]Ryoko Otomo, The Way of the Samurai: Ghost Dog, Mishima, and Modernity’s Other, Japanese Studies 21 (1), 31-43, 41.

In reality, and despite his self-presentation as the embodiment of the Hagakure, Mishima was strangely un-Japanese, something remarked upon by Stokes (“he was remarkably un-Japanese”)[27]Stokes., 5., who met him several times, and as evidenced in various aspects of Mishima’s life. Ryoko Otomo observes that, in a departure from the Zen Buddhism of the Samurai, Mishima, “was an affirmed atheist.”[28]Otomo, 40. What Mishima did in fact see in Zen and the Hagakure, so far as can be determined from his fiction and statements to journalists, was a dark and profound nihilism — something that any Zen master, including D. T. Suzuki who in one of his seminal texts has a chapter titled “Zen is not Nihilistic”, would argue is anathema to authentic Zen conceptions of “the Void.” When he became financially successful, Mishima set about building a large, Western-style, “anti-Zen” house, and Zen masters he associated with later remarked Mishima made “no profound study of philosophy.”[29]Stokes, 278. Mishima knew nothing of nature, being a decadent urbanite, and was unlike many Japanese in being ignorant of the most basic botany. Once, when accompanying a friend in the countryside, he was shocked and confused at the noise of frogs.[30]Ibid., 110.
(Stokes, 278.)
He once told reporters that his average day was spent with gym activity followed by lounging around a house regarded by his neighbors, and even its architect, as “gaudy,” “in jeans and an aloha shirt.”

Mishima went through with a hasty marriage of convenience to satisfy his dying mother, fathering two children that, in the style of the worst ghetto-dwellers, he was largely absent from. In fact, in several of his novels, especially Forbidden Colors which is replete with what Stokes calls “morbid sexuality,” he expresses contempt for children, families, and the normal, non-homosexual familial structure that is the backbone and future of all societies and civilizations:

Go to a theater, go to a coffeehouse, go to the zoo, go to an amusement park, go to town, go out to the suburbs even; everywhere the principle of majority rule is lording about in pride. Old couples, middle-aged couples, young couples, lovers, families, children, children, children, children, children and, to top it off, those blasted baby carriages—all of these things in procession, a cheering, advancing tide.

By contrast, as a homosexual, Mishima nurtured fantasies of himself as a member of an elitist minority.

Ideologically, Mishima was clumsy and confused at best. He believed that fascism and Freudian psychology were ideologically related,[31]Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 24. and believed in resurrecting a Japanese imperialism that would make room for parliamentary democracy.[32]Otomo, 39. He insisted, meanwhile, that “fascism will be incompatible with the imperial system.” Moreover, he argued that Japanese right-wingers “did not have to have a systematised worldview,” perhaps because he had none himself, and that they “nevertheless have nothing to do with European fascism.”[33]Ibid.
(Otomo, 39.)
By the early 1960s, Mishima was a writer of decadent romantic fiction so politically weak, and tendentiously left-wing, that he was targeted with death threats by right-wing paramilitaries.[34]Stokes., 295. Eventually, some time in the late 1960s and despite having no real depth of feeling for Shinto religion, Mishima decided that it would be a good idea if the Emperor was returned to his pre-war status as a deity, prompting Sir John Pilcher, British Ambassador to Japan to declare Mishima’s fantasy of placing himself “in any relationship to the Emperor” as “sheer foolishness.”[35]Ibid., 277.
(Stokes., 295.)
Mishima, of course, never explored the Emperor’s role in World War II in any depth, and his chief fixation appears solely to have been the decision of the Emperor to accede to Allied demands and “become human.” Although Mishima became increasingly vocal on this issue, and even started taking financial donations from conservative politicians to establish a small paramilitary grouping consisting of lovers and fans, “he never defined his positions clearly,” and was so poor at articulating his ideas to troops during his coup attempt that he was simply laughed at by gathered soldiers.[36]Ibid., 273.
(Stokes., 295.)
Whether or not Mishima was fully sincere is, of course, another matter, though his suicidal coup attempt came very shortly after literary career declined so rapidly that friends wrote to him “telling him that suicide would be the only solution.”[37]Ibid., 281.
(Stokes., 295.)
Suicide in Japanese culture is of course also crucial to this discussion and will be explored below.

Mishima’s purported militarism is worthy of some attention. I come from a military family, and have many friends in the military. One of the things that’s always irritated and amused me is the difference between how actual service personnel discuss themes such as “being a warrior” or combat more generally in comparison to military fantasists. Among the former, there always exists a wry, sober, even bittersweet outlook. Among the latter, one is apt to find much talk of glory and conquest, but little action. Mishima was surely a military fantasist, who even by his own admission had a sexual fetish for the white gloves worn with the Japanese uniform,[38]Ibid., 57.
(Stokes., 295.)
and lied during his own army medical exam during the war in an effort to avoid military service: “Why had I looked so frank as I lied to the army doctor? Why had I said that I’d been having a slight fever for half a year, that my shoulder was painfully stiff, that I spit blood, and that even last night I had been soaked by a night sweat? … Why had I run so when I was through the barracks gate?”[39]Ibid., 81.
(Stokes., 295.)

When the bombs fell during the war, Mishima recalled, “that same me would run for the air-raid shelters faster than anyone.”[40]Ibid., 76.
(Stokes., 295.)
Stokes suitably comments that “had he served in the army, even for a short while, his view of life in the ranks would have been less romantic, later in life,” but that instead “Mishima stayed home with his family, reading No plays, the dramas of Chikamatsu, the mysterious tales of Kyoka Izumi and Akinari Ueda, even the Kojiki and its ancient myths.”[41]Ibid., 81.
(Stokes., 295.)
When he eventually formed his own paramilitary organisation, he dressed them in “opéra bouffe uniforms which incited the ridicule of the press,” and Starrs comments: “He was no more a true ‘samurai’ than he was a true policeman or airforce pilot, in whose garb he also had himself photographed. The ‘samurai’ image was simply one of Mishima’s favourite masks — and also one of his most transparent.”[42]Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 7.

One could add speculations that Mishima’s military fantasies were an extension of his sexual fixations, including a possible attempt to simply gain power over a large number of athletic young men. But this would be laboring an all-too-obvious point. More soberly, one could merely point to the ridiculous notion of a military coup being led by a bipolar, draft-dodging shut-in (Hikikomori) who, when confronted during the action itself, witnessed the beginning and end of his fighting career when he hacked frantically at a handful of unarmed men with an antique sword. The Jewish academic and Japan scholar Alan Tansman might well be a sexual pervert himself, but it’s difficult to disagree with his assertion that “Mishima is more a figure of parody than a force of politics,”[43]Tansman, A. (2009). The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism. University of California Press, 257. and attempts to link Mishima with our worldview only provide further grist for the Jewish mill.

Since Mishima’s writings and actions are politically opaque at best, it is little wonder that most attention from his propagandists has focused on the dramatic and quasi-traditional method of suicide, which is often portrayed as representing the utmost in honor, masculine courage etc. Such accounts, of course, normally omit the fact Mishima rehearsed his suicide for decades in the form of gay sex games, and was essentially a gore fetishist. A broader problem exists, however, in the nature of Western appraisal of seppuku, and suicide in Japanese culture more generally. The most enlightening piece of work I’ve read in this sphere has been that of the late Toyomasa Fuse (1931–2019), Professor Emeritus at York University and probably the world’s leading expert on suicide among the Japanese. In Suicide and Culture in Japan: A Study of Seppuku as an Institutionalized Form of Suicide, Fuse explains that suicide in Japan essentially originates from a servile position within a highly anxious and neurotic society. Needless to say, this is far from healthy and praiseworthy behavior. He describes seppuku as a form of “altruistic suicide” and an expression of “role narcissism,” it being a

Response to a continued need for social recognition resulting from narcissistic preoccupation with the self in respect to status and role. … Many Japanese tend to become over-involved with their social role, which has become cathected by them as the ultimate meaning in life. … Shame and chagrin are so extreme among the Japanese, especially in a perceived threat to loss of social status, that the individual cannot contemplate life henceforth.[44]Fusé, T. Suicide and Culture in Japan: A Study of Seppuku as an Institutionalized Form of Suicide Social Psychiatry (1980) 15: 57, 61.

There is little question that seppuku had a place among the samurai, but the actual nature of its practice over time was complex and was successively reinterpreted, alternating between a voluntary way of recovering honor, and a form of capital punishment (peasants, meanwhile, were simply boiled alive). It also alternated in form, involving varying types of cut to the belly, and sometimes involving no cut to the abdomen at all — the individual would ceremonially reach for a knife before being quickly beheaded. Starrs observes that while misguided Westerners have “naively accepted” Mishima’s seppuku as being “in the best samurai tradition,”[45]Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 6. it was simply Mishima’s own variation on a theme — the same theme that witnessed hundreds of servile Japanese slit their bellies in front of the imperial palace at the end of the war because of their embarrassment at failing the Emperor. Again, we must question, at a time when we are trying to break free from high levels of social concern and shaming in Europe, whether it is healthy or helpful to praise practices originating in pathologically shame-centered cultures.

As Fuse notes, the traditional European response to seppuku has been disgust, not solely at the physical act itself but because of the servile psychological and sociological soil from which it originates. Because of the difference in mentalities, there is a complication in how concepts such as honor and bravery translate in this particular instance. Seppuku certainly appears to be easier to undertake for a Japanese than for a European. Mishima himself, to give the devil his due, didn’t equivocate in his pursuit of the most brutal methodology. His own wound was found to be five inches across and, in places, two inches deep.[46]Stokes, 34. Those knowledegable enough in older times would make a cut so as to cut a renal or aortic vein, leading to such catastrophic blood loss that death would be almost instantaneous. Mishima doesn’t appear to have had such knowledge, spilling his intestines out in agony while three successive attempts (by a subordinate and rumored lover) were made to behead him, one opening up a massive wound on his back instead.

Conclusion

The facts surveyed here surely point out the inadequacies of the Mishima Myth as presented in corners of the European Right. I listened again to Bowden’s lecture just yesterday, and laughed out loud at Bowden’s brief gloss of Mishima’s catastrophic childhood (“he was a slightly effeminate child”). Unfortunately, because Bowden spoke more often than he compiled serious research, it’s impossible to determine if Bowden was a conscious promoter of Mishima propaganda, or an earnest but ill-informed believer in the Mishima Myth. I simply don’t know the extent of Bowden’s reading in the matter. Like Durocher, I’ve also watched Paul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, though I found it to be a cheesy, dated, and rather manipulative hagiography rather than a masterpiece. Durocher comments “You’re either the kind of boy who is challenged, energized, and inspired by this sort of film, or perhaps you’re not a boy,” which I can only regard as laden with irony given that the film’s subject was raised as a girl and once remarked, on being expected to act like a boy: “the reluctant masquerade had begun.”[47]Ibid., 48.
(Stokes, 34.)
Schrader’s documentary is also highly sanitized; according to Stokes this is due to the tight control that Mishima’s widow and extended family had over the production, and their concern about potential for embarrassment.[48]Ibid., 267.
(Stokes, 34.)
One small scene showing Mishima in a gay bar was enough for the family to block distribution in Japan, and they even invested money in paying Takeshi Muramatsu to write a 500-page biography, the central proposition of which was to try to convince the Japanese public that Mishima was heterosexual and had merely spent his life, to quote Stokes, “posing as a sodomite.” Rather predictably, the text failed to convince anyone, though it probably salved the family’s pride a little to know that it was out there.

We come back to the central questions of how and why Yukio Mishima should be relevant to us. No answers can be found in the life, politics and actions of a figure not only non-European and profoundly un-fascistic, but who was also strangely un-Japanese. I contend that there is simply nothing genuine to learn from him, and few people who have written in support of Mishima can point to anything tangible beyond the amorphous outlines of the Mishima Myth and a film heavy on style and low on authenticity. There is no single piece of text, no treatise, and no piece of authenticity beyond a final, radically un-European and sadomasochistically-inspired act of self-destruction and death-embracing nihilism. Mishima’s monarchism was servile and parodic, his militarism homoerotic, disingenuous and ludicrous, and his death-as-political-statement was psychosexual and ultimately lacking in logic. Otomo is probably correct in viewing the coup attempt more as a sexually inspired method of “politicising art rather than expressing a belief in ultra-nationalism.”[49]Otomo, 40.

The question thus arises as to whether associating ourselves with such a figure, surely a clownish homoerotic wignat in today’s vernacular, brings more positives or negatives, both within the Dissident Right and within broader considerations of “optics” or public image. In particular, we should question whether we want to place our politics in a nexus that involves, to borrow the terminology of the Japan scholar Susan Napier, “the interrelationship between homosexuality, politics, and the peculiar form of violence-prone psychosexual nihilism from which Mishima suffered.”[50]Napier, S. (1995). Reviewed Work: Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima by Roy Starrs Monumenta Nipponica, 50(1), 128-130. I’d argue in the negative.

Members of the Dissident Right with an interest in Japanese culture are encouraged to take up one or more of the martial arts, to look into aspects of Zen, or to review the works of some of the other twentieth-century Japanese authors mentioned here. Such endeavors will bear better fruit. Above all, however, there is no comparison with spending time researching the lives of one’s own co-ethnic heroes and one’s own culture. As Europeans, we are so spoiled for choice we needn’t waste time with the rejected, outcast, and badly damaged members of other groups.

Notes

[1] See, for example, Abel, T. (1978). Yukio Mishima: A psychoanalytic interpretation. Journal of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 6(3), 403–424; Piven, J. (2001). Mimetic Sadism in the Fiction of Yukio Mishima. Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 8, 69-89; McPherson, D.E. (1986). A Personal Myth—Yukio Mishima: The Samurai Narcissus. Psychoanalytical Review, 73C(3):361-378; Jerry Piven (2001). Phallic Narcissism, Anal Sadism, And Oral Discord: The Case Of Yukio Mishima, Part I. The Psychoanalytic Review: Vol. 88, No. 6, pp. 771-791; Piven, J. S. (2004). The madness and perversion of Yukio Mishima. Praeger Publishers/Greenwood Publishing Group; Cornyetz, N., & Vincent, J. K. (Eds.). (2010). Perversion and modern Japan: psychoanalysis, literature, culture. Routledge.

[2] Ushijima, S. (1987), The Narcissism and Death of Yukio Mishima –From the Object Relational Point of View–. Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 41: 619-628.

[3] H. S. Stokes The Life and Death of Yukio Mishima (Cooper Square Publishers; 1st Cooper Square Press Ed edition, 2000), 40.

[4] Ibid., 41.

[5] Ibid., 47.

[6] Ibid., 47.

[7] Ibid., 42.

[8] John Money, Anthony J. Russo, Homosexual Outcome of Discordant Gender Identity/Role in Childhood: Longitudinal Follow-Up, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, Volume 4, Issue 1, March 1979, Pages 29–41.

[9] Mize, Krystal & Shackelford, Todd K., Intimate Partner Homicide Methods in Heterosexual, Gay, and Lesbian Relationships Violence and Victims, 23:1.

[10] J. Piven The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima (Westport: Prager, 2004), 2.

[11] Stokes, 43, 44.

[12] Ibid., 44.

[13] Ibid., 58.

[14] Ibid., 61.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] J. Piven The Madness and Perversion of Yukio Mishima (Westport: Prager, 2004), 3.

[18] R. Starrs Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1994), 35.

[19] R. Starrs (2009) A Devil of a Job, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 14:3, 85-99, 85 & 87.

[20] Stokes, 103 & 136.

[21] Starrs, A Devil of a Job, 89.

[22] Stokes, 91.

[23] Ibid., 95.

[24] Ibid., 95 & 102.

[25] Ibid., 266.

[26] Ryoko Otomo, The Way of the Samurai: Ghost Dog, Mishima, and Modernity’s Other, Japanese Studies 21 (1), 31-43, 41.

[27] Stokes., 5.

[28] Otomo, 40.

[29] Stokes, 278.

[30] Ibid., 110.

[31] Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 24.

[32] Otomo, 39.

[33] Ibid.

[34] Stokes., 295.

[35] Ibid., 277.

[36] Ibid., 273.

[37] Ibid., 281.

[38] Ibid., 57.

[39] Ibid., 81.

[40] Ibid., 76.

[41] Ibid., 81.

[42] Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 7.

[43] Tansman, A. (2009). The Aesthetics of Japanese Fascism. University of California Press, 257.

[44] Fusé, T. Suicide and Culture in Japan: A Study of Seppuku as an Institutionalized Form of Suicide Social Psychiatry (1980) 15: 57, 61.

[45] Starrs, Deadly Dialectics, 6.

[46] Stokes, 34.

[47] Ibid., 48.

[48] Ibid., 267.

[49] Otomo, 40.

[50] Napier, S. (1995). Reviewed Work: Deadly Dialectics: Sex, Violence and Nihilism in the World of Yukio Mishima by Roy Starrs Monumenta Nipponica, 50(1), 128-130.

(Republished from The Occidental Observer by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Very good essay Mr. Joyce.

    I have always wondered whether the fetishisation of Japan and other Far East cultures by some on the Dissident Right is analagous to the fetishisation of Blacks by those on the so-called alt-lite (Lowest Black unemployment, based Black man in a red MAGA hat, Candace Owens etc)?

    • Agree: JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @John Regan
  2. Anonymous[214] • Disclaimer says:

    Mishima has never been considered seriously by the Japanese Right and has always been considered to be something of an embarrassment there.

    His adoption by the New Right or Alt-Right or whatever you want to call it is quite strange. Mainstream and liberal/leftist interest in him was largely due to his homosexuality and “transgressive” character. I suspect there’s something similar going on with the contemporary interest and promotion of him in the Alt-Right. The primary promoters of Mishima today in the Alt-Right are Greg Johnson and “Bronze Age Pervert”, both of whom are homosexuals, and in the latter case, Jewish.

    • Agree: Tusk, JohnPlywood
    • Replies: @Priss Factor
  3. @Anonymous

    Mishima has never been considered seriously by the Japanese Right and has always been considered to be something of an embarrassment there.

    Mishima was a nutter in many ways, but the so-called Japanese Right is nuttier. One part of Japanese Right is stuck in cold-war mentality and cucks to the US. The bad guy went from Russia to China.

    The other part of Japanese Right is ‘Japan did nothing wrong in WWII’ crowd. They are totally crazy.

    • Replies: @KindKaiser
  4. The Apostle Paul was also an extremely flawed individual, who went on to found the Christian Church! (And Peter, arguably the most flawed of the 12 disciples, was the rock it was built on).
    I don’t see an admiration for Mishima as an endorsement of all of the activities in his life; in fact, I highly doubt that he would do the same.
    And for someone who has written on Nietzsche in the past, someone who literally went insane during his final decade of life and probably had syphilis, singling out Mishima for this type of criticism seems highly dubious.
    There is much worthwhile in Mishima’s writings, and they are certainly better than the average fare that would be assigned most literature students today.
    Who would you suggest would be better to study and take inspiration from when it comes to Japan?
    I might say Ikki Kita, Seigo Nakano, or Shumei Okawa, but as far as postwar figures we may be limited to Kazunari Yamada. Mishima certainly has his place!

  5. @Priss Factor

    The main things Japan did ‘wrong’ in WWII were using the navy’s code system rather than the army’s, which was much more difficult to decode and would have prevented them from basically giving away their plans beforehand. Additionally, their entire strategy was probably flawed, as too many resources were expended expanding out to islands that provided little resources in return, and the ‘Hokushin-ron’ plan involving attacking Russia, or even a pincer movement into Africa to try to link up with Germany, may have worked better, especially if war with the USA could have been avoided.
    Nevertheless, hindsight is 20/20, and given the harsh American sanctions and their painting American planes like Chinese ones and using them to shoot down Japanese fighters (‘Flying Tigers’), Pearl Harbor was understandable. In the end, Japan fought valiantly and were the last of the Axis Powers to surrender to the Anglo-Zionist-Communist world order. Still today what Nationalist spirit remains in Japan (that I wish existed more in the West!) is usually tied to Imperial Japanese Navy or Army. And Japan’s war effort, though it ultimately ended in defeat, gave eventual independence to Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Burma, and Vietnam (where Japanese soldiers even stayed behind to help the Vietnamese against the French.

    Please don’t tell me you’re referring to that Chinese/Korean whining and playing the victim which is as predictable as the sunshine in San Diego. It really gets old after a while, especially after the Japanese have already paid millions to them only to see it get embezzled by corrupt politicians.

    If you want to read some interesting accounts to gain a new perspective on what the Japanese were experiencing around WWII, a Canadian named Joshua Blakeney has written an interesting book that is definitely worth reading:

    http://libgen.is/book/index.php?md5=8F3C91739EA85EEC6DBE9C3E133D0318

    • Replies: @Fluesterwitz
  6. – That Mishima would mean anything to the “European Right” is an underhanded smear-by-association from the usual quarter – Jews and spurned homos (who usually end up with the extreme left and frustrated not even the girls are masculine there).
    He has enjoyed a certain popularity among adherents of the cineastic morbidity, but even that was a fad.

    – Such homos as there were – from Röhm to Kühnen – have been of a different build 😛

  7. Dave Pinsen says: • Website
    @KindKaiser

    Ryu Murakami’s novel From The Fatherland, With Love is worth a read. His short story collection Tokyo Decadence is good too.

  8. Couldn’t agree more with the secondary point of the article – fetishism about Japanese culture is ridiculous.

    In a grownup the broader ‘warrior ethos’ schtick is gay as fuck and is a core way to identify incels and NPCs. The only thing with a higher TFI (total faggotry index) is the idea that ‘alpha’-masculinity only requires physical prowess.

    I had never heard of this Mishima dude until M. Durocher’s recent piece, but then again I have an instinctive revulsion to cults of personality and especially to Tarantino-esque pretence that some black-and-white era Jap has anything insightful to say that hasn’t been said a thousand times before (and usually, when you trace it all back, it was originally written down by a Curry-Muncher, a Chink, a Greek or a Gyppo… and wasn’t original when they wrote it).

    It’s the ‘arts’-scene’s requirement to appear sophisticated, as a marketing ‘hook’: to try to make people think there’s an Inner Ring of cognoscenti who ‘get it’, so that desperados in the audience will claim to ‘get it’ when ‘it‘ isn’t worth getting.

    Japanese culture is both authoritarian (downwards) and obsequious (upwards) to an absurd degree: deference bordering on self-abasement is a vile concept – much worse than the (declining) American workplace practice of referring to superiors as ‘Sir‘ non-ironically.

    Fetishisation of Bushido (or worse – gack Budo) is of a piece with fetishisation of ‘300‘ – it’s almost comically homoerotic (the comic element comes from the fact that the people doing the fetishising think that what they’re doing is an expression of heterosexual masculinity, when it’s first-rank faggotry).

    It’s a great source of amusement though.

    To labour the parallel between Bushido-fags and ThisIsSpaaaaarta!!!-fags, think of what a fuckwit a person has to be, to think that the Gadsden Flag and “ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ” are component parts of a coherent worldview, given that Sparta was a military dictatorship.

    Japanese culture has some very positive traits: strong family identification, a good work ethic, and a desire to advance economically being the main ones. Those are no different to the best aspects of Western European culture, so aping a foreign version seems superfluous.

    .

    Confession: like a lot of teens, I practiced a martial art when I was a kiddie. For me it was Tae Kwon Do (Korean) and Shotokan karate. Being able to kick a bloke in the head is a neat skill to have (and flexibility is a terrific thing to maintain), but it has almost no usefulness unless your opponent is either exhausted, or unskilled.

    Also I’m not saying that there is no value in Japanese culture: like all developed cultures, the good bits are good… but they are also almost-always oppositional to the overall culture.

    Best example: like every smart kid in a gi in the 1970s and 1980s, of course I read Go Rin No Sho (in translation).

    I even had a poster on my wall of a replica of the original hand-written Dokkōdō, which I knew by heart and which influenced me pretty profoundly. It still informs my worldview – particularly precepts 6 and 15. (“Have no regrets for yourself or your actions” and “Do not observe superstitions or taboos“, respectively).

    Dokkōdō is basically the outlines of Stoicism (which is Cynicism for cucks; if the world was 100% Cynic, it would be a far better place).

    Point is: my worldview was influenced by Musashi, but that doesn’t make the entire Japanese culture worth emulating any more than reading Rothbard means you have to like Ayn Rand. Dokkōdō is almost the antithesis of Japanese authoritarian/obsequious.

    Besides … Dokkōdō actually disappoints once you scratch the surface: it advocates a very narrow version of Cynic askesis (‘constant improvement’). And as might be expected from something that was produced in a military dictatorship it is agnostic – and even hostile – to the really big-ticket items: eleutheria, autarkeia, and parrhēsia (liberty; self-sufficiency; frank speech).

    You know: the important shit.

  9. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Interesting essay.

    I don’t think much of post-war Japanese politics maps well to the west, particularly since they haven’t had to deal with demographic change (at least not yet – I know there’s a Japanese billionaire or two angling for more immigration now).

    As for Mishima, I can’t speak to the quality of his art, as I haven’t read his work, but I have seen Paul Shrader’s Mishima movie, and I disagree with Joyce’s assessment of it here, as do most critics and viewers, per IMDB. But the art should be considered independently from the artist. If it has merit, it has merit, regardless of how flawed the artist was.

    And I don’t think it’s fair for Joyce to compare the combat experience of his American contemporaries to what Mishima avoided at the tail end of World War II. No American serviceman has fought against a competitive adversary in the last 40 years. They’ve always had unchallenged control of the skies, air support, and enormous advantages in materiel. Mishima would have been fighting a doomed war, short on ammo and equipment, against overwhelming opponents in the U.S. and later, the Soviets.

    Also, great literature about war has been written by those who didn’t see combat: think Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, or Thom Jones’s The Pugilist At Rest.

    • Replies: @NobodyKnowsImADog
  10. @Kratoklastes

    like a lot of teens, I practiced a martial art when I was a kiddie

    Shitfully expressed.

    I’m not a teen: in a little over one lunar cycle I will have been alive for 20,100 planet-rotations. (That means that I’ve travelled roughly 1 trillion kilometers through space, which is pretty amazing).

    To clarify the badly-expressed blockquote:

    like a lot of teens in the late 70s/early 80s, I practiced a martial art when I was a kiddie

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  11. OSLO, AUGUST 31, film based on right-wring Drieu La Rochelle.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo,_August_31st

    It won a lot of accolades, but I found it boring as hell. Dull idiots on drugs with suicidal thoughts. Not my cup of tea.

  12. IvyMike says:

    Pathetic describes Author and subject both.

    • Agree: Bliss
  13. Weaver1 says:
    @Kratoklastes

    Sparta is not gay. The idea is they fought for their freedom, and Sparta was built to endure. Sparta tried to prevent greed, tried to encourage unity among its 10k or so citizens, until that number fell. Even Athens had slaves.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
  14. @Weaver1

    The idea is they fought for their freedom

    That’s nonsense. They were a backward shithole, even by the standards of the time.

    Imagine a city where the only people whose rights were acknowledged, were those who worked for Blackwater… and that when a new guy joined the crew they would have a competition to see how many of the locals they could kill without being detected.

    And (if Plutarch is to be believed) every year Blackwater would ritually re-declare war, and the Blackwater fuckbags could kill inhabitants with impunity until the festival was over.

    Oh, and there’s the little thing of telling the Helots to find the best among them (with a promise that they would be freed) and then massacring them. Or maybe Thucydides was bullshitting.

    Lakonophilia is retarded and über-gay, is what I’m getting at.

    It’s as retarded as trying to oil resources by invading the Middle East.

    .

    There’s a huge difference between a society that has slaves, and a society that ritually abuses and humiliates those slaves. (Not defending slavery either, just to be clear)

    Getting out of slavery was also much harder in Sparta than in Athens, Thebes and elsewhere.

    For a Spartan helot to become mothakes he had to do something of really exemplary usefulness… and although they became free as a result, they did not become Spartiate – they were on the same level as períoikoi.

    .

    One thing I’ve noticed over the last ~decade is that there is a very deliberate attempt to whitewash history as it relates to Sparta.

    My guess is that it’s Yanks doing the whitewashing.

    They understand that the government and military caste of the US has the same mindset as the psycho fuckbags of Sparta, and they have a strong desire for that historical connotation to be associated with something other than a backward shithole where hoi polloi lived in constant fear of murderous psycho fuckbags.

    (On Wikipedia, the entry on the krypteia is an absolute joke – it would be like having an entry for the Gestapo, that called it a police force).

    • Replies: @John Regan
    , @Colin Wright
  15. Bliss says:

    He day-dreamed about execution devices studded with daggers, designed to shred the bodies of young men, and had a “fantasy of cannibalism” in which he fed on an athletic youth who had been “stunned, stripped, and pinned naked on a vast plate.”

    Jerry Piven observes that Mishima’s fiction is replete with “innumerable fantasies of raping and killing beautiful young boys, of scenes of masturbating to images of slain men, of ceaseless loathing for despicable women.”

    And the european far right idolizes this sick, evil bastard as a noble heroic figure?

    You guys really are a threat to mankind. As much as ISIS.

    • Troll: Tusk
  16. Tusk says:

    I won’t bother giving Bliss the @, but in case he is just dim and not a troll the point Joyce is making is that most people are unaware of the reality of Mishima and instead just follow the myth. Considering that Mishima lived the ideals as espoused by the Myth, an analysis thereof shows that following those ideals is synonymous with, and formed from, that degenerate lifestyle.
    Praising Mishima is therefore deluded and unhealthy as the shadow of the Myth pales compared to reality outside the cave.

  17. Anon[215] • Disclaimer says:

    Kudos on correct use of hoi poloi.

  18. @KindKaiser

    Indeed. One wonders if anyone would be left if their private lives were mined sufficiently, especially in the age of the internet. D’Annunzio, for example, enjoyed lying under a glass coffee table while his mistress took a dump. As for Socrates, hmmm,…

    Perhaps Dr. Joyce should spend lest time worrying about “optics,” the opinions of our enemies (don’t be a shande fur die Juden!), which is exactly how the cancel-culture wants us to behave. Once we have power we can shut their mouths for good, as Dr. Goebbels would say.

    Away with all the weirdos! That’s how to create a nice, inoffensive, Jew-friendly “culture.”

    Come to think of it, isn’t it a little Freudian, a little Jewy, to be concerned with the “real” sources of cultural products? After all, this article could easily have been written by any member of the Frankfurt School. “Sure the goyim talk about patriotism and manly honor, but they really just want someone to spank their dirty little bottoms!”

  19. Bliss says:

    As Fuse notes, the traditional European response to seppuku has been disgust, not solely at the physical act itself but because of the servile psychological and sociological soil from which it originates.

    What a stark contrast to the response of the far right rabble.

    In the twisted Orwellian world of the alt-right/far right: servility is nobility, spilling your stinking guts is glorious, do-gooders are bad, mass murderers are saints, social justice warriors are the enemy, etcetera.

    Whadda buncha sickos….

    • Troll: Pheasant
  20. anon[323] • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    Strong men make good times: groping chattels gets you either a 100% chance, or a theoretical 50% chance, of a bullet in the head, depending on the class difference between groper and gropee. Few chattels are allowed into situations to be groped anyway.

    Good times make weak men: the early Asimov/Weinstein stage – self-promoted goblins grope whom they wish.

    Weak men make bad times: the late Asimov/Weinstein stage – self-chattelled wahmens organize to prevent groping by any but the lowest races and classes of men, who are free to grope with impunity.

    Bad times make strong men: purifying war – coming soon to a groping near you.

  21. ia says:

    Nothing wrong with examining Mishima’s personal life. That’s normal. But what you are getting at is worse than Entartete Kunst exhibitions or communist social realism. At least Hitler, Stalin and Mao judged the work itself, on it’s perceived usefulness and not the individual who made it. By focusing on the individual you are opening up a pandora’s box of galloping paranoia, especially in a time of mass surveillance capabilities, deep fakes and internet mob hysteria.

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  22. @Kratoklastes

    Solar or stellar? These little things add up, see 😀

  23. @Kratoklastes

    I´d say couldn´t agree more … except I could 😛

    – The author is right on those who have seen, smelled, tasted and spilled blood are easy to spot from those who fantasize; I read the Gorin after the army but before I understood – a rather discomforting but too-common reversal of the order of things.
    As the Hagakure says, “no one is a man who has not seen Death sitting on the blade tip”.

    – Classical Greece was an R&D lab for political systems; Sparta put the emphasis on maintaining racial stratification (based on descent from Herakles), similar to the Indian varna (lit. “colour”) system.
    The little thing Lykurg overlooked was the male elite attrition rate was unsustainable and the widow bagged everything, leading to wealth and power accumulation by attractive widows (sound familiar?) and a gynocracy to make a pig barf until a company of Theban homos could topple them over.
    If you want the future trajectory of the US, look no further.

    – Agreed that the World would be a better place if everybody was a Cynic (that most profoundly humane of ancient schools), but it is seriously maladaptive (though intellectually satisfying).
    The average American is going to read your argument as an endorsement of the robber barons, so allow me to add the “rugged individualist” to the list of fags.

    – It IS rewarding to see the same idea move from Musashi´s painting to late Edo metalwork to Shin Hanga to European Japanophilia (abject kitsch) to the Jugendstil fulguration, branching over Otto Wagner to the Bauhaus, to Lalique (beautiful but décadent) and become chthonic again with Gaudí, with the Bauhaus the highest and most German (yeah, I know) flower of Zen aesthetic
    (American attempts already fall under “typolysis”).
    I for one do not feel guilty for watching evolution at work.

    The biologistic/systems analysis POV seems to be repellent to many, but it works for the humble one 😉

  24. AaronB says:

    100% agree.

    Japanese culture in general is extremely foreign to the sensibilities of the alt-right. If they understood it properly, they would be utterly repulsed by it.

    • Disagree: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Poco
  25. Ian Smith says:

    ‘Mishima’s purported militarism is worthy of some attention. I come from a military family, and have many friends in the military. One of the things that’s always irritated and amused me is the difference between how actual service personnel discuss themes such as “being a warrior” or combat more generally in comparison to military fantasists. Among the former, there always exists a wry, sober, even bittersweet outlook. Among the latter, one is apt to find much talk of glory and conquest, but little action.’

    Reminds me of a lot of armchair saber rattlers whose only experience of war is WW2 movies, Tom Clancy novels, and Call of Duty.

  26. anon[609] • Disclaimer says:
    @Kratoklastes

    I had never heard of this Mishima

    But feel to bloviate about him like a meth monkey with a net connection. Bloat on cuz, you’re beached as aye.

  27. Thomasina says:
    @James J. O'Meara

    “One wonders if anyone would be left if their private lives were mined sufficiently…”

    So true, we are all fallen, but I agree with Dr. Joyce – there are better examples to hold up than this sad and sick individual.

    “Crush humanity out of shape once more, under similar hammers, and it will twist itself into the same tortured forms.”

    Way to go, Grandma!

    • Replies: @Liza
  28. Thomasina says:

    Andrew Joyce – that was a very well-written article. I found this interesting too:

    “…studies showing that homosexuals are more likely than the sexually normal to be predisposed to “brutal” violence[9] (to say nothing of what anecdotally appears to be a disproportionate preponderance of homosexual serial killers and cannibals)…”

    It is my belief that they carry inside enormous amounts of repressed anger.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  29. Dumbo says:
    @KindKaiser

    I liked a couple of books by Shusaku Endo, but he’s Catholic and not a typical Japanese. Actually the one I liked best was not his more well-known Silence, but the obscure/strange Scandal.

    Murakami? Nah. He’s Western, basically.

  30. @ia

    Good point actually 🙂

    But the core of the argument is Mishima was an unhinged sensualist on par with Pasolini (also dragged in the vicinity of “fascism”) … or Kirsten Gillibrand lecturing us that facts don´t matter, only “how the woman feels about it”. What on Earth could we possibly learn from these figures? A pox on the load of them!

    Precision of thought is the only thing they have not taken from us and we better shepherd it, otherwise it´s Feyerabend and anything goes.

    (and if you aren´t paranoid you aren´t paying attention 😛 )

    • Replies: @ia
  31. ia says:
    @nokangaroos

    Thanks for your comment.

    The only book I’ve read by Mishima was Sun and Steel and that was about 40 years ago. If I recall correctly he wrote about body-building in a spare, austere style. The words were strung together in a certain way which created, in my mind, an impression beyond a typical how-to manual. I certainly didn’t get an image of unhinged sexuality. LOL.

    I’ve tried to watch Pasolini but was turned off by the gay sub-text and probably his left-wing political views that he somehow injected into a story that had no business being there. But I waited to actually see the work and arrived at a perception based on the work alone, not his life.

    What on Earth could we possibly learn from these figures?

    The technique involved in making compelling images, gestures and sounds in time. You don’t need to reproduce the same content but the form, the style, will be useful. To be honest, people who identify as conservative could use some serious training in form. Content, they’re okay. But form is another matter, and unfortunately for them, it’s more important when it comes to influencing people than content.

  32. A Mishy-Mashy film if there ever was one. Maybe the most vapid masterpiece.

  33. @Kratoklastes

    (On Wikipedia, the entry on the krypteia is an absolute joke – it would be like having an entry for the Gestapo, that called it a police force).

    This is either brilliant sarcasm, or frothing at the mouth boomerposting. Given that this is the Internet, it’s not quite obvious which, as it sometimes is, though I would hope it’s the former.

    Just in case you are serious, though, and/or other posters don’t get the point, I will spell out the joke. The Gestapo, of course, was indeed a police force, a sort of lite version of the FBI (which has its own problems, to be sure, but is not yet a Soviet-style OGPU). Prewar Nazi Germany literally had a far smaller prison population than the US today, both in total numbers and as a percentage of the national population. These figures are on the Internet; anyone can check them. It was not some iron-fisted police state.

    The reason the big bad Gestapo is such a figure of dread to boomers of all ages is, of course, their thorough indoctrination by Hollywood and other agencies of “American” propaganda. Who paint a truly bizarre picture of it, just as Kratoklastes here uses warmed-over propaganda from Athens (effectively the New York of its times, and anticapitalist Sparta’s mortal enemy) to demonize the Spartans throughout most of his post.

    As I said, either brilliant satire or boomerposting.

  34. @Just passing through

    Rightists in the West are presumably interested in the East Asian nations because of their unique achievements. As of the present day, they (meaning Japan in particular, and China and the Koreas in lesser measure) are literally the only civilizations in the world that have managed both to become reasonably civilized and economically successful, and yet to substantially retain their ethnic integrity. Surely this deserves our admiration, and indeed our envy.

    Thus, many attempt to study them and understand what they are demonstrably doing better than we are. Just as, a century and a half ago, the Japanese studied us when it became obvious to them that their traditional society was no longer successful, and sought to copy what we were doing right.

    Obviously, there are also features to these cultures that appear unpleasant or even bizarre to us. China and Korea are more obvious about this, but even Japan produces some cultural excesses that are as bad as Hollywood (as well as many other things that are just weird, even if they appear mostly harmless). Still, I would hesitate to put the blame for a weirdo like Mishima on Japanese culture as a whole. He was, after all, just one man, and sadly, we have no shortage of equally damaged celebrities of our own in the US (or Europe, for that matter).

    What is strange, concerning this article’s topic, is how Western rightists seem to fall over themselves to worship at the altar of a deranged sex pervert. On that count, I agree completely with Mr. Joyce, even if I would not go so far as to call Japanese culture in itself pathological. It is simply adapted for the Japanese, just as our traditional culture once used to be for us.

  35. Seraphim says:

    The best characterization of Mishima is that “he was remarkably un-Japanese”. Perhaps because he was influenced by Nietzsche, who in his turn was ‘remarkably un-European’.

  36. @Kratoklastes

    ‘… Or maybe Thucydides was bullshitting…’

    I don’t actually know much about it, but I doubt we have an accurate description of Sparta in the first place. Aren’t we reading Athenian propaganda?

    That would be the equivalent of taking late Stalinist claims about America as an accurate description of us. At any rate, the society described sounds radically improbable.

  37. GammaRay says:

    Excellent article, personally I have always had a visceral dislike of mishima but I never knew why; I guess something about him seemed pathetic or phony, I just couldnt put my finger on it. After reading this article I can say that my feelings are justified.

    The fact that some corners of the alt-right deify mishima (while being presumably ignorant of mishima’s true nature) incidentally says a lot about the alt-right themselves. Oftentimes in life, we are drawn to or repulsed by things which we don’t really understand or know much about, but incidentally these same things actually reflect or inform us about dynamics which exist deep within ourselves on a fundamental level. Precisely the fact that we encounter superficially familiar concepts or things that ultimately resonate with deep parts of our own fundamental natures suggests that perhaps there is some form of organization or intelligence in the universe, but that is another topic all by itself.

    Without digressing further, I can say that im not surprised at all that parts of the alt-right would be mysteriously attracted to a guy who was a degenerate poseur, afterall isnt this what large parts of the alt-right could be considered themselves? The same alt-right deplorables who whinge about degeneracy and racemixing are the same ones who masturbate to hentai, asian women and tranny porn. I wish I was making this up but im not. Many parts of the alt-right love the trappings of nationalism but ultimately nationalism/right wing politics are just one big mental arena for them to map out their own psychological complexes onto. In all fairness everybody is guilty of this to some degree or another, but the alt-right is probably the most brazenly guilty of it.

  38. It must be said that Japanese soldiers fought superbly. American units in the Pacific endured a fatality rate nearly 5 times greater than their counterparts in Europe, despite the fact that Japanese infantry tended to be poorly armed compared with German infantry.

    Also it must be remembered that the immense bravery of Japanese soldiers and sailors ensured that Japan did not surrender unconditionally in 1945.

    • Replies: @Sean
    , @Seraphim
  39. JT says: • Website

    Ideologically, Mishima was clumsy and confused at best.

    Could be generalized to all Japanese thinking.

  40. Bad Dog says:
    @KindKaiser

    Perhaps Kōbō Abe (“Woman In The Dunes”). The contemporary Haruki Murakami is nothing more than a slick Japanese version of America’s late Richard Brautigan.

    I have to agree with Joyce, there is nothing genuine to be learned from Mishima or from his tedious novels.

  41. Giwu-Ger says:

    Joyce joylessly uses talmudic deconstructionism to, frankly, just be an edgelord.

    In the end, Mishima’s undisputed positive actionism easily presents itself through his deeds, though debatably not through his posthumous influence (but oh did he try!):

    Being obviously hurt as a child, he nontheless made the best out of his induced homosexuality: he DID produce children (not raising them directly beats mishandling them or not raising the abyssmal Japanese reproduction rate ) and promoted a manly version of his affliction. He did not join the military to misimprint other men with his affliction.
    Finally, ending his life in a fashion most Japanese would consider heroic at the time, he sacrificed his gay life to fight globohomo – namely the US imposed constitution (written by a young jewish marxist).

    It’s irrelevant to needlessly disassemble his alleged motivations (rofl @ “never explored the Emperor’s role in World War II in any depth” – which rabbi co-wrote this piece?). In the end, we don’t know.

    I salute any homosexual who does what Mishima did. If we only had more like him!

  42. Sean says:
    @Jon Halpenny

    American units in the Pacific endured a fatality rate nearly 5 times greater than their counterparts in Europe, despite the fact that Japanese infantry tended to be poorly armed compared with German infantry.

    That is the US Marines for you.

  43. Seraphim says:
    @Jon Halpenny

    Japan DID surrender unconditionally. The ‘Instrument of Surrender’, prepared by the War Department and approved by President Truman, stipulated:
    “We, acting by command of and in behalf of the Emperor of Japan”, “We hereby proclaim the unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers of the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters and of all Japanese armed forces and all armed forces under Japanese control wherever situated.”

    • Replies: @Jon Halpenny
  44. eah says:

    Since the main goal of the Dissident Right today should be to do everything possible to prevent Whites from becoming minorities in their own countries, it’s sort of self-explanatory that they shouldn’t be paying too much attention to a Japanese guy who spilled his guts (literally) half a century ago.

    • Agree: Republic
  45. Sean says:
    @James J. O'Meara

    I ’ll make thee glorious by my pen,
    And famous by my sword.

    James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose.

    D’Annunzio was accused of every sexual perversion imaginable including incest and necrophilia. Also cannibalism. He was not a bad poet. Hitler did not even mastubate as a youth, wrote his own speeches and in his early years was perhaps the most gifted orator of all time. Both were brave, which is a prerequisite for leadership. I suppose Mishima was brave in a way that is not very Western.

    He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
    That dares not put it to the touch
    To gain or lose it all.

    James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose

  46. Dear Mr. Joyce:

    Thank you for your excellent article.

    P.S. Your “homophobia,” as the Left calls it, is always welcome. 🙂

  47. I think the question is interesting, and we must not forget that Mishima outs himself. He thought it was important for others to understand his psychological underpinnings. Who of us might not be hiding similar fantasy lives?

    Which comes to a question. What percentage of guys are completely psycho sexually normal, and if you think you are, what would be the most typical sexual fantasy? What is 100% white bread normal? I’m not completely normal btw, though nowhere near Mishima whack, than goodness, so that’s why I’m curious.

  48. “we must question, at a time when we are trying to break free from high levels of social concern and shaming in Europe, whether it is healthy or helpful to praise practices originating in pathologically shame-centered cultures.”

    There’s nothing wrong with shame, as long as it is directed at the right objects. The traitors who are running our countries into the ground and who betray their own kind should feel, and should be made to feel, much more of it.

  49. As a fiction writer, Mishima is a minor figure of fading significance. His influence is essentially nil, because he was such a singular weirdo that his cultural footprint is necessarily a terminal one. There is no way forward from his position. The only book of his that I think is substantial and worth reading is “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea.” He has some fine elegiac passages here and there, but they’re just passages, not fully realized works.

    He has nothing to offer the dissident right. Try for a moment to picture his Western equivalent: you’d get some weird combination of Norman Mailer, Iggy Pop and Paul Lynde, flouncing down the street dressed as a Templar knight, waving a broadsword and babbling about Pickett’s Charge and Deus vult! Would you follow that?

    Japan really does not understand the Western mindset, and probably never will. They’ve had a weird, violent, surreal crash course in Westernism for the whole 20th century, and it resembled a twisted BDSM codependent relationship more than anything else. They critically misunderstand most Western concepts and simply adapt them to their own unique uses. They did the same thing with Chinese imperial and Indian religious influences. Soon they will retreat entirely from globo strategic significance, and go back to being what they’ve always been: strange, isolated, sui-generis weirdos who are superb craftsmen, and who really just want to be left alone.

    The dissident right has an abundance of its own Western riches to sort through for its models.

  50. Paul Schrader directed an interesting film about the man, narrated by Roy Scheider.

    Mishima 1980.

  51. Mishima? A dissident right? This is why I hate intellectualism, it minces words and over analyzes everything until it obliterates the obvious. The guy was a gay perv, period. Are we now going to start analyzing Jeffrey Dahmer as a sympathetic anti-hero? Oh wait, some have actually done that. I rest my case.

  52. Godzilla says:

    Thank-you, Dr. Joyce. You have healed me up good, again.

  53. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Would you follow that?

    No, but it would be interesting to at least listen to his ramblings. 😉

    Japan really does not understand the Western mindset, and probably never will. They’ve had a weird, violent, surreal crash course in Westernism for the whole 20th century, and it resembled a twisted BDSM codependent relationship more than anything else. They critically misunderstand most Western concepts and simply adapt them to their own unique uses. They did the same thing with Chinese imperial and Indian religious influences. Soon they will retreat entirely from globo strategic significance, and go back to being what they’ve always been: strange, isolated, sui-generis weirdos who are superb craftsmen, and who really just want to be left alone.

    Carlton Meyer, who often posts on this website, did a good video about the weird relationship between Japan and the West.

  54. Jake says:

    How to explain the adoration of Mishima by both the fascist-leaning/romanticizing anti-Left of the post-WW2 decades and the ‘alt-right’ of today?

    It is rather simple: Nature abhors a vacuum. The rebellion against Christendom created a growing vacuum. Once young men of action accepted the products of the war against Christendom, they no longer could aspire to be Christian knights. So they, like many of their fellows who were men of mind and contemplation, turned to the East. They began to romanticize, and in some cases fetishize, aspects of East Asian thought and warrior cult.

    It rarely ever strikes these poor men that in the name of rediscovering their ‘white’ birthright they ape the East, they ape that which culturally and ethnically/racially is NOT European.

    It is either Christ and Christendom or Chaos – and as ought to be clear by now, Jews per capita own and rule Chaos.

  55. From a million men to choose from the White Christian world, the nuts are gaga over a pervert and no less from the other side of the world… no wonder the decline isn’t out of the question!

  56. Poco says:
    @AaronB

    I’m no expert in Japanese culture but I did take one college semester of a course named Modern Japanese Culture. I detested the course so I agree with you. . However, the attraction to Japan is probably not their culture, but the fact that they have thus far been successful in maintaining their current borders and ethnicity within.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  57. @Seraphim

    The Japanese offered to surender conditionally, the conditions being that Hirohito would not be accosted by the Americans and that he remain on the Throne.

    Secretary Byrnes replied in an artful and skilful manner assuring the Japanese that those conditions would be met by America. But his note gave the appearance that Japan surrendered “unconditionally” to the general public of America. https://www.thehistoryreader.com/contemporary-history/james-byrnes-japans-conditional-surrender/

    • Replies: @aandrews
    , @Popeye
  58. @James J. O'Meara

    “optics,” the opinions of our enemies

    No, it’s the precise opposite: “optics” is all about the opinions of our people.

    • Agree: eah
    • Replies: @eah
  59. AaronB says:
    @Poco

    Yes, the culture itself is extremely feminine and “soft” – or rather, it blends the masculine and feminine into a semi-harmonious whole – whereas the alt-right is extremely “hard” and masculine. Japan has its “hard” side, yes, but that is only a part of it.

    Japanese culture is based in Taoism, Zen, and Shinto – it is impatient with rationality and would repel the hard, inhuman style of the alt-right. Japanese culture is also sappy and maudlin – comfortable with emotion – in a way that would disgust the masculine alt-right, and the national mood is one of smiling graciousness and consideration for others in day to day affairs, not the stern, unbending grimness cultivated by the alt-right.

    Yes, the alt people admire it because it has managed to remain itself – ironically, it did so because it has a yielding, feminine side as well as a masculine side – something the alt people will never understand.

    • Replies: @Poco
  60. Anonymous[770] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thomasina

    It’s true, we do.

    Not always directed at whatever target is in front of us. Mostly it’s anger at what we don’t have, what we feel we were denied: a normal, healthy identity and a family of our own.

    As angry as young men are who can’t get a girlfriend, at least their desires are in line with nature and society.

    Mishima was twisted and malign, and like all adults he is responsible for what he did. But by God he definitely had help becoming that way.

  61. aandrews says:

    “The question thus arises as to whether associating ourselves with such a figure, surely a clownish homoerotic wignat in today’s vernacular, brings more positives or negatives, both within the Dissident Right and within broader considerations of ‘optics’ or public image.”

    I’m gonna have to vote a strong negatives-all-around. There should be no connection whatsoever to anything degenerate. And Mishima was that, squared, if not cubed. Ultra degenerate. It sounds like he was a latent Jeffrey Dahmer. Why’s this even an issue to debate?

    • Agree: Poco
  62. Anonymous[295] • Disclaimer says:

    The problem that is casually ignored is that Jonathan Bowden produced content of extremely inconsistent quality. In one of his speeches he said that he spoke wholly extemporaneously without notes. His skill as an orator allowed him to speak on any subject for an hour whether he knew anything about it or not.

    Curiously Bowden’s most lucid content was made during interviews with Richard Spencer. Spencer is a much maligned figure for his gross incompetence (if not malicious conduct) and for being remarkably simple minded. His mental simplicity is actually an asset as an interviewer because Spencer forces Bowden to explain concepts in depth rather than merely glossing over them. If Spencer had been less egotistical he could have been a competent interviewer.

    One of his best lectures was on Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the Soviet Gulags.

    One of his worst lectures was on the great American poet Robinson Jeffers.

    Bowden and Spencer discuss Libertarianism.

  63. aandrews says:
    @Jon Halpenny

    Interesting historical tidbit. I didn’t know that.

  64. Hoob says:

    Kazunari Yamada was always the best Japanese right winger

  65. eah says:
    @BannedHipster

    No, it’s the precise opposite: “optics” is all about the opinions of our people.

    Correct — SJW Whites are still the most numerous and important source of opposition to white identity — the “optics” debate is about not turning “normie” Whites off so we have a greater/better chance of winning them over.

    link

    Our task is to defeat hordes of white people.

    Our enemy is other white people.

    After they’re out of the way, we have no other obstacles.

    I would say win over rather than defeat, but the sentiment is clear — and in the end it may be necessary to defeat them.

    • Replies: @eah
  66. eah says:
    @eah

    SJW Whites are still the most numerous and important source of opposition to white identity

    As an example of this, below is a foto I happened to see on the Instagram account of a white woman — note 1) the books assigned in the class on white self-hatred she appears to be taking, and 2) another white woman expresses approval — it’s all psychologically sick, really — people like this are probably beyond reach, and will have to be defeated.

    • Replies: @smaragdus
  67. Vaterland says:

    and Brian Victoria’s 1997 Zen at War remains one of the most interesting works on the history of religion and warfare I’ve yet had the pleasure to read.

    He must be a significantly better writer than a pleasant-natured person then. As it so happens I was affiliated with the Zen monastery which had Kōdō Sawaki as its head and abbot when Brian Victoria had just released his Magnum Opus Zen at War. One of Victoria’s main targets and objects of, I’d say, malign. https://antaiji.org/en/ It has a German abbot right now.

    Victoria acted neurotic, obsessive and SJW-like in his personal attacks on the abbot Muho. Unfortunately not uncommon in this scene, which is entirely useless for anything warlike I may add. As formal Bushidō and the relation of the Samurai to Zen are, I think, mostly a product of the isolationist, warless, urbanized and increasingly decadent 250 years of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Not much of the “monkish noble warrior” is to be found in the days where the Samurai actually went to war. And if the Zen fetish is applied to the “alpha male warrior type”, it’s complete ‘larping’ and at best a Buddhist heresy as European fascism could be interpreted as a Christian heresy.

    Unfortunately the right has the problem that its main creeds seem falsified: the higher man, the sacrifice, the noble and heroism. Ernst Jünger, hardly a cowardly man, came to the conclusion after WW 1 that the war-engineer had replaced the soldier. Ever since the individual warrior is a cog in a machine of scientific-industrial warfare, bureaucracy and production. Often led for the small ego interests of dull cultural barbarians and wicked men like Mike Pompeo or John Bolton. What is left but parodies in the end?

    Indeed the case can be made that Bowden himself was a caricature. Most certainly Hitler himself. “The Weimar parliamentarians applauded when he had come to power, firm in the believe this grotesque and clownish man, would make a fool of himself in no more than a few months and the whole spook would be over.”, to quote freely from Joachim Fest’s Hitler biography. No political philosophy ever took the theme more to heart that life is an act and the world a stage than National Socialism. As the right is playful, ironic, self-conscious about the absurd of the flag itself, but ready to take arms for it nonetheless. How ridiculous is it, to wear a uniform, but a real matter of life and death nonetheless. National Socialism was a romantic, but ultimately failed attempt to overcome the inherent nihilism of ‘industrial society and its future’.


    “Gar schöne Spiele spiele ich mit Dir! Denn groß sind unsere Träume. Aber, ach, die Lust währte kurz, die Reu ist lang.”

    But unlike America’s secret love affair with fascism and its Hitler fetish, the American interest with Japan, a country they had indeed almost effortlessly defeated on the side-line without much help from the Soviet Union, seemed rather morbid to me. The Yanks collected nip skulls in WW 2 and now…?

  68. Liza says:
    @Thomasina

    Couldn’t agree more. Years ago, when I first read about Mishima’s upbringing, I knew that there is no way in hell he could turn out even halfways normal.

    Are we hard up for people to admire?

  69. @Kratoklastes

    …you put macrons in when writing Japanese words but you had never heard of Mishima?

    • LOL: Marshall Lentini
  70. @Kratoklastes

    “any more than reading Rothbard means you have to like Ayn Rand.”

    Reading one piece by Rothbard made me feel better about not liking Rand. He seemed to despise her ridiculous little cult following of objectivism. I’ve always found Rand’s prose so stilted as to be unreadable, and I’ve never met an objectivist who wasn’t an insufferable asshole.

    • Agree: Liza
  71. @Dave Pinsen

    No American serviceman has fought against a competitive adversary in the last 40 years. They’ve always had unchallenged control of the skies, air support, and enormous advantages in materiel. Mishima would have been fighting a doomed war, short on ammo and equipment, against overwhelming opponents in the U.S. and later, the Soviets.

    In my opinion, this is precisely why it’s less excusable on his part.

    Mishima would be undeniably fighting in defence of his nation had he gone to war. They were facing an implacable foe that hated their guts and had no qualms about incinerating millions of civilians. There was no indication to the commoner that if Japan surrendered they would be spared further suffering, especially with how their recently defeated allies were being treated. For all Mishima knew, his cowardice was merely delaying his final day.

    Americans nowadays have only wars of choice. They’re acting as mercenaries of the same scumbags that are enslaving them. At best they’re deluded but earnest, more often they’re lying to themselves about the whole thing, or they’re cynical but passive. Not one American life is being spared by their actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, or Syria; if anything, their actions are being used to justify bringing in the very savages they’re attempting to pacify.

  72. Anonymous[354] • Disclaimer says:

    >”a clownish homoerotic wignat in today’s vernacular”

    And/or stool-inseminating “wingnut.”

    I read somewhere that the Bushido Code was written during a time of peace…and that no human could act so “stoical” in real wars/bloody combat.

    Also, I suspect Mishima would be an antifa fag today, prancing around in black masked-ball costumes…throwing milkshakes and tossing m-80s, pepper-spraying and bike-lock head-knocking…while pretending to be a macho warrior a la Miyamoto Musashi.

    Finally, would that more SJWs committed seppuku!

  73. Theo Radic says: • Website

    The obscene atrocities committed by the Japanese in China and elsewhere before and during WW II demonstrate that what the Chinese martial artists call wu te (martial virtue) was essentially non-existent among them. Just as the arrogance and pride of the European knight became that of nazi Germany, so did the arrogance and pride of the samurai become that of Japan at the same unfortunate moment in history. To investigate further into the nature of this samurai-pride, one can read Ihara Saikaku’s 17th-century work called Nanshoku Okagami, which has been translated as ”Glorious Tales of Pederasty.” Along with the evident traits of the samurai brotherhood which this title implies, there is the accompanying contempt for women. The homosexuality of Yukio Mishima and his associates reveals that the 17th-century samurai ”code” was still in practice in the 20th century.

  74. Great essay.

    I contend that there is simply nothing genuine to learn from him, and few people who have written in support of Mishima can point to anything tangible beyond the amorphous outlines of the Mishima Myth and a film heavy on style and low on authenticity.

    You can plug in Heidegger there and the result is the same. Heidegger’s one they absolutely love because a) he seems really deep, promising to disclose seriously deep shit through metaphysics, yet sucks up to Nietzsche, and b) was a member of the NSDAP, which means all of his ideas – which no one can ever explain without recycling Heidegger’s own lingo – are true and useful somehow.

    A boring experiment whenever you meet a Heidegger fan: ask them what exactly they learned from reading Heidegger. If they can’t say anything more concrete than “he has interesting things to say about being” – and none of them can – you know their intellectual conscience is undeveloped.

  75. @James J. O'Meara

    You’re saying this because you’re homosexual and don’t want the lens directed that way. Understandable. But the point of his essay isn’t Mishima’s sexuality; it’s his lack of relevance and authenticity. I suspect you’re more upset that someone dared criticize, and rather comprehensively, one of your quondam idols. After all, if Mishima is an intellectual if not artistic fraud, what does that make those minor intelligentsia of the internet right who cling to him as an avatar?

  76. Trump is a military fantasist. His handling of the Eddie Gallagher affair (and the hit-job on Soleimani) is the work of someone who sees war like a personality game. ‘Winners win and losers lose.’

    The Vietnamese didn’t see it that way and neither will the enemies he makes now.

  77. Poco says:
    @AaronB

    Nope. I know that your philosophy consists of an infinite number of opposing dichotomies held in some sort of equilibrium. But I don’t agree.
    Life for me, and I’d wager most people, doesn’t exist as a choice between 2 opposites or a balance of two opposites. It consists of choices between many differences, some may be opposites, or not.
    Japan has resisted because of an ethnic identity. In my opinion that identity isn’t because they are yielding or more feminine than the alt-right.

    • Replies: @AaronB
  78. Mr. Joyce,

    Thanks for writing about someone I am completely unfamiliar with, and I have studied a lot of Asian cultures. I will adopt your conclusion of the idea that we have better sources to study to enhance our worldly knowledge.

    I am curious to know if you have much familiarity with Chögyam Trungpa. I find his lectures (all his books are essentially transcripts) to be profoundly affirmative of human nature, and worthwhile way of recovering our personal heritage (European) in a way that only the Jews seem to be able to pull off in these times.

    Thanks in advance,

    Reader

  79. AaronB says:
    @Poco

    I merely mean, by accepting the feminine in life they remained “centered” – rather than swinging to extremes, like the West.

    When you choose one extreme, you tend to swing to the other extreme after a while to balance it.

    The West went from extreme arrogance to extreme self-a basement – the Japanese were better able, after the war, to remain “centered”.

    The alt-right emphasizees hardness and masculinity and toughness – the Japanese have a place for that, but also smiling, feminine graciousness (even among men).

    Not having surrendered to the extreme of arrogance and hardness, there is no need to swing to the opposite extreme of self-abasement.

    Of course, they did swing to an extreme in WW2 – but ironically, their crushing defeat cured them of that, and was a blessing in disguise.

  80. renfro says:

    Don’t let this happen in our colleges.

    The Importance of College Classes about Israel
    by Daniel B. Shapiro is Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
    https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/the-importance-of-college-classes-about-israel/

    Or your children will end up like this:

  81. Popeye says:
    @Jon Halpenny

    But the USA found it politically necessary to keep the Emperor, although not as God-King, in order to prevent a possible Red Japan. Thus the wish of Japanese war cabinet to keep Hirohito, and the US goal, meshed well together

  82. Above all, however, there is no comparison with spending time researching the lives of one’s own co-ethnic heroes and one’s own culture. As Europeans, we are so spoiled for choice we needn’t waste time with the rejected, outcast, and badly damaged members of other groups.

    This pretty much sums up my stance on regaling vs. reviling Mishima. There are plenty of our own people to study and hold up as exemplars – no need to go fishing for mentally ill, sexually deviant outsiders to worship.

    There seems to be a misplaced expectation among racially aware right whites of a potential kinship with East Asians because they are – like us – one of the smart races. It’s the smart races we should be most wary of…

  83. Rollmop says:

    The anthropological problem of the marginal informant features here.

    I think it has been mentioned already that material such as Hagakure was written during the Tokugawa period, when samurai were no longer engaged in war. So people were writing about things of which they had no experience.

    But in fact it’s worse than that. Bushido was invented from whole cloth by a Westernized Japanese Christian named Inazo Nitobe living in Hokkaido during the Meiji Restoration, a man who was more familiar with Shakespeare than with his own culture. Apparently the word Bushido was practically unknown before that. He made it all up for Western audiences, so that the Japanese would appear more like chivalrous virtual Christians in Western eyes.

    Ironic. People are criticized for interest in an alien Japanese ideology instead of something organically European, when that ideology itself was a distortion of Western values applied to Japanese culture by a marginal Japanese with a fetish for the West.

    Mishima likewise was a marginal Japanese, an outlier who tells us nothing about them, let alone about ourselves.

  84. This is a very superficial and disappointing article.

    In my comments on it at The Occidental Observer, where it was originally published, I have pointed out a number of serious problems with Joyce’s essay:

    • He has failed to cite a good deal of relevant literature, that just so happens not to support his thesis. For instance, there are many articles on Counter-Currents about Mishima that throw a lot more light than Jonathan Bowden’s speech on why Mishima is widely read on the New Right. Nor does he cite Dominique Venner’s book, Un samouraï d’Occident: Le Bréviaire des insoumis (Paris: Pierre-Guillaume de Roux, 2013), which was reviewed at TOO. Joyce also fails to mention Andrew Rankin’s Mishima, Aesthetic Terrorist: An Intellectual Portrait (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2018), which is the most serious treatment of Mishima’s system of ideas on art and politics in English and belies Joyce’s claims that Mishima was intellectually vacuous.
    • Joyce’s central argument is vitiated by the ad hominem fallacy. Mishima could be ten times weirder than Joyce makes him out and still manage to say and do things of artistic, intellectual, and political merit.
    • Joyce’s central argument is vitiated again by refuting a straw man of his own making, what he calls the “Mishima Myth.” (We can’t say we weren’t warned.) Joyce represents his Mishima Myth as a distillation of New Right discourse on Mishima, but it is nothing of the sort. It is merely an attempt to make this discourse seem maximally vapid, which makes Joyce’s demolition job that much easier.

    These are very serious lapses of scholarly ethics.

    The Occidental Observer is an offshoot of The Occidental Quarterly, which is an academic-style, scholarly journal. This sets up certain expectations. First, that the authors are trying to get to the objective truth. Second, that the authors will read all relevant literature: to sharpen and clarify their ideas, to make sure that their ideas have not been anticipated by others, and, most importantly, to see if there is evidence that their own contentions are false. Third, that the authors will cite their sources, so people can check on them.

    Andrew Joyce’s essay only delivers on the easiest of these expectations, namely the third. He cites the sources that support his position and ignores ones that do not. This is called “cherry-picking,” not objective scholarship.

    This is an important issue, because if Joyce’s Mishima essay is an axe-grinding hatchet-job disguised as scholarship, that casts doubt on the rest of his work. How many other Joyce articles are pseudo-scholarly hit pieces? Practically everything Joyce has published consists of critiques of people he does not like, preeminently Jewish intellectuals and activists. Are all of his articles about Jews equally riddled with bad arguments and cherry-picked sources?

    If so, then Joyce’s corpus represents a massive malinvestment of movement funds and, more importantly, movement credibility. For the shame is not confined to Joyce. It falls on all of us by undermining the intellectual credibility that TOQ and TOO have so laboriously worked to establish over the decades.

    Joyce doesn’t really answer my charges. He simply denies, deflects, obfuscates (while accusing me of obfuscating), and engages in juvenile personal attacks against me. I’d be tempted to characterize it as a “hissy fit,” but he has already thrown that charge at me. (SJWs aren’t the only people who engage in projection.) Such defensiveness merely deepens the problem by throwing Joyce’s intellectual honesty into question.

    Perhaps we need an inquest into Joyce’s scholarship and an audit of the movement’s investment in him.

    Greg Johnson

  85. Greg Johnson really is showing his colors, which is gratifying in a sense.

    1. He says I don’t cite every available source. Who does? At almost 6,000 words this is already a very comprehensive and well-referenced piece. The pieces he is promoting have barely a reference between them. The works I don’t cite are either irrelevant to the issue at hand, or their arguments are echoed by other scholars mentioned here. Rankin’s text is a perfect example. I doubt Johnson has in fact read it since the conclusion of the text is more or less the same conclusion as this essay – that Mishima’s suicide was primarily aesthetic.

    2. The fact that Johnson has managed over 2000 words in comments without making one reference to specific primary material proving his case (a) that Mishima is a very political thinker and b) that he is so in such as a way as to be relevant to us to a degree that allows us to put aside his unhealthy nature and obvious inauthenticity).

    3. It’s clear that Johnson is himself inauthentic and unhealthy, with priorities and agendas beyond what he presents. He’s a particularly nasty homosexual who, like all women, desires the last word.

  86. In order to highlight some serious problems with Greg Johnson’s behavior in this matter, I’ve reluctantly decided to write something more substantial than brief and casual replies to his comments – which appears to be the kind of space Johnson would prefer this be debated (as opposed to an exchange of formal rebuttals, during which his arguments would be more obviously revealed as paper thin).

    Firstly, I’ll take the most recent escalation of Johnson’s quite remarkable reaction to the Mishima piece – his outlandish call for an audit of my work. I, of course, welcome as much reading and analysis of my work as possible, even if I strongly doubt that Johnson has anywhere near the background or reading to make such an effort himself. More interesting is the broader proposition – is it more worthwhile to question the critique of hostile Jewish intellectuals, or to question the promotion of queer Japanese sadomasochists? Johnson clearly thinks the former, which should raise concerns among those who invest in Counter-Currents in the belief it is a pro-White nationalist grouping. Again, Johnson would appear to argue that it’s more worthwhile and respectable to promote gay Japanese sadomasochists than critique hostile Jews (an activity he appears to possess derogatory attitudes towards). God forbid we should produce something like the Culture of Critique.

    The second point worth reflecting on is this issue of “cherry-picking” sources. A quick comparison of my piece with all of those on Johnson’s site will reveal that my article boasts more references to scholarly works that all of those on Johnson’s site combined. Moreover, none of those at Counter-Currents mention any of the facts in this essay – facts that Johnson has yet to dispute or disprove. This is where my charge of obfuscation comes in. Johnson consistently refuses to challenge the basis of my argument, preferring to call it a hatchet job. I simply ask: is it true? And, moreover, who can be said to have edited, “cherry-picked” or sanitised their presentation more – me, who has simply employed the majority of available mainstream biographies and relevant associated literature, at least one of which is sympathetic (if brutually honest), or Counter-Currents, who produce nothing but carefully edited hagiography? Who is presenting the false, edited picture? The essay that cites from experts who spent their lives assessing Mishima, or in some cases met him, or anonymous writers at Counter-Currents who can’t even manage a footnote? Which is more scholarly?

    Third is the issue of the essay being ad hominem. This is explained in the essay itself. As noted several times now, both in the essay and by commenters, there are no ideas to argue against, and therefore the issue of logical fallacy is redundant. I suspect Johnson knows this, which is why I have repeatedly charged him with obfuscation. To make it very simple, if the issue at stake is the production of hagiography on the Right, then a clear and full picture of the actual person is required in order to gain any kind of balance. Mishima was a deeply unhealthy person with psychological issues. This has been argued by many of the major Mishima scholars. Johnson appears to dispute it, but has yet to produce evidence, or contrary sources. He simply calls the above essay superficial and disappointing. He may well find it disappointing, but it can hardly be described as superficial since it relies on scholarship consuming more man hours and research than anything produced on Mishima by Counter-Currents. Again, Johnson has had multiple opportunities to pen a formal rebuttal, to point to evidence supporting his case, to raise any factual errors in the essay. He’s done none of these things. I have charged him with obfuscating and throwing a hissy fit because those are the best terms I can use to describe behavior which is so evidently repetitive, unreasoning, arrogant, and petulant.

    Any reader within our circles should be concerned with the broader ramifications of Johnson’s behavior in this instance, focussing explicity on his very needy defence of a homosexual icon. What are his priorities? He claims he would jump to the defence of any other Rightist authors like Tolkein etc. I’m not critiquing Tolkein et al. I’m critiquing Mishima – a gay Japanese sadomasochist with confused political leanings and a mental state not worthy of celebration. Johnson has yet, after all these comments, to meet me on that ground. Instead, he has tried to attack my methodology (which is quite obviously superior to anything at his site, and reliant on respected mainstream sources), my other work (which he has elsewhere claimed to have barely read), and my motives (I simply want to question why Mishima is being promoted, Johnson is keen on a strange censorship). Note how he has constantly edged the argument away from what is actually contained within this essay. Again, who is obfuscating?

    In all, Johnson’s behavior can only be classed, at best, as bizarre. It is deeply unfortunate such a figure should be regarded as having any position of authority in this movement. The movement’s investment in me is minimal. I often turn down invites to podcasts and conferences. I’m merely a writer. Much more substantial is the investment in Johnson, which should alarm anyone with the capacity for critical thought. As I’ve said elsewhere, if he stuck to film reviews it would be best for all concerned. As it stands, it would appear that he and Mishima are birds of a feather. Johnson might take that as a compliment. I think the rest of us would see things differently.

    • Thanks: Lot
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @smaragdus
  87. Addendum:

    Johnson frequently invokes Rankin’s text as quasi-evidence (he never quotes from it) against this article. Having read the book, I’ve argued above and elsewhere (TOO) that it in fact concurs with the essay above. It occurs to me that Johnson, who in all likelihood hasn’t read the book, or at least has shown no evidence of having done so, is relying on the fact most readers won’t be familiar with Rankin. His work therefore acts as some kind of mystery box with all the ingredients that just maybe debunk my essay.

    Thankfully, a Quillette article by Rankin has been pointed to by a colleague, which will enable all readers here to see for themselves my contentions backed by yet another major Mishima scholar:

    https://quillette.com/2019/12/11/yukio-mishima-japans-cultural-martyr/

    Rankin helpfully condenses the conclusions of his book, with some choice quotes as follows:

    “It is equally clear that Mishima’sanguinary death was the fulfillment of a morbid eroticism, something Mishima had done little to conceal.”

    Mishima demonstrated “a lust for sadomasochistic bloodletting directed at handsome male bodies.”

    “Virtually all of Mishima’s works are governed by a decadent aesthetic.”

    Mishima wanted the return of the Emperor and a vague return of samurai ethos but “his other (political) complaints were rather less than specific.”

    “the samurai personality Mishima created for himself in his maturity was predicated on qualities he had lacked in his youth.”

    Finally, Rankin argues that Mishima was wrong in “his more dire (political) predictions.”

    I should add that Rankin isn’t perfect. In Quillette he repeats the omission of his book that Mishima failed his army medical on purpose, noting instead that it would have come as a profound disappointment for him. This is contrary to autobiographical comment and scholarly consensus.

    However, the thesis that Mishima was a decadent aesthetic who wrote prolifically on artistic matters (predominantly non-political), but in a very ideologically confused manner (he laughably denounces Marx and Freud (!) as the ultimate products of Western rationalism, places Freud and fascism in the same ideological camp, etc.), is essentially the same as my essay. A number of omissions (e.g. the army medical, he’s also weak on explaining the role of Mishima homosexuality) irritated me and this is why I didn’t rely too much on Rankin (to be honest, Starr’s text is better written and more convincing).

    The real question is why Johnson has harped on Rankin so often, which again leads to my conclusion that he hasn’t read it, and has been bluffing to readers while presenting himself as the arch-scholar. It doesn’t surprise me, but quite frankly, I expected better from the publisher of such respected tomes as My Nationalist Pony.

  88. Bill R says:

    Greg Johnson has now descended nearly to the level of blatant hysteria over what was really only a moderately critical essay about this Japanese homosexual. This talk about Andrew Joyce being a “massive malinvestment of movement funds” is just gross and pathetic. I have to wonder what movement he’s even talking about, or if even he knows anymore.

    Having followed him somewhat over the years and even contributing to his website once or twice, I did not always agree with him (sometimes buying a movie he raved about in one of his reviews only to find I thought it stank), but nothing that rose to the level of questioning his authenticity. Until now.

    However, I will say that one thing I have long found suspiciously distasteful about him, and that is that, for a putative white nationalist, he has demonstrated a remarkably consistent contempt for what have been the dominant beliefs, customs, manners, and values of his own race (phrases which he seems to relish, such as “Christian-bourgeois,” come to mind), while at the same time he seems to think white Europeans, who have sacrificed their lives by untold millions for the things they have loved and believed in, are somehow now in need of the suicidal example of a deviant Japanese sadomasochist in order to teach them how to die for a cause.

    • Replies: @Andrew Joyce
  89. @Bill R

    Thanks for this.

    As I’ve said above, it’s terrific that the piece has in a sense “flushed him out” and provoked him into showing his true colors. If I’m honest, this was a small, ancillary goal of the piece – to flush out the perverts.

    As for Johnson’s hilarious claim about “massive movement funds” , I’d sure like someone to point me in the direction of all this mystery money, because I’m not seeing it. In fact, I studiously avoid asking for money, running a Patreon, requesting tips, or operating fundraising ventures – all things Counter-Currents are constantly engaged in. I live a very humble and frugal existence and don’t see my politics as a way of making a living.

    Just a sick, sad individual.

    • Replies: @Bill R
  90. Bill R says:
    @Andrew Joyce

    Thank you, Dr. Joyce. Your essays have brought me much knowledge and enjoyment I would not have had otherwise, and I greatly look forward to the many, I’m sure, you will share in the future.

  91. Re this contretemps between Messrs Johnson and Joyce…

    While I applaud the efforts of anyone who reads deeply in the scholarship of a given subject before discussing or critiquing it, which is of course the best intellectually ethical way to go, the plain fact regarding Mishima in this case, is that one needn’t dive to the bottom of the scholarly ocean to form an accurate broad opinion of his life and work. Or of its significance to the dissident movement. A cursory familiarity with his life and goals, and a minimal reading of his key works, will suffice. While Mishima may indeed have been a very complex individual within the confines of his own head, the truth is that his cultural and historical footprint is small and rapidly fading.

    As to politics, it is prima facie obvious that Mishima as a political thinker was crude, boorish, asinine and unserious. His public positions indicate a man blissfully unaware of Japan’s political situation in the world within his lifetime. From Meiji to the USS Missouri, Japan set itself upon a complex and ferocious juggernaut to install itself as a major military and industrial world power, and the only dominant power in Asia. The United States swatted these ambitions like a fly in the space of only three and a half years, without breaking a sweat.

    The dominant public mood in postwar Japan was astonishment that their defeated empire had not been crushed raped and enslaved, but instead rebuilt and installed as important junior partners in a global American empire. That Mishima was either unaware of these obvious facts, or else sublimated his resentment of them into a childish romantic cartoon show, demonstrates that his value as a political thinker is nil. I do not need to cite scholarly sources to make this claim; a mere glance at the position of the pieces on the chess board in his lifetime will suffice.

    As to his literary influence and worth, one need only read a few of his books to get the idea. Very little of this stuff will survive outside of Japan, except maybe in a tidy brief anthology. Nobody except specialists reads Mori Ogai anymore, and he cut a far more impressive and serious figure than Mishima. Does anybody in Paris or Warsaw read Norman Mailer any more? I stand by my claim that only “The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea” and a few other anthology snippets will be worth anyone’s time, outside of university study of curiosities to illustrate a history course.

    • Replies: @Andrew Joyce
    , @tyler kent
  92. I quite agree with Joyce’s rejection of Mishima, and agree with him strongly that Mishima is no model for European/American rightists, for Mishima belongs to Japan, not to the West. Nonetheless, it is annoying that Joyce spends three long paragraphs talking about himself before even addressing the subject he’s writing about. And while I agree with his assessment that Mishima was not a “fascist,” Joyce fails to discuss what Mishima’s views really were and how they contrast with European fascism. In that respect, Joyce’s essay is a failure. Mishima was a devout Japanese nationalist/monarchist. Japanese Emperor worship and the monarchist culture of martial devotion to him are definitely not fascism — they are a peculiar Asian/Jap cultural phenomenon. For Mishima, this was, in my judgment, a purely aesthetic/cultural attachment. Mishima was definitely not a significant contributor to political thought nor did he pretend to be. He was a novelist, not a political figure. Ezra Pound was fond of fascism, but except for a strange essay titled “Jefferson and/or Mussolini,” never wrote seriously on politics. Yet no one doubts his political loyalties. In Mishima’s case, anyone who reads him can see that his artistic senses ruled his judgments. As for being “right-wing,” Mishima did in fact participate in debates with left-wing Japs at universities, where he argued for re-militarization of his country and reassertion of Japanese sovereignty. Mishima admired the samurai and claimed proudly to have been descended from a samurai family. If being a Japanese monarchist/militarist is not right-wing, what is? As for making fun of his martial pretensions, that’s what left-wingers and the left-wing Jap press did. In the 1970s, the Left and its cultural hippie-style spawn was vociferously anti-military. So of course Mishima was ridiculed. Joyce never mentions the content of Mishima’s novels, which he appears to have never read, and suggests evidence-free that Mishima’s seppuku was somehow related to a faltering literary career. Not true. His publisher had contracted with him for a major literary work. He timed his suicide with finishing his masterpiece, The Sea of Fertility, a cycle of four novels. He committed suicide the very same week he sent the final pages of the manuscript to his publisher. He saw the two events as mutually climactic. I am not defending Mishima; I am explaining who he was. I reject him philosophically, and for his grotesque homosexuality. But he was, in reality, a uniquely Japanese cultural expression of a variant of monarchial nationalism. Joyce should criticize not Mishima, but those deviants on the right who promote him because of his sexuality.

    • Replies: @Andrew Joyce
  93. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    1. “His public positions indicate a man blissfully unaware of Japan’s political situation in the world within his lifetime.” Surely you jest. Mishima was well aware of his country’s subjugation by the U.S. and opposed it. And for that you chastise him?

    2. “The United States swatted these [Japanese] ambitions like a fly in the space of only three and a half years, without breaking a sweat.” Yeah, by exterminating tens of thousands of innocent civilians, including women and children, in atomic blasts, recreating the holocaust created in German cities so America’s oligarchs could divide ruling the world with Communist Russia.

    3. “his value as a political thinker is nil” Well, duh. Mishima was not a political thinker. He was a novelist.

  94. @tyler kent

    Your comment starts well but starts going downhill when it judges the piece (a failure no less) by goals it doesn’t profess to have e.g. to measure Mishima’s thought against actual European fascism. Not only is this not a stated goal of the paper (and it is a paper, not a book, with all the limits that entails) but it’s actually unnecessary and unfruitful given the obvious confusion of Mishima’s thought. Elsewhere, I think you’re attributing rigour to Mishima where there was clearly none. In other points, I’ve read four of Mishima’s novels, enough to get a feel for his style, and enough to be able to interact with scholarly literature on it. Also, I think literary success is based on sales and critical reception more than getting a contract. Mishima, in the opinion of all his major biographers, was on a downward spiral in this regard. So again, although your comment is good, you’ve missed the point. There’s probably a lot more that could be said to critique Mishima, which I welcome. But this was intended to be a general summary of some of the issues at hand, and the bringing of an alternative perspective. Some of the attacks of the piece have ranged from bad faith to just bizarre and malicious.

  95. Anonymous[329] • Disclaimer says:
    @Andrew Joyce

    Again, Johnson would appear to argue that it’s more worthwhile and respectable to promote gay Japanese sadomasochists than critique hostile Jews (an activity he appears to possess derogatory attitudes towards).

    The extent to which Mishima is promoted really is inexplicable. It would be one thing if he were mentioned in passing or perhaps discussed in the context of some other issue, but he’s a regular fixture. The only reason for this excessive promotion has to be as a means to promote a homosexual friendly and homoerotic aesthetic for the New Right. Note that the other primary figure in the Alt Right sphere online that promotes Mishima is another homosexual, Bronze Age Pervert. Bronze Age Pervert not only promotes Mishima but is also more blatant about promoting homoeroticism and homoerotic aesthetics in general.

    It’s also interesting that these two chief proponents of Mishima are both not only homosexual, but also have Jewish intellectual backgrounds. In the 90s until the turn of the century, Johnson was into Randian “Objectivism”. Bronze Age Pervert is Jewish and his intellectual background and training is Straussian. Both of these are strongly Jewish intellectual movements centered around a Jewish guru figure, namely Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss, respectively.

  96. @Anonymous

    Good comment. The French angle I can somewhat understand (Durocher and Venner) since scholars seem to argue that Mishima is the subject of a cult in France where the reality of his life is probably ignored, and a kind of Mishima of myth is promoted.

    The only explanation outside of this is homosexual tactics to encourage people in our spheres to admire this figure, and disseminate some kind of culture of homoeroticism which queers find pleasing. In reality, how many average Joes have read Stokes, Starrs or Rankin? Very few. I actually doubt that even Johnson has even read Starrs, for the simple fact that Starrs is viciously anti-Mishima in his text (making my piece look like a Mishima promo) to the point where I use Stokes to moderate the flavor of my own essay. And yet Johnson has recommended Starrs in his “Remembering Mishima” piece at Counter-Currents. The only explanation is that Johnson hasn’t read the book and recommends it simply to appear well-read. In reality, he’s putting his readers onto the most anti-Mishima text in existence. Laughable, and yet another reason I’ve long thought of Johnson as utterly bogus. I haven’t seen any evidence he’s read any mainstream material on Mishima, and his pointing to Venner’s work is just hilarious. Venner, towards the end, was himself a mentally ill and morbidly depressed fantasist, and he had absolutely no credentials in Japanese history and culture.

    Homosexuals form cliques wherever they congregate, and pursue their own separate agendas. There is clearly such a clique in our circles. I don’t blame them per se, since this would appear to be something they are bound to do and they are in some senses simply a death cult best left alone. But I am scathing of those either too liberal or too stupid to see it for what it is.

  97. @Anonymous

    At this point I have no real axe to grind about Mishima, it’s just fun to talk about literature and politics in this context. But a few points…

    1. Without getting into abstruse details, Mishima has nothing to offer the White dissidents: not because he was a bad guy, but because he was a) a really weird guy, and therefore not fit to be a role model for anybody, I wouldn’t want him as my kids’ Scoutmaster, and b) he was Japanese, and Japan is truly a world unto itself, with terms and concepts which simply have no correspondence to Western thought, and vice versa. They really, really don’t understand us, and we really, really don’t understand them. Forget about Christianity, the Japanese don’t even understand Buddhism, (neither do the Chinese: both Ch’an and Zen are fundamental misunderstandings of what is really an Aryan religion), let alone Christianity (don’t get me started).

    2. At bottom the White dissident movement is about preserving the survival of the White European Christian peoples, in the face of intransigent Jewish dominance, subversion, hatred and spite, and Third World mudslide numbers, greed and hostility. The dissident movement must be about health, strength, and sanity. Mishima begins well with national sentiment and bodily health (viz lifting weights and so forth), then veers rapidly into kooky land, because he is Japanese, and at heart the Japanese are natural kooks. For us, he represents the urge to dress up in silly costumes, have an idealized and dopey idea about one’s past, and latch on to idiotic ideologies that are impractical, and which look ridiculous to the world around you, thus alienating potential allies. Odin is not going to save you, and neither is Uncle Hitler, and neither will a gay Japanese nutcase, and nobody will be your friend, let alone fight alongside you, if these are your role models. Full stop.

    3. If you really want to get down to it, the pivotal moment in Japanese-Western relations came at the dawn of the 20th century, when the young, budding Japanese scholar Natsume Soseki, not yet a national literary hero, was sent to London and Cambridge to study English. There he felt utterly humiliated by the grandness, richness and sophistication of Europe compared to Japan. He had a moment of satori when, strolling around Piccadilly dressed in proper English gentleman’s attire, he looked at his reflection in a shop window and realized he looked utterly ridiculous. He suddenly understood why the robust Englishmen compared Asians to monkeys, and he really felt the sting. But he also understood that, dressed in Japanese silk robes and in a Japanese context, he would have looked just fine. Therein lies the path to understanding Mishima.

    4. Pretty much all modern Japanese novels read like a bad adaptation of Dostoevski’s “Notes from Underground,” which is a minor work in his canon. Quick spot quiz: name one single highly memorable character from a Japanese novel. You can’t because they don’t exist. There is no Falstaff, no Hamlet, no Raskolnikov, no Oliver Twist, no Fagin, no Gatsby, no Addie Bundren, no Bigger Thomas, no Captain Ahab. It’s all just the nameless anonymous voice of Dostoevski’s Underground Man, constantly voicing his existential woe, rootless in the face of the Western onslaught.

    Now there’s a thing to think about, in the context of White dissidents.

    • Replies: @Andrew Joyce
  98. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    “There is no Falstaff, no Hamlet, no Raskolnikov, no Oliver Twist, no Fagin, no Gatsby, no Addie Bundren, no Bigger Thomas, no Captain Ahab. It’s all just the nameless anonymous voice of Dostoevski’s Underground Man, constantly voicing his existential woe, rootless in the face of the Western onslaught.”

    Exceptional comment.

  99. smaragdus says:
    @eah

    You needn’t blot out the profile name- idiocy shouldn’t be kept anonymous.

  100. smaragdus says:
    @Andrew Joyce

    Great article and great comment, dear Andrew! For me it is obvious that unsound and vacuous kinks and weirdos like Mishima are promoted only by equally unsound, vacuous pseudo-intellectual kinks and weirdos like Greg Johnson whom I regard as not less dangerous, malicious and toxic to White nationalism than the hostile Jewish cultural marxists. Besides I detect intellectual envy in these ludicrous, pointless accusations Greg Johnson posted here.

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