Yukio Mishima's "Sea of Fertility" Synopsis and Impressions - What is Life? What is life? An amazing feature-length tetralogy that contains the soul of Mishima!

Sea of Fertility Yukio Mishima and Japanese Literature

Yukio Mishima's "Sea of Fertility" Synopsis and Impressions - What is Life? What is life? An amazing feature-length tetralogy that contains the soul of Mishima!

The tetralogy introduced here is the "Sea of Fertility" tetralogy published by Yukio Mishima between 1965 and 1970.

Yukio Mishima (1925-1970)Wikipedia.

The last novel written by Yukio Mishima, who committed suicide at the Ichigaya Camp of the Self-Defense Forces in 1970, was "The Sea of Fertility.

The Sea of Fertility consists of four parts: "Spring Snow," the first volume, "Boma," "Temple of Dawn," and "The Five Fates of Heaven and Earth.

I should have given a synopsis and my impressions of each of those books, but I was unable to do so.

If you have been following our blog for a long time, you may have already noticed this. Why am I writing an article about Yukio Mishima's masterpiece, "The Sea of Fertility," now, after having updated a series of articles about him a long time ago?

That's right. This is an issue that has stuck with me for a long time.

Let's be honest.

I have not known how to write about this "Sea of Fertility" for a long time.

For me, this work is not something that can be broken down and discussed book by book. I believe that this work should be told through the entire tetralogy, and that is where the true essence of this work lies. However, when it comes to how to put it into words after seeing the whole picture, I am at a complete loss. It is such a huge and profound work that I am at a loss to know how to describe it.

However, one thing is clear.

It is a work written on an overwhelming scale, and it is a tremendous standout in world literature.

Let's take a quick look at the first film in this tetralogy, "Spring Snow," here. Please note that this section contains spoilers, so please be careful if you are concerned.

[New edition, New Yukio Mishima.
We will meet again. We'll meet again.
Mishima's last work, written while conscious of his own death. Four volumes. New Commentary] Mariko Koike


Kiyoaki Matsueda and Satoko Ayakura were both born into the nobility. They are attracted to each other, but when Kiyoaki shuns Satoko out of self-respect, Satoko accepts his engagement to a member of the royal family. A fiery and forbidding path is paved before the young couple, and after repeated secret meetings, they finally bring about the situation they had feared...
The first volume of "The Sea of Fertility," Mishima's lifework in which he risked everything to depict the elegant world of destiny. Commentary by Shoichi Saeki and Mariko Koike.

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We will meet again. We will meet again. Mishima's last work, written while conscious of his own death.

This is what it is all about. The "Sea of Fertility" tetralogy is truly a story of dreams and reincarnation. The story that began with "Spring Snow" is a story of reincarnation and transmigration, and it continues to the final chapter, "The Five Declines of the Heavenly Creatures.

Yukio Mishima himself lamented the lack of feedback from critics and general readers about "Haru no Yuki" and "Boushuma," but I think that's unavoidable. There is no way to write about them, no way to talk about them. I think it is impossible to say anything about this group of works without reading them all. I think this is a work that really makes critics weep.

Of course, "Spring Snow" is also an interesting work on its own. In particular, the second work, "Boma," is a work with tremendous momentum and stands out from the crowd in terms of stand-alone interest. However, even so, these works are only a part of the whole. When you look back at these works after reading the whole volume, you will find that they have different meanings. What a terrible thing Yukio Mishima has created.

And here is something I would love to tell you.

The last part of "The Sea of Fertility" is the least interesting. But this is what I found most astonishing.

Why, I suspect that Yukio Mishima probably wrote it that way on purpose.

Kiyoaki Matsueda, the protagonist of "Spring Snow," was a charismatic man with a strong personality. Isao Iinuma, the reincarnation of Kiyoaki Matsueda, is another charismatic person who inherited his charisma. The second protagonist, Shigekuni Honda, is the one who watches over these charismatic individuals. Honda was a close friend of Kiyoaki Matsueda. On his deathbed, Kiyoaki told him, "We'll meet again. We'll meet again.The main theme of "The Sea of Fertility" is that Honda, who is told that he is a "good person," follows that reincarnated person.

The second part, "Kiyoaki Matsueda -> Isao Iinuma," was a decisive reincarnation. That is why Iinuma, who inherited Matsueda's charisma, also leads a spectacular life.

However, from the third part of the book, the clouds begin to grow darker. The reincarnation of Isao Iinuma, who met a spectacular end, is unclear. Honda himself is so inquisitive that he cannot find the charisma of Matsueda. At the same time, Honda himself is on the downward slope of his life. Jin Jiang, the reincarnation of Isao Iinuma, also died without accomplishing anything great in the end.

Then, in the fourth part, a horrifying turn of events occurs that will astonish us readers. Toru Yasunaga, who was thought to be a reincarnation of Matsueda, turns out to be merely a person who resembles Matsueda. He is not a reincarnation of Matsueda, but just a small person. However, Toru Yasunaga himself believed that he was the reincarnation of Matsunaga. Herein lies the tragedy. This is precisely the reason why the fourth part, "The Five Declines of the Heavenly Creatures," is not so interesting. The characters are all dwarfs.

However, this "uninterestingness" is what makes Yukio Mishima great!

The Sea of Fertility is the work on which he put everything on the line when he decided to die. Yukio Mishima submitted the final draft of "Tenjin Gokyu" and committed suicide at the Self-Defense Forces camp. His devotion to this work must have been unimaginable.

I dared to write the final work of that tetralogy as "An Uninteresting Tale of the Little People. This is something that no ordinary person could have done. The story shifts from the intense life story of the overwhelming characters in "Spring Snow" and "BENMA" to a story of small people and small size. This is a story that is very typical of Yukio Mishima, who has always yearned for "youth" and "fiery life.

Moreover, at the end of "Tenjin Gojyo", a shocking turn of events awaits, as if to turn the story so far upside down. And what was the world that Honda saw when he was left behind? The description of that world is without a doubt the best in the history of literature.

The Five Fortunes of Heaven and Earth cannot be read as a stand-alone work. The Sea of Fertility is a novel based on a circular worldview of reincarnation. Reading each book in isolation will not reveal this whole picture. The explosive story in the first half of the book and the small world in the last half. And the shocking end that destroys them all at once..!

And when we suddenly wake up from that shock, we are back to the first part, "Spring Snow". What was that all about?

Spring Snow" and "BENMA" are indeed interesting. However, I was more shocked by the lack of interest in "Tenjin Goketsu". The person who could do such a thing was Yukio Mishima. I cannot help but think of the greatness of the writer Mishima Yukio.

And let's not forget the third part, "Temple of Dawn". This third part tells the story of India in the 1960s.

We have previously discussed this on our blog.Yukio Mishima's "Impressions of India" - What did Mishima see and think during his trip to India in his later years? Strong influence on "The Sea of Fertility!"We talked about this in the article

For more details, please refer to this article, but it seems that Mishima had a strong impression of India in his later years. From there, he also developed a deep interest in reincarnation and Buddhist thought. This is reflected in "The Sea of Fertility.

Through this tetralogy, Mishima pursues "what is life" and "what is life? What is "life" that we live? What is death for us? What does it mean to live a good life? How should we live? The Sea of Fertility" is a film that depicts these questions on a grand scale. Let me be clear. The enormity of this work is unimaginable. I was literally overwhelmed by this work.

I used to be on this blog.Ten Novels to Replace Your Business Card."I wrote an article about "The Sea of Fertility," and this "Sea of Fertility" will be a new addition to this list. Without a doubt, it is a work that had a great impact on my life.

The extract from Mishima's book had a very strong influence on my trip to the Buddhist sites in India. I wondered what India was as Mishima saw it.

I consider "The Sea of Fertility" to be a major event in the history of world literature beyond Japan. It was such a huge work. I cannot easily say "I recommend it," but there is no doubt that it is a formidable work. Why not pick up a copy?

The above is a synopsis of Yukio Mishima's "Sea of Fertility" and my thoughts on it - What is Life? What is life? An amazing feature-length tetralogy that contains Mishima's soul!" The above is a synopsis of Yukio Mishima's "The Sea of Fertility".

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