(63) Visiting the grave of Yukio Mishima at Tama Cemetery - Thoughts on Mishima, who continued to question life and death

Travels in Sri Lanka, the Holy Land of Buddhism

Travels to Buddhist sites in India and Sri Lanka (63)
Visiting the grave of Yukio Mishima at Tama Cemetery - Thoughts on Mishima, who continued to question life and death

After visiting the site of Yukio Mishima's suicide at the Ichigaya Memorial Museum, I headed directly to the Tokyo Metropolitan Tama Cemetery.

The purpose, of course, is to visit the grave of Yukio Mishima.

These days, Google Maps is so convenient that it even shows the location of Yukio Mishima's grave. Departing from the Ministry of Defense, I headed for Yukio Mishima's grave, relying on my smartphone.

The access from the center of Tokyo to the Tama Cemetery is much easier than expected. I thought it would be a longer trip, but it took me less than an hour and a half to reach the Tama Cemetery area.

The road after getting off at the Tama Reien Station still has the atmosphere of a cemetery. There are many old stone shops and flower shops.

Now, we have come to the entrance of Tama Cemetery. I could really come here on foot. In Hokkaido, it is hard to imagine going to a cemetery on foot. It is different from Hokkaido, where it is difficult to do anything without a car.

In early February, Tama Cemetery is a brown world with many trees whose leaves have fallen. It is a world of brownish color. It is very different from the snowy landscape of Hokkaido.

Tama Cemetery is a very large place. It takes about 10 minutes from the entrance to the grave of Yukio Mishima. However, walking alone in this tranquil cemetery is also a pleasant experience. Perhaps it is because of my job as a Buddhist monk, but I am not afraid of walking around graves. I like walking through graves.

I have visited the graves of many great people.Les Miserables.Hugo is famous for hisOld Gorio."Balzac in theIzakaya."I have visited the graves of great people whom I respect and greet, transcending genres, such as Zola, Napoleon, Vermeer, Michelangelo, John Paul II, and Che Guevara. For me, visiting the graves of the greats is still very important.

And this time I came to the grave of Yukio Mishima. For me, Yukio Mishima has become a huge presence. And I wanted to leave for India after saying hello to Yukio Mishima, who died a spectacular death.

Finally, I came close to the grave of Yukio Mishima. When I finally recognized the figure from afar, my heart could not help but beat wildly. At last, I would be able to meet Yukio Mishima.

This is the grave of Yukio Mishima (officially the grave of the Hiraoka family). Yukio Mishima's real name is Hiraoka.imperial authorityyellow bambooHe said.

The grave marker is also inscribed with the precepts of Shobuin Bunkan Kouwei.

I also stood in front of this grave and joined my hands together.

I mentioned earlier that I would be able to see Yukio Mishima, and that is what visiting his grave means to me. Of course, I do not mean physically. Rather, it is through the grave in front of me that I encounter the Yukio Mishima within me.

Forms and symbols are important. It is precisely because there is some form that we are able to encounter the deceased through this medium. This may be nonsense from a materialistic point of view, but for me it is a definite experience.

I stood alone for a while in front of this grave.

Your death was a loss not only to the Japanese, but to humanity as a whole.

You have settled your life with your own hands. I am in no position to say anything about that.

But I still want to say. You died too soon. I wish you had lived, even if you didn't look good. I think you lived up to the end with your aesthetics. I can feel that from your works. But even so, I still wanted you to live. Even if you had not died the way you did, I would have read your works. And I would have been moved.

You have definitively rejected "old age" and "decline". However, don't we have to live with this "old age"? Wasn't there a way of life in which we could continue to burn with life even in old age and decay? Or perhaps there is a kind of serenity that matures because of old age.

In your later years, you also developed a deep interest in Buddhism as a result of your exposure to India. In Buddhism, too, there is a general principle that old age is one of the sufferings to be avoided. However, this does not mean that we should absolutely reject old age. Rather, it is a question of how we face our aging bodies.

You are the one who said all this. You must have known all this before you made your decision. I am sure you have thought all of this through long ago. What weight can my words have compared to that? I don't know anything yet. I don't know anything about life or this world. I can only live on the basis of your life and your works.

The lingering feeling continued to linger even after I left Mishima's grave.

There is probably no other writer who has continued to question the "quality of life" as much as Yukio Mishima. Mishima pursued "quality," not quantity. Did Mishima mean to say that "a moment by action" determines one's life? If so, Mishima may have been asking us why we are still alive, why we are trying to survive, and whether there is any meaning to life in the first place. Mishima has left us with a terrible bomb.

Thus ended my day of visiting the Ichigaya Memorial Hall and Mishima's grave, and my tour of places associated with Yukio Mishima.

Now, a week later, we are already in India.

This is my last trip, and the end of my journey of questioning what religion is, which began in 2019. I have traveled all over the world, but this will be my last trip to the places associated with Buddha, the origin of Buddhism. This is how it was meant to be. As Mishima said, I was finally invited. The time had come. And I feel as if it was my destiny to be deeply involved with Yukio Mishima at this point in my life.

I will begin my third expedition to India in the next article. I hope you will continue to follow along.

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