Beauty

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I punish people by fighting dreams with dreams. What else is there to live for?

- Detective Kogorō Akechi in The Black Lizard. Imago Theater production, translated by Laurence Kominz & Mark Oshima

In this world, there will never be another miracle.

- Black Lizard in The Black Lizard. Imago Theater production, translated by Laurence Kominz & Mark Oshima

So Ugly

You were so beautiful when you wanted to die. When you wanted to live, you became so ugly.

- Black Lizard in The Black Lizard. Imago Theater production, translated by Laurence Kominz & Mark Oshima

Beauty and Darkness…

“My concern, what confronted me with my real problem, was beauty alone. But I do not think that the war affected me by filling my mind with gloomy thoughts. When people concentrate on the idea of beauty, they are, without realizing it, confronted with the darkest thoughts that exist in this world. That, I suppose, is how humans are made.”

– Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

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The Intestines

“What is so ghastly about exposed intestines? Why, when we see the insides of a human being, do we have to cover our eyes in terror? Why are a man’s intestines ugly? Is it not exactly the same in quality as a youthful, glossy skin? [...] Why does there seem to be something inhuman about regarding human beings like roses and refusing to make any distinction between the insides of their bodies and the outside? If only human beings could reverse their spirits and their bodies, could gracefully turn them inside out like rose petals and expose them to the spring breeze and to the sun…”

– Yukio Mishima, The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

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“The law is an accumulation of tireless attempts to block a man’s desire to change life into an instant of poetry. Certainly it would not be right to let everybody exchange his life for a line of poetry written in a splash of blood. But the mass of men, lacking valor, pass away their lives without ever feeling the least touch of such a desire. The law, therefore, of its very nature is aimed at a tiny minority of mankind.”

- Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses

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Death in Youth Means Beauty Never Crumbles

“The lieutenant, not without a touch of egocentricity, rejoiced that he would never see this beauty crumble in death.”

- Yukio Mishima, Patriotism

Note: The beauty in context is his young wife.

“But what Hagakure has to say here about ideal human, or rather manly, beauty – ‘reverent yet stern, self collected’ – is still one kind of aesthetic for manly appearance. ‘Reverent’ requires a humility that inspires trust in others, while ’sternness’ hints at an air of austerity and aloofness. What is needed to reconcile and bind together these two opposite elements is a serene, unflappable calm.”

- Yukio Mishima, Mishima on Hagakure