Writers

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Yukio Mishima

1925-1970

Yukio Mishima (1925 – 1970) was a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, model, Shintoist, nationalist, and founder of the Tatenokai, an unarmed civilian militia. Yukio Mishima was born Kimitake Hiraoka in Tokyo. His parents, Azusa Hiraoka and Shizue, were living with Azusa’s parents—Natsuko and Sadataro Hiraoka—when Kimitake was born because the family fortunes had been considerably reduced. Embittered and unwell, the once aristocratic but now middle-class Natsuko took control of baby Kimitake. After her one-year-old grandson fell on the stairs on the way to see his mother, Natsuko banned any further contact between Kimitake and his mother. When Azusa and Shizue had more children, Kimitake was kept from his siblings. Shizue was only allowed to take her eldest son for a walk to the park, or to school when he commenced at age six. In 1937 everything changed. Natsuko was too ill to continue caring for Kimitake and allowed the boy to be returned to his parents. Kimitake Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. He was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968, but the award went to his countryman and benefactor Yasunari Kawabata.