Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was a prominent Japanese author and playwright, known for his avant-garde and controversial works. Born on January 14, 1925, he was also a political activist and nationalist. His prolific writing career includes novels, essays, and plays, with notable works such as 'The Sea of Fertility' tetralogy, 'Confessions of a Mask', and 'The Temple of the Golden Pavilion'. Mishima's life ended in a dramatic public suicide after a failed coup attempt, reflecting his intense personal and ideological struggles.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion

    This novel follows the life of a young man named Mizoguchi, who becomes an acolyte at a famous Zen temple in Kyoto. Mizoguchi is afflicted with a stutter and a severe inferiority complex, which leads him to develop a destructive obsession with the temple's beauty. As he struggles with his personal demons, his fixation escalates into a desire to destroy the temple. The book is a profound exploration of beauty, obsession, and the destructive nature of ideals.

  2. 2. The Sea of Fertility

    "The Sea of Fertility" is a four-part epic that follows the life of Shigekuni Honda, a man who believes in reincarnation. The series spans several decades, beginning in the early 20th century and ending in the 1970s, and explores Japanese history, culture, and spirituality. As Honda encounters individuals he believes to be the reincarnations of his childhood friend, he grapples with questions of identity, mortality, and the nature of the soul.

  3. 3. Forbidden Colours

    "Forbidden Colours" is a deeply introspective novel that explores themes of beauty, youth, old age, love, and betrayal, set against the backdrop of post-war Japan. The story follows a young, beautiful man who is manipulated by an elderly writer to seek revenge on women. The young man's beauty becomes a weapon, while the old man's bitterness and jealousy drive the plot. The novel delves into the darker aspects of human nature and society's obsession with beauty, providing a stark commentary on the human condition.

  4. 4. Confessions of a Mask

    The novel explores the life of a young man living in post-World War II Japan who grapples with his homosexuality in a society that does not accept it. The protagonist must wear a metaphorical mask to hide his true identity and desires, leading to a life of self-denial and inner turmoil. The narrative delves into themes of identity, sexuality, societal expectations, and the struggle for self-acceptance.

  5. 5. The Sound of Waves

    The novel is a classic tale of first love between a young fisherman and a pearl diver in a remote Japanese coastal village. The story is set in the post-war era and it explores themes of love, tradition, and the power of nature. The fisherman's love for the pearl diver is tested by the village's gossip and the jealousy of a wealthy rival. Despite the challenges, their love remains pure and steadfast, mirroring the timeless and unchanging rhythm of the sea and the cycles of nature.