Life / Purity / Decay / Chaos / Possession | Yukio Mishima, 1925-70


 Yukio Mishima

“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.” –

“Nobody even imagines how well one can lie about the state of one’s own heart.” {

“It is a rather risky matter to discuss a happiness that has no need of words.” #

“No human being can be so honest as to become completely false.”

“I want to make a poem of my life.”

“Of all the kinds of decay in this world, decadent purity is the most malignant.” +

“Living is merely the chaos of existence…” =

“if the world changed, i could not exist, and if i changed, the world could not exist” ^

“Perfect purity is possible if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.” ~

“True beauty is something that attacks, overpowers, robs, and finally destroys.”

“We live in an age in which there is no heroic death.”

“When silence is prolonged over a certain period of time, it takes on new meaning.” {

“The special quality of hell is to see everything clearly down to the last detail.” ^

“Anything can become excusable when seen from the standpoint of the result” ^

“Separation is painful, but so is its opposite. And if being together brings joy,
then it is only proper that separation should do the same in its own way.” *

“There is no virtue in curiosity. In fact, it might even be the most immoral desire a man can possess.” +

“The measure of a woman’s power is the degree of suffering with which she can punish her lover.” +

“Prudery is a form of selfishness, a means of self-protection made necessary by the strength of one’s
own desires.” +

“Mine was the unbearable jealousy a cultured pearl must feel toward a genuine one. ” +

“He felt that taking naps was much more beneficial than confronting catastrophes.” *

“He radiated the innocence that marks the absolute rejection of prudence.” ~

“Better to be caught in sudden, complete catastrophe than to be gnawed by the cancer of imagination.” (

“Just now I had a dream. I’ll see you again. I know it. Beneath the falls.” *

“The perfectly ordinary girl and the great philosopher are alike: for both, the smallest triviality
can become the vision that wipes out the world.” >

“We all know that the world is empty and that the important thing, the only thing,
is to try to maintain order in that emptiness.”

“In the very simplicity of her desire to punish herself appeared egoism in its purest form.” {

“Possessing by letting go of things was a secret of ownership unknown to youth.”

“i still have no way to survive but to keep writing one line, one more line, one more line…”

“The path we are walking is not a road . . . It is a pier, and it ends someplace where the sea begins.” *

Yukio Mishima

+ Confessions of a Mask, 1949 / { Thirst for Love, 1950 / – Forbidden Colors, 1951-53 / ^ The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, 1956 / = The Sailor Who Fell from
Grace with the Sea, 1963 / # Sun and Steel, 1968 / * Spring Snow, 1969 / ~ Runaway Horses, 1969 / ( The Temple of Dawn, 1970 / > The Decay of the Angel, 1971

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