Yukio Mishima S Runaway Horses Is The Second Novel In His Masterful Tetralogy, The Sea Of Fertility Again We Encounter Shigekuni Honda, Who Narrates This Epic Tale Of What He Believes Are The Successive Reincarnations Of His Childhood Friend Kiyoaki Matsugae In , Shigeuki Honda Has Become A Judge In Osaka Convinced That A Young Rightist Revolutionary, Isao, Is The Reincarnation Of His Friend Kiyoaki , Honda Commits Himself To Saving The Youth From An Untimely Death Isao, Driven To Patriotic Fanaticism By A Father Who Instilled In Him The Ethos Of The Ancient Samurai, Organizes A Violent Plot Against The New Industrialists Who He Believes Are Usurping The Emperor S Rightful Power And Threatening The Very Integrity Of The Nation Runaway Horses Is The Chronicle Of A Conspiracy A Novel About The Roots And Nature Of Japanese Fanaticism In The Years That Led To War

10 thoughts on “(奔馬

  1. says:

    This book by the classic Japanese author is the second work in a series of four books called The Sea of Fertility cycle Although you can pick up most of it in context, it really helps to have to have read the first volume, Spring Snow For those who have not read it, here is a spoiler for that book Summary and spoiler for the first book in the series, Spring Snow view spoiler The plot revolves around a love story between a boy and the daughter of the neighboring household They have known each other all their lives and she has loved him since they were children But his feelings toward her are on again, off again he mistreats her and pretends he doesn t care for her Finally she gives up on him and becomes engaged to a son of a noble family, actually a member of the Emperor s household At this point she s is 21 he s 19 , and after the engagement has been approved by the Emperor himself, finally he decides he loves her and begins to pursue her They begin a sexual relationship and she becomes pregnant If word of any of this gets out, it would be the equivalent of a national scandal When the boy s father learns what is going on, after spending his whole life ass kissing the emperor and the nobles, to say he is apoplectic is putting it mildly Never having lifted a hand to his son before, he beats him with a pool cue She enters a convent and the son later dies of a disease hide spoiler

  2. says:

    3 This novel and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea are my two favorite Mishima books of the seven I ve read so far Runaway Horses is set in 1932 33, a time of economic hardship in Japan, not long after the start of the great global Depression Farmers, especially, are suffering Rice imports have been allowed into Japan This has allowed for the population to be fed but at the cost of depressing domestic rice prices for farmers, many of whom are now starving Factory workers, too, no longer needed in a depressed economy, return to the family farms which they once left with great aspirations, compounding the general misery Meanwhile, 21st century style Trumpian capitalists are playing the economy for every last yen David Bergamini, in his book Japan s Imperial Conspiracy, describes the currency speculation on the part of government and aristocracy at this time, which he calls the dollar swindle Let s just say, the episode was not good for the yen, nor the Japanese economy as a whole.This is the setting in which eighteen year old Isao, raised and radicalized by a dipsomaniacal right wing father banzai sets about making the terrible state of Japan better His plan, and he has many followers, all about eighteen years old as well, is to kill ten major capitalists, blow up the Bank of Japan and take out eight electrical substations as a means of forcing a state of marshal law and, thus, the restoration of imperial rule One fat cat in particular, Busuk Kurahara, is much hated The man on the street, including Isao, believes the Emperor has been hoodwinked by those close to him It s a variation on the If Hitler only knew rationalization, so rife in Germany in those years Mishima adored writing about boys Mishima adored boys The lad in this case, Isao, has a passion for purity and loyalty and death, that only roughly translates for the Western reader I had a very hard time trying to understand why a lad of eighteen would be interested in killing capitalists and then cutting open his own stomach It s something abstruse having to do with honor Maybe there s a rough equivalent for it in Western chivalry, though it should be noted that most European knights were little than banditti I don t know But to me, even perhaps to some Japanese alive today, the whole mindset is irrational and, thus, incomprehensible, like gassing Jews.For most of the book Isao seems to operate in a virtual intellectual vacuum It s hard to know how or why he s motivated to act as he does All that secrecy, all that time with his fellow boys Is he operating on secret knowledge or is he completely insane Mishima badly muddles Isao At the end of the novel, Isao stands up in court and gives an overly detailed speech on his motivations which strikes the reader as completely out of character Suddenly, the boy s using adverbs This taciturn and lonely kid is now giving lessons in Japanese history and current affairs When just before, in prison, there was a passage in which he thought of himself as too intellectually dim in other words, without the very mellifluousness he later displays in court IMHO, it s a tremendous gaffe.Interestingly enough, Isao is locked up in Ishigaya Prison, which turns out to be the very spot where Mishima would make his final stand on November 25, 1970 Though by then the building was called the Self Defense Force Headquarters You may remember photos of Mishima in full military dress without insignia hortatorily espousing samurai virtues from atop a carport outside the building, which led to cat calls and public derision, before committing seppuku literally, stomach cutting He was 45 The day before, we are told, he completed the very last page of the last novel of the present tetralogy, The Decay of the Angel That said, we must also remember that this second volume the first volume is Spring Snow see my review continues the story of the reincarnated Kiyoaki Matsugae, when his close friend, Honda, comes to believe that he has found the soul of his old friend reborn in the person of the young Isai Iinuma who, to complicate matters further, is also the son of Kiyoaki s old tutor I have to admit on finishing the novel that the reincarnation kerfuffle seems unnecessary It s simply a device to ensure Honda s ongoing participation in the complete four novel cycle Honda, now 38, is an esteemed Osaka judge early in his career As such he is a firm believer in cold, rational discourse, which takes a severe blow once he becomes convinced utterly convinced that he has come upon the reincarnated Kiyoaki Matsugae.I m committed to reading the next two novels in the cycle, but my expectations, I must admit, are rather middling Mishima is always problematic for me Then again there are times especially when he s moving through a landscape or describing the action of a scene when his precision takes the breath away So, recommended with reservations If you re like me someone who s read widely in pre and post war Japanese history and literature the cycle may be essential.

  3. says:

    imdiye kadar, benim i in Lawrence Durrell n skenderiye D rtl s edebiyat tarihinin en iyi d rtleme roman yd Gerek konunun i leni i, teman n d rt roman zerindeki b t nl gerekse karakterlerin st nde hale gibi duran kapsaml yazg lar a s ndan ba ka bir yazar n b yle makro bir eyi, o denli iyi kotarabilece ini d nm yordum Fakat yan lm m Yukio Mishima n n Bereket Denizi D rtleme si bence sadece d rtlemeler aras nda de il, edebiyat tarihindeki b t n seriler aras nda en tepelerde yerini alabilecek nitelikte Hen z son iki kitab okumam olsam da, ilk iki kitab n bende yaratt sars nt ok g l ve benzersiz.Pier Paolo Pasolini nin romanlar n , oyunlar n , iirlerini okur, filmlerini izlerken hep derinden derine kendini hissettiren o ok b y k entelekt el birikimin r zgar yla mest olurum Anlatt her eyin alt nda g sterdi inin ok tesinde kastettiklerini g zleri ba l bir ki i gibi el yordam yla, sezgilerimle bulurum Y ntem konusunda da kendisini tutkuyla yo urmas , onu benim i in benzersiz yapan ba ka bir temel zelliktir Ama normal bir tutku de il bu, acayip, provokatif bir tutku bu bahsetti im Ate li, radikal, saplant l te Yukio Mishima da da ayn bu tutkudan var Ona da verilecek nvanlar al lm n ok d nda Bilge, ate li, radikal, provokat r, sapk n, klinik, rahats z edici Bataille, de Sade gibi ustalar nki gibi de de il onun haznesi ok daha pragmatik Bin y ll k bir d ncenin kanla ve sava la kutsanm hali ok sa l kl gelmeyebilir belki ama okuyucu olacak beni en ok bu taraflar cezbediyor Mishima ve onun gibi yazarlar n tutkusu beni de ate liyor Mishima n n ya amla ve d nyayla ilgili hissetti im, d nd m her eyi yans tt m kitaplar m dedi i Bereket Denizi D rtlemesi cidden yazar n beynine ve g r s ne bir yolculuk gibi l m ile halen dillerden d meyen Mishima, bu kitapta ba ra ba ra ve empati kurma olana tan yacak ekilde anlatm asl nda intihar n Ger ekten karakterlerin hayat, l m, geleneksellik modernlik, Budizm, Konf yuz retisi, do u doktrinleri, a k, cinsellik, erdem, Japon ruhu ve k lt r vb gibi konularla ilgili kararlar ve d nceleri asl nda bize Mishima y anlat yor Bu sebeple, olduk a yava okudum kitab Her sayfan n arkas nda s ylemek istenen daha b y k bir eyle kar la t m nan lmaz kap lar a t benim n mde Milliyet ilik ahsen kendimle ok ilintilendirebilece im bir his olamamas na ra men beni inan lmaz i ine ekti ideolojik taraf.Yaln z serinin bu kitab i in dikkat ekmek istedi im bir ey var Bu kitap okunmadan evvel kesinlikle 1868 y l nda ba layan Meiji D nemi ve sonras hakk nda bilgi sahibi olun nk Japonya da ki gelenekler ve bin y ll k yaz s z erdem kurallar k sa bir s re i erisinde de i tirildi, d n t r ld Bat yla girilen etkile im, in Sava , II.D nya Sava , teknolojinin geli mesi, atom bombas , antiamerikanc l k derken inan lmaz bir kay p ya and Bu k lt rel erozyon toplumun her kesiminden insan sars c bir ekilde etkiledi Bu y zden ate li bir kesim olu tu Mishima bunun iddial rneklerinden Elbette Mishima n n ok daha derinlikli ve g l sebepleri de var ama kitab daha iyi kavramak i in yukar da bahsettiklerim konusunda zellikle 1868 1945 aras hakk nda tarihi bilgi edinmek art Belirmek istedi im ba ka bir konu ise kitab n arka kapa nda seriden ba ms z okunabilece ine dair olan ifade Bu bir sat politikas m , yoksa ne, anlamad m ancak bu kitap ilk kitapla ayr lmaz bir b t n Bu kitab n beni en ok sarsan k s mlar ilk kitapla birle ti i noktalar oldu hatta Seriden ba ms z okunmas n tavsiye etmem Kitap oldu u eyden ok ey kaybedecektir.T m bunlar d nda m kemmel bir eser P ren zg ren evirisi, kitab ngilizceden evirmi bile olsa, ok iyi bir eviri Japoncadan evrilecek hali de bu kadar iyi olabilirdi herhalde Kesinlikle tavsiye ederim.10 10

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    539 532 1945 .

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  6. says:

    In the decadent West people often get together and have all kinds of pointless, speculative conversations The current political climate being what it is, one subject that frequently comes up, at least amongst my friends, is whether you would be prepared to die for a cause, or an ideal During these debates my position is unequivocal my answer is a firm no No Never Not under any circumstances My vehemence can, in part, be explained by my cowardice I am, I freely admit, a rum coward I m not dying before my time for anything, or anyone Yet I do also have philosophical objections The problem for me with any ideal truth, honour, justice, whatever is that they don t concretely exist, or they don t exist, as some kind of Platonic form, outside of man Someone who dies for an ideal is, to me, just a dead idiot, because their ideal, which is necessarily subjective in character, dies with them So, when a suicide bomber blows himself or herself up, or if a monk sets himself on fire, I m not concerned with which side of the political fence that person sits, I m struck by their illogical, flawed thinking.Ordinarily my stance does not cause me any problems I speculate, I argue, then I go home and, I dunno, have a wank and watch TV this is a joke, I don t have a TV However, as I came to read Runaway Horses, the second volume of Yukio Mishima s The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, I realised that my rationalist frame of mind prevented me from being able to fully engage with large parts of the book Of course, it is not necessary to be able to identity with Iaso Iinuma, the young would be militant terrorist at the centre of the novel, and, in any case, even I am able to understand, even to some extent appreciate, the quixotic nature of living a life of purity and heroism, but a lot of Runaway Horses philosophically and spiritually left me cold For example, the pamphlet of The League of the Divine Wind, which deals with a samurai rebellion insurrection, and which appears in its entirety 60 pages, ffs , was unfathomably dry I didn t think it possible to make reading about the samurai so boring, but Mishima managed it perhaps this was intentional , and alien in its glorification of violence and ritual suicide This kind of thing isn t limited to the pamphlet either there s a lot of stuff in the book, voiced mainly by Iaso and his followers of course, about the beauty of death, or sublime death, which at times took on almost an erotic flavour I just cannot, no matter how hard I try, get my head around all that, nor do I really want to, because if there s one thing I don t think is attractive, that I will never be able to accept, it is that.It is Honda s presence that was crucial in terms of me being able to navigate the novel without him I think I may not have persevered beyond the opening stages If you have read Spring Snow you will know Honda as the studious and serious friend of Kiyoaki Matsugae In that book I felt as though his role was somewhat confused he was a rationalist, and yet unquestioningly helped his friend in his irrational endeavours Yet even if you wanted to see him as the voice of reason which is, I think, how Mishima saw him he was too much of a peripheral figure What I mean by this is that one could have cut his character entirely, and the book would have had largely the same impact In Runaway Horses, he is a thirty eight year old judge He is then mature and confident, of course, and much is made, by the author, of his reserved and logical approach therefore he is the perfect foil for Isao Importantly, although he is largely absent from the middle section of the book, this time around he is much central to the plot and actually raises objections when confronted with the boy s fanaticism For example, when Iaso loans Honda a copy of The League of the Divine Wind pamphlet the judge returns it with a letter explaining his concerns about the impact such a text could have on a young man Every excitement that could send one pitching headlong is dangerous The League of the Divine Wind is a drama of tragic perfection This was a political event that was so remarkable throughout that it almost seems to be a work of art it was a crucible in which a purity of resolve was put to the test in a manner rarely encountered in history But one should by no means confuse this tale of dreamlike beauty of another time with the circumstances of present day reality Moreover, not only does Honda give voice to some of your own queries and bemusement or my bemusement anyway , but he allows one to read the book as an investigation into extremism, rather than simply as propaganda This is hugely important I ve written before about how I am not at all interested in judging the private lives of authors and that holds true here too However, that does not mean that if the author s private life, or dubious politics, filtered through into the work that one cannot comment or criticise it simply means that I would not reject a work solely on the basis of any controversy surrounding the author s behaviour Mishima, it is always worth reiterating, was a fanatic Nationalist himself, at least towards the end of his life and these things as subjects are dealt with in Runaway Horses So far, so what It becomes an issue only because there are parts of this book where violent extremism is written about in glowing terms, where Iaso and his followers are glorified Izutsu showed his lovely recklessness He spoke out gallantly, his face flushed and glowing Lovely recklessness Really At times the language in the novel made me shift uncomfortably in my seat, although, if you were being as fair as possible, you could say it is, like with Spring Snow, merely a case of the style being in tune with the subject Yet I don t buy that, I m afraid So, Honda is vital, or was vital for me, because he shows that Mishima was prepared to question at least in his work Iaso s beliefs Without that questioning, even though Honda isn t entirely out of sympathy for the extremists, one could have put Runaway Horses in the same category as The Birth of a Nation.As you can tell, the book caused me quite some consternation, and my thoughts about it, as the structure of this review will no doubt attest, are far from clear Would I recommend it No, or certainly not to the casual reader, because it isn t actually a very good novel In certain circumstances, however, one might consider it worth reading First of all, Mishima once said in an interview that Japanese culture or mentality is defined by both elegance and brutality while I am not in a position to say whether that is entirely true I would say that certainly Mishima s own personality was centred around that dichotomy and so the rugged Runaway Horses, especially when paired with the graceful Spring Snow, is useful if one wants to know about the man himself, and about how he saw the world.Secondly, there are probably very few books that are as relevant, almost terrifyingly so, as this one is right now Alien, baffling, and glorifying it might be, but this is a genuine glimpse into the workings of extremist terrorist groups, and the mindset of the individuals involved, from someone who knew what he was talking about this is not irony, it is not satire, it is the real deal So, we see the young boy who is seduced by quixotic right wing literature, a boy whose family home life is a source of unhappiness or embarrassment in what was the only time Mishima attempted to look for an excuse or explanation of Iaso s frame of mind he mentions that he would have been aware and shamed by his mother s less than chaste past his interest in manly endeavours could, in this regard, be thrown into a new light We also see how levelling fanaticism can be Iaso and his followers all lack personality, they are full of rhetoric and psychobabble but very few individual characteristics If you have come across any true accounts of young men becoming enamoured with fanaticism this will be a familiar tale.Finally, while Runaway Horses is at times fascinating, if you view the book dispassionately and adjust your expectations accordingly, it is only really enjoyable in the conventional sense in relation to the previous volume, Spring Snow When one reads a multi volume work half of the fun is in the development of certain characters as they age and have children, get married and so on In Runaway Horses, Honda appears again, as previously mentioned, as does Iinuma, Prince Toin, and Marquis Matsugae, the father of the central character from Spring Snow, Kiyoaki However, Iaso Iinuma is not only the son of Kiyoaki s former tutor, he is, as far as Honda is concerned, the reincarnation of Kiyoaki himself For a western reader, this seems like a bold, potentially ridiculous, move, and yet Mishima manages to pull it off In fact, that Iaso was once Kiyoaki gives his character a depth he would otherwise lack, for one is able to see his passion in terms of Kiyoaki s passion one is for an ideal and the other was for a girl, but both are irrational, immature and destructive Further, the nature of reincarnation is that one is reborn because of mistakes, or sins, in a past life Kiyoaki was effete and ineffectual, Iaso is the opposite so it is almost as though the soul or essence of Kiyoaki has gone from one extreme to another The two characters are, on the surface, completely different yet ultimately very similar and I thought that was very clever and satisfying THE SEA OF FERTILITYVolume 1 Spring Snow

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    Una proiezione di Mishima A briglia sciolta , tradotto anche col titolo Cavalli in fuga , il secondo libro della tetralogia Il mare della fertilit di Mishima E il seguito del bellissimo Neve di primavera , nel quale emerge l amicizia fra l aristocratico Kiyoaki, deceduto in giovanissima et , e Honda destinato invece ad invecchiare.Egli ora ha 38 anni, ha fatto carriera nella Magistratura Sono trascorsi ormai 20 anni dagli ultimi fatti del testo precedente.Honda identifica nel diciannovenne Isao, figlio del precettore dell amico scomparso, come l incarnazione di quest ultimo.Le vicende riguardano sia il magistrato, che tende a proteggere il giovane, sia il ragazzo che sta mitizzando un gruppo di samurai del passato inorriditi dall occidentalizzazione del Giappone , sei dei quali si uccidono col suicidio rituale seppuku , per sventramento, inneggiando all Imperatore.Isao talmente colpito da ci , che raduna attorno a s un gruppo di estremisti di destraQui l autore lascia trapelare vari elementi di carattere autobiografico non nel senso letterale del termine ma a un livello profondo esistenziale e politico Si tratta infatti di un opera inquietante, perch rimanda al terribile gesto di autoannientamento compiuto da Mishima qualche anno dopo.Da segnalare, al centro del romanzo, una scena grandiosa, quasi impressionante, indimenticabile del teatro tradizionale giapponese un canto con voce quieta come la pioggia che scende bagnando una riva sabbiosa , canto che termina con l esclamazione Oh, quanto breve ed effimera la nostra vita.

  8. says:

    ka ak atlar, d rtlemenin ilk roman ndan 19 y l sonra, 1932 y l nda ba l yor japonya da on be may s olaylar ve ba bakan n suikastla ld r lmesiyle ba layan alkant , di er yanda derinle en ekonomik kriz, b y yen yoksulluk, y kselen sol var b l nm , tamamen kutupla m bir toplumsal yap s z konusu ekonomide s z sahibi olan az nl k ordunun etkinli inin azalt lmas ve bat yanl s tedbirleri savunurken, geni kitlelerde ya ananlar n n sebebinin geleneksel de erlerden uzakla mas , imparatora ba l l n azalmas oldu u g r hakim bir taraf de i imden, d n mden bahsederken, di er tarafta bunun ad yozla ma ve ihanet.mi ima bahar karlar nda bir a k hikayesinin arka plan nda yer verdi i meselesini ka ak atlar da dolu dizgin anlatmaya ba l yor hikaye, japonya n n i inde bulundu u durumdan k t m y netim yetkisinin yeniden imparatora verilmesinde g ren bir grup gencin haz rlad ayaklanmaya odaklan yor do rudan kahramanlar , mi ima n n kendi g r lerine yak n imparatorun akl ndan neler ge ti ini kestirmeye al mak bile hainliktir diyen, ba l l k ate i insan n i ine bir kez d t m , o insan n lmekten ba ka se ene inin kalmad na inanan, ld rmekten, lmekten ba ka bir yolu d nmek bile istemeyen bu gen karakterlerde mi ima n n vurgulad kavramlar tutku, inan ve safl k hatta di er kavramlar n ve karakterin belirleyicisi olarak g r ld i in sadece tutkudan bahsetmek m mk n mi ima anlat s nda.ka ak atlar okuduktan sonra bahar karlar ndaki tutkulu a k , anla lmas ve okuyan n kendisiyle ba kurmas daha kolay oldu u i in anlatt bile s ylenebilir belki a kta, a k bir insanda ele ald tutkuyu inan zerinde de anla l r k lmak i in tutkulu inan , tutkulu ba l l k da b yle anlat labilir mi a ktaki tutkuyla inan taki tutku ayn m d r kendilerini tutkuyla var edip, tutkuyla yok eden, mi ima n n bunun hem sebebi hem sonucu olarak safl kla nitelendirdi i karakterleri anlamak m mk n m romanda zaman zaman sorgulayan, zaman zaman anlatan a klayan savunan bir tav r var ancak roman n imparatora ba l l k ad na bir t r ayaklanmaya giri ip seppuku yaparak intihar eden yazar n kendinden hayat ndan tamamen ayr lmas m mk n olmayan bir roman oldu u d n l rse rahats z edici l de de il bu romanc mi ima okura edebiyat n g c n , g zelli ini fazlas yla vermeyi ba ar yor i inde d r stl k seppuku ile korunur c mlesinin ge ti i roman n sars c l nda kalmak laz m nk seppuku yapan mi ima ok uzak.

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    Secondo episodio della tetralogia de Il mare della fertilit , intrisa di intenzioni politiche rispetto a Neve di primavera , oltre ai maggiori riferimenti alla vita dell autore Ritroviamo Honda oramai giudice, circa vent anni dopo la morte del caro amico Kiyoaki, a met degli anni trenta Egli sempre pi legato alla sua condotta ligia e ragionevole ma durante un evento, il nostro, scorgendo un ragazzo vigoroso che gli ricorda il suo amico, Isao, intuisce tramite alcune coincidenze che costui potrebbe essere la reincarnazione del defunto sodale riprendendo l esoterismo buddhista ampiamente citato nel primo libro Si scopre inoltre che sia il figlio di Iinuma, il passato precettore reazionario di Kiyoaki, ora presidente di un noto gruppo di destra Isao, quindi, cresciuto col mito della lealt incondizionata verso l imperatore, la patria, oltre l adorazione della figura dei samurai, finendo a sua volta per cospirare contro il sistema capitalista, uno dei tanti episodi di terrorismo dei tempi Il gesto a cui si ispira palesemente un rimando a quello che sarebbe stato l atto allegorico di rivolta di Mishima col suo conseguente suicidio rituale, fornendoci quindi un intensa dichiarazione ideologica e di azione nel processo, con l eleganza e il simbolismo che caratterizza il suo stile.

  10. says:

    I am an absolute fanboy to Japanese madman but genius writer Yukio Mishima His tetralogy, the Sea of Tranquility, is a powerful piece of writing of incredible beauty Runaway Horses is the second volume after the magnificent Spring Snow, and as the rest of the novels carries on the story of a few of the characters from the previous book against the historical canvas of Japan in the 30 s Not exactly optimistic, it did involve an incredible amount of research and travel for Mishima as he was writing it An fabulous ride from a truly unique and incredible writer.