Mishima the human alchemist distills, boils and then vaporises until the micro essence of alienated human psychology lies transparent and naked stripped of social pretension.
These stories deal with elucidation or various rituals of game playing. Deep emotionally frozen human beings interact within ice cold glares with the human hope of an eternal thaw. A series of vignettes of young people inhabiting bodies, all suspended in roles.
The commonality is the capture of brief emotional moments when reality pervades for seconds, only for these humanity shards to slither away into the sub strata of their beings. Barren bleak and without feeling, Masumura captured the same essence in cinemantic sterility. 1960's Japan, a time of economic every day is Xmas consumer overkill compensated for war defeat. Inside the being echoed the hollow walls of emptiness.
Underneath trapped in fight or flight the Japanese psyche chose frozen. Beaten by the Emperor and smashed by the American war machine the population remained trapped in a psychological double bind. The essence of war trauma.
Mishima captures the zeitgeist in the stories but the appeal speaks louder to a world audience. Alienation and frozen feelings were not just the province of the vanquished. In the land of heroes the same emotional mechanisms unfolded.
Reappraisal of the man needs to be undertaken beyond his final act and the constant wrestling with sexual identity. The existential questions he asked and tried to answer lie far beyond the banal.