Thoughtful Thursday: The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea


Written in 1963, this book is about a small band of boys and their belief in the idea of “objectivity,” of rejecting the adult world as mere foolishness and sentimentality, and the savage acts this belief led them to. Yukio Mishima is one of Japan’s weirdest and most interesting writers. This book is very macabre, yet strangely beautiful and unique. Kind of like the Japanese Lord of the Flies. Even after the book is translated to English, Mishima’s metaphors are still striking. Interestingly, the author was born into a samurai family and imbued with the code of complete control over mind and body, and loyalty to the emperor– the same code that produced the austerity and self-sacrifice of Zen. In 1970, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of 45.



  1. grantmasterflash said,

    January 30, 2009 at 5:11 am

    Weird… I just bought this book at a used bookstore a few weeks ago. I read an article a few years ago about Mishima and was intrigued at his beliefs in Japanese Nationalism and his death by seppuku. Are you reading my mind?

    There’s also a film by Paul Schrader called “Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters” that I want to watch at some point.

    • meggitymegs said,

      February 2, 2009 at 8:49 am

      Thanks for the info on that film. I read this in college for a class called “The Art of the Novel.” And if I could choose a super power, it would be [selective] mind-reading. 🙂

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