36 Views of Mishima Yukio (4) – John Nathan

Mishima Yukio
Mishima’s crowd gathered every week for parties at the Latin quarter or at private homes in Karuizawa, a fashionable resort several hours north of the city which had not been bombed. There was a lot of drinking and, in the American style, promiscuity. Mishima neither drank nor smoked at the time; certainly he was not promiscuous, not yet, never in a circle like this. But he did accomodate himself by taking dancing lessons in the summer of 1946. Perhaps, as he always maintained, Mishima truly loved to dance. Or perhaps the “zest” for his dancing he began to display as early as 1946 was one of his earliest simulations of normalcy. I have seen Mishima “lose himself” to the Monkey or the Watsui in the mid-sixties, and it was like watching a studied imitation of a dancer; he always looked horrifyingly sober, though clearly his movements and expressions were intended to create the effect not merely of spontaneity but enthrallment. In any case, he was a bad dancer, uncoordinated and apparently deaf to music. In 1946 and 1947, when he was still a wan, emaciated figure, his jitterbug must have been a sight to behold.

(quoted from: John Nathan, Mishima. A Biography, Da Capo Press, 2000)


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