The European manners that Mishima often affected were typical of the old upper class. His samurai fantasies were not necessarily a contradiction to this. He wanted to remain an aristocrat, a knight of a special brotherhood in a vulgar age. Being Japanese, the only tradition of knighthood he could fall back upon was The Way of the Samurai, as expressed in such flamboyant works as Hagakure. […] But let us not be conned into thinking that he stood for more than himself. It would be best to concentrate on his books as works of art, not as props for grand statements about the authors life and death […] I do think most Japanese are right in regarding Mishima’s seppuku as little more than the pathetic act of a very gifted buffoon.
(quoted from Ian Buruma, The Missionary and the Libertine. Love and War in East and West. London, et al.: 1996)