36 Views of Mishima Yukio (7) – James K. Vincent

Mishima 7
While Mishima Yukio is known outside of Japan primarily as a « gay » writer, enshrined along with Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust on a ceiling mural depicting famous « gays and lesbians » at the Gay and Lesbian Center at the San Francisco Public Library, within Japan, he is remembered primarily for his anachronistic devotion to right-wing politics and aesthetics. Mishima Yukio’s two reputations thus constitute a conflation of both homosexual and fascist « tendencies. » It is a conflation which may seem contradictory to anyone with a knowledge of the brutal repression of homosexuals under European fascist regimes, but which nonetheless seems to subtend much of our understanding of both terms, both in Japan and elsewhere. […] Indeed it seems fair to say that historical fascism itself was, among other things, a chilling example of a desperate homosocial order driven to extreme measures to shore up its own identity. Queer studies teaches us that identity and subjectivity, regardless of sexual orientation, are always already in crisis. Faced with this reality we have two choices : either to disavow it through a paranoid projection onto minorities and women, or to embrace it as an opportunity to recognize that all of our identities are formed through a process of promiscuous « identification. » Perhaps it would be wise to take a hint from the famously homofascist Mishima, and remember not just « All Japanese » but all of us, « are Perverse. »

(quoted from James Keith Vincent, Mishima Yukio : Everyone’s Favorite Homofascist)


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