A classic, elegant romance set in a Japanese fishing village.
Yukio Mishima 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. He wrote countless stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he performed. Several films have been made from his novels, including The Sound of Waves, Enjo which was based on The Temple of the Golden Pavilion and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. Among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Mask and Thirst for Love and the short story collections Death in Midsummer and Acts of Worship. The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On 25 November 1970, the day he completed The Decay of the Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of forty-five.
Written in 1956 and 1959, respectively, this duo represent a hit and a miss. LJ's reviewer found Waves amateurish (LJ 8/56), while Temple was praised by another LJ reviewer (LJ 5/15/59) and Japanese critics, who voted it one of the ten best novels of the year.
A work of art...altogether a joyous and lovely thing * New York
Of such classic design its action might take place at any point across a thousand years * San Francisco Chronicle *
A pastoral with ancient Greek overtones * Boston Globe *
A sunny masterpiece * Los Angeles Times *