Yukio Mishima Quotes
Best 56 Quotes by Yukio Mishima – Page 1 of 2
“A samurai is a total human being, whereas a man who is completely absorbed in his technical skill has degenerated into a ‘function’, one cog in a machine.”
“Human life is limited but I would like to live forever.”
“I still have no way to survive but to keep writing one line, one more line, one more line...”
“Possessing by letting go of things was a secret of ownership unknown to youth.”
“True beauty is something that attacks, overpowers, robs, and finally destroys.”
“We live in an age in which there is no heroic death.”
After the Banquet Quotes
“Young people get the foolish idea that what is new for them must be new for everybody else too. No matter how unconventional they get, they're just repeating what others before them have done.”
Confessions of a Mask Quotes
“For a long time I had not approached the forbidden fruit called happiness, but it was now tempting me with a melancholy persistence. I felt as though Sonoko were an abyss above which I stood poised.”
“I cried sobbingly until at last those visions reeking with blood came to comfort me. And then I surrendered myself to them, to those deplorably brutal visions, my most intimate friends.”
“It is a common failing of childhood to think that if one makes a hero out of a demon the demon will be satisfied.”
“Mine was the unbearable jealousy a cultured pearl must feel toward a genuine one. Or can there be such a thing in this world as a man who is jealous of the woman who loves him, precisely because of her love?”
“Of all the kinds of decay in this world, decadent purity is the most malignant.”
“What I wanted was to die among strangers, untroubled, beneath a cloudless sky. And yet my desire differed from the sentiments of that ancient Greek who wanted to die under the brilliant sun.
What I wanted was some natural, spontaneous suicide. I wanted a death like that of a fox, not yet well versed in cunning, that walks carelessly along a mountain path and is shot by a hunter because of its own stupidity…”
“When a boy discovers that he is more given into introspection and consciousness of self than other boys his age, he easily falls into the error of believing it is because he is more mature than they. This was certainly a mistake in my case.
Rather, it was because the other boys had no such need of understanding themselves as I had: they could be their natural selves, whereas I was to play a part, a fact that would require considerable understanding and study.
So it was not my maturity but my sense of uneasiness, my uncertainty that was forcing me to gain control over my consciousness. Because such consciousness was simply a steppingstone to aberration and my present thinking was nothing but uncertain and haphazard guesswork.”
Forbidden Colors Quotes
“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”
Runaway Horses Quotes
“Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.”
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“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered.
Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.”
“If we look on idly, heaven and earth will never be joined. To join heaven and earth, some decisive deed of purity is necessary.
To accomplish so resolute an action, you have to stake your life, giving no thought to personal gain or loss. You have to turn into a dragon and stir up a whirlwind, tear the dark, brooding clouds asunder and soar up into the azure-blue sky.”
“Perfect purity is possible if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.”
“The instant that the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up and exploded behind his eyelids.”
Spring Snow Quotes
“Dreams, memories, the sacred – they are all alike in that they are beyond our grasp. Once we are even marginally separated from what we can touch, the object is sanctified; it acquires the beauty of the unattainable, the quality of the miraculous.
Everything, really, has this quality of sacredness, but we can desecrate it at a touch. How strange man is! His touch defiles and yet he contains the source of miracles.”
“Even when we're with someone we love, we're foolish enough to think of her body and soul as being separate. To stand before the person we love is not the same as loving her true self, for we are only apt to regard her physical beauty as the indispensable mode of her existence.
When time and space intervene, it is possible to be deceived by both, but on the other hand, it is equally possible to draw twice as close to her real self.”
“He felt that taking naps was much more beneficial than confronting catastrophes.”
“He had never looked forward to the wisdom and other vaunted benefits of old age. Would he be able to die young—and if possible free of all pain?
A graceful death — as a richly patterned kimono, thrown carelessly across a polished table, slides unobtrusively down into the darkness of the floor beneath. A death marked by elegance.”
“His conviction of having no purpose in life other than to act as a distillation of poison was part of the ego of an eighteen-year-old. He had resolved that his beautiful white hands would never be soiled or calloused. He wanted to be like a pennant, dependent on each gusting wind.
The only thing that seemed valid to him was to live for the emotions – gratuitous and unstable, dying only to quicken again, dwindling and flaring without direction or purpose.”
“I've known supreme happiness, and I'm not greedy enough to want what I have to go on forever. Every dream ends.
Wouldn't it be foolish, knowing that nothing lasts forever, to insist that one has a right to do something that does?
But, if eternity existed, it would be this moment.”
“Just now I had a dream. I'll see you again. I know it. Beneath the falls.”
“Time is what matters. As time goes by, you and I will be carried inexorably into the mainstream of our period, even though we’re unaware of what it is.
And later, when they say that young men in the early Taisho era thought, dressed, talked, in such and such a way, they’ll be talking about you and me. We’ll all be lumped together.
In a few decades, people will see you and the people you despise as one and the same, a single entity.”
Sun and Steel Quotes
“I am one who has always been interested only in the edges of the body and the spirit, the outlying regions of the body and the outlying regions of the spirit.
The depths hold no interest for me; I leave them to others, for they are shallow, commonplace. What is there, then, at the outer most edge? Nothing, perhaps, save a few ribbons, dangling down into the void.”
“It is a rather risky matter to discuss a happiness that has no need of words.”
“The cynicism that regards hero worship as comical is always shadowed by a sense of physical inferiority.”
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“Mattia was right: the days had slipped over her skin like a solvent, one after the other, each removing a very thin layer of pigment from her tattoo, and from both of their memories. The outlines, like the circumstances, were still there, black and well delineated, but the colors had merged together until they faded into a dull, uniform tonality, a neutral absence of meaning.”
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Yukio Mishima Sources
- All quotes by Yukio Mishima (56 quotes)
- After the Banquet (1 quote)
- Confessions of a Mask (7 quotes)
- Forbidden Colors (1 quote)
- Runaway Horses (4 quotes)
- Spring Snow (8 quotes)
- Sun and Steel (4 quotes)
- The Decay of the Angel (2 quotes)
- The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (7 quotes)
- The Temple of Dawn (1 quote)
- The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (10 quotes)
- Thirst for Love (5 quotes)
- Other quotes by Yukio Mishima (6 quotes)