Though best known for his novels, Yukio Mishima published more than sixty plays, almost all of which were produced during his lifetime. Among them are kabuki plays and others inspired by No dramas―two types used in classical Japanese theater. Of play-writing Mishima once observed, “I started writing dramas just as water flows toward a lower place. In me, the topography of dramas seems to be situated far below that of novels. It seems to be in a place which is more instinctive, closer to child’s play.” For English readers, these plays have been one of Japan’s best-kept secrets―until now.
In this anthology, Hiroaki Sato translates the brilliance and richness of Yukio Mishima’s writing into the English language. He has selected five major plays and three essays on dramaturgy, providing informative introductions to guide the reader. Sato’s translations offer a broad historical and personal context in which those new to Mishima’s work can place his writing. For those more familiar with Mishima, these translations offer another medium in which one can access his ingenious work.