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Yukio Mishima
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    (January 14, 1925-November 25, 1970)
    Born in Tokyo, Japan
    Birth name was Kimitake Hiraoka
    Wrote 'Confessions of a Mask' (1948), 'The Sound of Waves' (1954), 'The Temple of the Golden Pavilion' (1956), 'The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea' (1963) and 'The Sea of Fertility' (1964-70)
    His pen name translated as 'mysterious devil bewitched with death.'
    He married despite being gay. /n/He also imposed several conditions on his prospective bride: she could not be taller than him; she had to be round-faced and pretty; she had to refrain from disturbing him when he was writing.
    He founded an 80-man private army, the Shield Society.
    He and four followers raided the Tokyo offices of the Army Self-Defense Forces, taking the commandant hostage.
    He then exhorted the assembled troops to stage a coup, restore Japan to its prewar imperial status and eliminate Western influences.
    After the soldiers jeered at him, he committed seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) and was beheaded by one of his followers.
    Until age 12, he was raised by his grandmother who refused to let him participate in sports or play with other boys.
    His father, worried about the 'effeminate' influence of literature, would tear up his manuscripts.
    Life magazine called him 'the Japanese Hemingway.'
    He knew how to make a dramatic exit.

Credit: C. Fishel

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