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Book Information: Mishima on Stage

Mishima on Stage (2007) [Collection]
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Summary (From the publisher):

Mishima on Stage presents nine remarkable plays to English readers for the first time. These plays, written between 1949 and 1962, demonstrate Mishima’s breadth and originality as a playwright. Four are new kabuki plays that combine classical language and lyricism, the dance, music, and spectacle of traditional kabuki, and iconoclastic notions of class and morality that are “pure Mishima.” Five are shingeki plays, including the tightly written one-act Steeplechase, which fuses contemporary psychological realism with the structure of a tantric Buddhist exorcism ritual, and The Black Lizard, a campy, romping, romantic, detective mystery full of trickery and disguise.

One unifying theme shared among all the plays is the belief that deception and deceit are essential to human relationships. These character traits appear as hidden incestuous love that threatens to destroy an upper-middle class family (The Lighthouse), as weapons of choice for the powerless mistress of a business magnate (the modern noh play Yuya), or as the means to facilitate wholesome but socially forbidden romantic liaisons (two kabuki comedies). Mishima on Stage makes the genius of Japan’s leading postwar playwright more accessible and apparent than ever before.

Laurence Kominz opens the volume with a biography of Mishima that describes the triumphs and bitter conflicts that Mishima experienced during his career as a professional playwright, and presents what Mishima himself wrote about the theatre and his place in it. Kominz demonstrates that Mishima took his theatrical writing, directing, and company leadership very seriously indeed. As enjoyable as play writing could be for Mishima, it was by no means merely a pastime or avocation. A foreword by Donald Keene places Mishima’s work in a personal perspective.


  • The Lighthouse / translated by Laurence Kominz
  • Hell Screen / translated by Laurence Kominz
  • The Sardine Seller’s Net of Love / translated by Laurence Kominz
  • The Blush on the White Hibiscus Blossom: Lady Fuyo and the True Account of the Ouchi Clan / translated by Mark Oshima
  • Steeplechase / translated by Laurence Kominz
  • Busu / translated by Donald Keene and Laurence Kominz
  • Sash Stealing Pond / translated by Laurence Kominz
  • Yuya / translated by Laurence Kominz and Jonah Salz
  • The Black Lizard / translated by Mark Oshima

Original title: Mishima on Stage
Original languages: Japanese


Genre: Drama and PlaysTraditional Non-western Forms

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Edition #1: Mishima on Stage

Mishima on Stage (2007)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Translated by: Laurence Kominz Mark Oshima Donald Keene Jonah Salz
Edited by: Laurence Kominz
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Manifested in:

Mishima on Stage (2007)

Format: Hardcover
Place of publication: Ann Arbor, MI
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
ISBN: 9781929280421
Pages: 328

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