Yukio Mishima is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka, a Japanese author, playwright, model, film director and founder of the Tatenokai. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century, he was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968, but the award went to his countryman Yasunari Kawabata. His works include the novels Confessions of a Mask and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the autobiographical essay Sun and Steel. Mishima’s work is characterized by its luxurious vocabulary and decadent metaphors, its fusion of traditional Japanese and modern Western literary styles, its obsessive assertions of the unity of beauty and death. A fierce critic of Marxist ideologies, Mishima formed an unarmed civilian militia for the avowed purpose of defending the Japanese emperor in the event of a revolution by Japanese communists. On November 25, 1970, Mishima and four members of his militia entered a military base in central Tokyo, took the commandant hostage, tried to persuade the soldiers at the base to join them in supporting the emperor and overturning Japan's pacifist Constitution.
When this was unsuccessful, Mishima committed suicide by seppuku. Mishima was born in the Yotsuya district of Tokyo, his father was Azusa Hiraoka, a government official, his mother, was the daughter of the 5th principal of the Kaisei Academy. Shizue's father, Kenzō Hashi, was a scholar of Chinese classics, the Hashi family had served the Maeda clan for generations in Kaga Domain. Mishima's paternal grandparents were Natsuko Hiraoka, he had a younger sister, who died of typhus in 1945 at the age of 17, a younger brother, Chiyuki. Mishima's early childhood was dominated by the presence of his grandmother, who took the boy, separating him from his immediate family for several years. Natsuko was the granddaughter of Matsudaira Yoritaka, the daimyō of Shishido in Hitachi Province, had been raised in the household of Prince Arisugawa Taruhito. Through his grandmother, Mishima was a direct descendant of Tokugawa Ieyasu. Natsuko was prone to violence and morbid outbursts, which are alluded to in Mishima's works.
It is to Natsu. Natsuko did not allow Mishima to venture into the sunlight, to engage in any kind of sport or to play with other boys. Mishima returned to his immediate family when he was 12, his father, a man with a taste for military discipline, employed parenting tactics such as holding the young boy up to the side of a speeding train. He raided Mishima's room for evidence of an "effeminate" interest in literature and ripped apart the boy's manuscripts. At the age of six, Mishima enrolled in the Peers' School in Tokyo. At twelve, Mishima began to write his first stories, he voraciously read the works of numerous classic Japanese authors as well as Raymond Radiguet, Oscar Wilde, Rainer Maria Rilke and other European authors, both in translation and in the original. He studied German and English. After six years at school, he became the youngest member of the editorial board of its literary society. Mishima was attracted to the works of the Japanese author Michizō Tachihara, which in turn created an appreciation for classical Japanese poetry form of waka.
Mishima's first published works included waka poetry. He was invited to write a short story for the Gakushūin literary magazine and submitted Hanazakari no Mori, a story in which the narrator describes the feeling that his ancestors somehow still live within him. Mishima's teachers were so impressed that they recommended the story to the prestigious literary magazine Bungei-Bunka; the story makes use of the metaphors and aphorisms that became his trademarks and was published in book form in 1944 in a limited edition because of the wartime shortage of paper. In order to protect him from a possible backlash from his schoolmates, his teachers coined the pen-name "Yukio Mishima". Mishima's story Tabako, published in 1946, describes some of the scorn and bullying he faced at school when he confessed to members of the school's rugby union club that he belonged to the literary society; this trauma provided material for the story Shi o Kaku Shōnen in 1954. Mishima received a draft notice for the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II.
At the time of his medical check up, he had a cold, the young army doctor heard rales from the lung, misdiagnosed as tuberculosis. Although his authoritarian father had forbidden him to write any further stories, Mishima continued to write every night in secret and protected by his mother, always the first to read a new story. Attending lectures during the day and writing at night, Mishima graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1947, he obtained a position as an official in the government's Finance Ministry and was set up for a promising career. However, Mishima had exhausted himself so much that his father agreed to his resigning from the position during the first year of employment in order to devote himself to writing. Mishima wrote novels
In Shinto, a miko is a shrine maiden or a supplementary priestess. Miko were once seen as a shaman but are understood in modern Japanese culture to be an institutionalized role in daily shrine life, trained to perform tasks, ranging from sacred cleansing to performing the sacred Kagura dance; the traditional attire of a miko would be a pair of red hakama or a long, red pleated skirt tied with a bow, a white haori, some white or red hair ribbons. In Shintoism, the color white symbolizes purity. Traditional Miko tools include azusayumi the gehōbako; the miko use bells, drums and bowls of rice in ceremonies. The Japanese words miko and fujo are written 巫女 as a compound of the kanji 巫, 女. Miko was archaically written 神子 and 巫子. Miko once performed spirit possession and takusen as vocational functions in their service to shrines; as time passed, they began working independently in secular society. Miko at shrines today do no more than perform kagura dance. In addition to a medium or a miko, the site of a takusen may also be attended by a sayaniwa who interprets the words of the possessed person to make them comprehensible to other people present.
Kamigakari and takusen may be passive, when a person speaks after becoming involuntarily possessed or has a dream revelation. Miko are known by many names. Other names are ichiko meaning "female medium. In English, the word is translated as "shrine maiden", though freer renderings simply use the phrase "female shaman" or, as Lafcadio Hearn translated it, "Divineress"; some scholars prefer the transliteration, contrasting the Japanese Mikoism with other Asian terms for female shamans. As Fairchild explains: Women played an important role in a region stretching from Manchuria, China and Japan to the Ryukyu Islands. In Japan these women were priests, magicians and shamans in the folk religion, they were the chief performers in organized Shintoism; these women were called Miko, the author calls the complex "Mikoism" for lack of a suitable English word. Miko traditions date back to the prehistoric Jōmon period of Japan, when female shamans would go into “trances and convey the words of the gods”, an act comparable with "the pythia or sibyl in Ancient Greece."The earliest record of anything resembling the term "miko", is of the Chinese reference to Himiko, Japan's earliest substantiated historical reference, however it is unknown whether Himiko was a miko, or if miko existed in those days.
The early Miko was an important social figure, "associated with the ruling class". "In addition to her ritual performances of ecstatic trance", writes Kuly, " performed a variety of religious and political functions". One traditional school of Miko, Kuly adds, "claimed to descend from the Goddess Uzume". During the Nara period and Heian period, government officials tried to control Miko practices; as Fairchild notes: In 780 A. D. and in 807 A. D. official bulls against the practice of ecstasy outside of the authority of the shrines were published. These bulls were not only aimed at ecstasy, but were aimed at magicians, sorcerers, etc, it was an attempt to gain complete control, while at the same time it aimed at eradicating abuses which were occurring. During the feudal Kamakura period when Japan was controlled by warring shōgun states: The Miko was forced into a state of mendicancy as the shrines and temples that provided her with a livelihood fell into bankruptcy. Disassociated from a religious context, her performance moved further away from a religious milieu and more toward one of a non-ecclesiastical nature.
The travelling Miko, known as the aruki Miko, became associated with prostitution. During in the Edo period, writes Groemer, "the organizational structures and arts practiced by female shamans in eastern Japan underwent significant transformations". Though in the Meiji period, many shamanistic practices were outlawed: After 1867 the Meiji government's desire to create a form of state Shinto headed by the emperor—the shaman-in-chief of the nation—meant that Shinto needed to be segregated from both Buddhism and folk-religious beliefs; as a result, official discourse repeated negative views of Miko and their institutions. There was an edict called Miko Kindanrei enforced by security forces loyal to Imperial forces, forbidding all spiritual practices by miko, issued in 1873, by the Religious Affairs Department; the Shinto kagura dance ceremony, which originated with "ritual dancing to convey divine oracles", has been transformed in the 20th century into a popular ceremonial dance called Miko-mai or Miko-kagura.
The position of a shaman passed from generation to generation, but sometimes someone not directly descended from a shaman went voluntary into training or was appointed by the village chieftains. To achieve this, such a person had to have some potential. Seve
Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis
Tokyo: The Last Megalopolis is a tokusatsu historical dark fantasy/science fiction epic film directed by Akio Jissoji, produced by "Exe" studios and distributed by Toho Studios. It is the first cinematic adaptation of the award-winning historical fantasy novel Teito Monogatari by Hiroshi Aramata; the film stars Kyūsaku Shimada, Shintaro Katsu, Kōji Takahashi, Jo Shishido, Junichi Ishida, Mieko Harada, Kō Nishimura, Shirō Sano among others. With a budget of around 1 billion yen, the movie was one of the most expensive live action Japanese special effects films to have been produced during that decade; the movie went on to become a notable success in Japan. It was one of the top ten highest grossing domestic motion pictures of 1988, it continues to be regarded in the country as a respected cult film. The live-action film is an adaptation of the first 1/3rd of the original novel or the first four volumes; the movie begins in 1912 with Yasumasa Hirai explaining to Baron Eiichi Shibusawa Tokyo's long history as one of the most haunted cities in all of Japan.
He warns Shibusawa that the onryo Taira no Masakado must not be disturbed, as its spirit is powerful enough to destroy the city. In response to this heeding, Shibusawa allows the Tsuchimikado Family to advise him on how to make Tokyo a blessed city. However, both Hirai's and Shibusawa's efforts are opposed by the oni Yasunori Kato, a former lieutenant in the Imperial Army, who wants to destroy Tokyo by awakening Masakado's spirit. To do this, he attempts to kidnap Yukari Tatsumiya, the descendant of Masakado, to use as a medium to communicate with the spirit. However, his plans are brought to attention to the Tsuchimikado Family by Koda Rohan. Hirai and his followers lock Yukari inside the Tsuchimikado temple and perform the monoimi ceremony to defend her. Kato and his followers launch a frontal assault against the temple with shikigami. Kato escapes with Yukari and uses her as a medium. Ogai Mori diagnoses Yukari as pregnant with Kato's child. Emperor Meiji passes away. In a dramatic display of devotion to the Meiji Emperor, Hirai commits seppuku.
However his act divines the year of Tokyo's destruction. The narrative moves to Tokyo. Kato retreats to Dalian, China and he and his followers use magic to cause artificial earthquake waves that are amplified to Japan. Kato returns to Tokyo to awaken Masakado's spirit by himself, but is interrupted by Koda Rohan and Junichi Narutaki, who use Kimon Tonkou magic against him. Kato manages to stimulate the Great Kanto Earthquake; the setting moves to 1927. Torahiko Terada has been appointed by Noritsugu Hayakawa as manager of the construction of Japan's first Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. Hayakawa's construction workers run into Kato's shikigami provoking Terada to seek out the aid of Dr. Makoto Nishimura to use his creation Gakutensoku to finish construction for them. Masakado summons a miko, to defend his grave from Kato. Keiko joins forces with feng shui master Shigemaru Kuroda, who discovers the location of Kato's hideout. While Kuroda fights an Asura statue guarding the place, Keiko rushes to stop Kato, but Kato summons his gohō dōji to fend her off.
Kato attempts to awaken Masakado through Yukari's child, but this is unsuccessful. Keiko explains to Kato that Yukiko is not his child, but rather the result of an incestuous union between Yukari and her brother Yoichiro making her uncontrollable by Kato. Gakutensoku self-destructs. Kato tries to use onmyodo magic one last time to stimulate an earthquake, but this is insufficient and he is wounded from the effort. Though his plans are foiled, Kato takes her with him to Manchuria; the film ends amidst another annual district wide festival celebrating the birth of the capital. The Tatsumiya Family hopes for Keiko's return. Shintaro Katsu as Eiichi Shibusawa: The famous industrialist who pioneered Western capitalism in Japan's economy. In the story, he is head of the Tokyo Improvement Project, an ambitious enterprise calling upon the minds of specialists from a variety of fields, with the ultimate goal of making Tokyo the most powerful city in East Asia. Kyūsaku Shimada as Yasunori Kato: An evil sorcerer wielding the power of several long dead mystics who wants to destroy Tokyo and cripple the Japanese Empire in order to fulfill a 2000-year-old curse.
Mieko Harada as Keiko Tatsumiya: A shrine maiden summoned by the spirit of Taira no Masakado to defend the Tatsumiya Family. Junichi Ishida as Yoichiro Tatsumiya: An official in the Ministry of Finance, he is the direct descendent of Taira no Masakado, the husband of Keiko Tatsumiya, the brother of Yukari Tatsumiya and the secret father of Yukiko Tatsumiya. Shirō Sano as Junichi Narutaki: The close friend of Yoichiro Tatsumiya, he is in love with Yoichiro's sister, Yukari, he participates in the defense of the city by fighting with the Tsuchimikado Clan against Kato as well as joining Koda Rohan in the defense of Masakado's grave. Kōji Takahashi as Koda Rohan: The famous writer of the Meiji era whose work contributed to the reformation of modern Japanese literature and, a renowned scholar of the supernatural. Determined to stop Kato and protect Yukari, he joins the Tsuchimikado Clan as a student of the onmyoji. After the death of Yasumasa Hirai, he spends several years mastering the secret mystical techniques for the purpose of defending Tokyo.
During the Year of
Imperial Japanese Army
The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. An Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters, an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, the Inspector General of Military Training. In the mid-19th century, Japan had no unified national army and the country was made up of feudal domains with the Tokugawa shogunate in overall control, which had ruled Japan since 1603; the bakufu army, although large force, was only one among others, bakufu efforts to control the nation depended upon the cooperation of its vassals' armies.
The opening of the country after two centuries of seclusion subsequently led to the Meiji Restoration and the Boshin War in 1868. The domains of Satsuma and Chōshū came to dominate the coalition against the shogunate. On 27 January 1868, tensions between the shogunate and imperial sides came to a head when Tokugawa Yoshinobu marched on Kyoto, accompanied by a 15,000-strong force consisting of troops, trained by French military advisers, they were opposed by 5,000 troops from the Satsuma, Chōshū, Tosa domains. At the two road junctions of Toba and Fushimi just south of Kyoto, the two forces clashed. On the second day, an Imperial banner was given to the defending troops and a relative of the Emperor, Ninnajinomiya Yoshiaki, was named nominal commander in chief, in effect making the pro-imperial forces an Imperial army; the bafuku forces retreated to Osaka, with the remaining forces ordered to retreat to Edo. Yoshinobu and his closest advisors left for Edo by ship; the encounter at Toba–Fushimi between the imperial and shogunate forces marked the beginning of the conflict.
With the court in Kyoto behind the Satsuma-Chōshū-Tosa coalition, other domains that were sympathetic to the cause—such as Tottori and Hizen —emerged to take a more active role in military operations. Western domains that had either supported the shogunate or remained neutral quickly announced their support of the restoration movement; the nascent Meiji state required a new military command for its operations against the shogunate. In 1868, the "Imperial Army" being just a loose amalgam of domain armies, the government created four military divisions: the Tōkaidō, Tōsandō, San'indō, Hokurikudō, each of, named for a major highway. Overseeing these four armies was a new high command, the Eastern Expeditionary High Command, whose nominal head was prince Arisugawa-no-miya, with two court nobles as senior staff officers; this connected the loose assembly of domain forces with the imperial court, the only national institution in a still unformed nation-state. The army continually emphasized its link with the imperial court: firstly.
To supply food and other supplies for the campaign, the imperial government established logistical relay stations along three major highways. These small depots held stockpiled material supplied by local pro-government domains, or confiscated from the bafuku and others opposing the imperial government. Local villagers were impressed as porters to move and deliver supplies between the depots and frontline units; the new army fought under makeshift arrangements, with unclear channels of command and control and no reliable recruiting base. Although fighting for the imperial cause, many of the units were loyal to their domains rather than the imperial court. In March 1869, the imperial government created various administrative offices, including a military branch; the imperial court told the domains to restrict the size of their local armies and to contribute to funding a national officers' training school in Kyoto. However, within a few months the government disbanded both the military branch and the imperial bodyguard: the former was ineffective while the latter lacked modern weaponry and equipment.
To replace them, two new organizations were created. One was the military affairs directorate, composed of two bureaus, one for the army and one for the navy; the directorate drafted an army from troop contributions from each domain proportional to each domain's annual rice production. This conscript army integrated samurai and commoners from various domains into its ranks; as the war continued, the military affairs directorate expected to raise troops from the wealthier domains and, in June, the organization of the army was fixed, where each domain was required to send ten men for each 10,000 koku of rice produced. However, this policy put the imperial government in direct competition with the domains for military recruitment, not rectified until April 1868, when the government banned the domains from enlisting troops; the quota system never worked as intended an
Count Ōtani Kōzui was the 22nd Abbot of the Nishi Honganji sub-sect of Jōdo Shinshū Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan. He is known for expeditions to Buddhist sites in Central Asia, such as Subashi. Between 1902 and 1910, he financed three expeditions to Central Asia although his participation was stopped for his succession. Ōtani was a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, played host to several of his fellow Central Asian explorers, such as Sven Hedin and Albert von Le Coq. His collection called "Ōtani collection" is still considered important in Central Asian studies, although it is today scattered in Tokyo, Kyoto and Korea. In addition to his spiritual responsibilities and his Central Asian activities, Ōtani wrote about China and Chinese porcelain. While playing the Great Game and Russian intelligence both suspected that his archaeological expeditions were little more than covers for espionage activities. Japan says they were investigations of the route along which Buddhism came to Japan, had no political connections.
After his father Myonyo's death, he succeeded as Abbot of the Nishi Honganji in 1903. While he continued to sponsor the expeditions, he devoted himself to the modernization of the Jōdo Shinshū sect, his sponsorship, brought huge amounts of debt to his sect. A financial scandal forced him to abdicate in 1914, his nephew Shonyo became 23rd Abbot. 1902 Ōtani expedition Hopkirk, Peter. Foreign Devils on the Silk Road: The Search for the Lost Cities and Treasures of Chinese Central Asia. Amherst: The University of Massachusetts Press. ISBN 0-87023-435-8
Historical fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy that encompasses the Middle Ages as well as sometimes and represents fictitious versions of historic events. This sub-genre is common among high fantasy literature, it can include various elements of medieval European culture and society, including a monarchical government, feudal social structure, medieval warfare, mythical entities common in European folklore. Works of this genre may have plots set in classical antiquity, they have plots based loosely on mythology or legends of Greek-Roman history, or the surrounding cultures of the same era. Historical fantasy takes one of four common approaches: Magic, mythical creatures or other supernatural elements co-exist invisibly with the mundane world, with the majority of people being unaware of it. In this, it has a close similarity to contemporary fantasy; this overlaps with the secret history trope. Alternatively, the author's narrative shows or implies that by the present day, magic will have retreated from the world so as to allow history to revert to the familiar version we know.
An example of this can be found in Lord Dunsany's The Charwoman's Shadow, which takes place in Spain, but which ends with the magician in it removing himself, all creatures of romance, from the world, thereby ending the Golden Age. It can include an alternative history where the past or present has been changed when an actual historical event turned out differently; the story takes place in a secondary world with specific and recognizable parallels to a known place and a definite historical period, rather than taking the geographic and historical "mix and match" favoured by other works of secondary world fantasy. However, many, if not most, works by fantasy authors derive ideas and inspiration from real events, making the borders of this approach unclear. Historical Fantasy may be set in a fictional world which resembles a period from history but is not that actual history. All four approaches have overlapped in the sub-genre of steampunk associated with science fiction literature. However, not all steampunk fantasy belongs to the historical fantasy sub-genre.
After Antoine Galland's translation of One Thousand and One Nights became enormously popular in Europe, many writers wrote fantasy based on Galland's romantic image of the Middle East and North Africa. Early examples included the satirical tales of Anthony Hamilton, Zadig by Voltaire. English-language work in the Arabian fantasy genre includes Rasselas by Samuel Johnson, The Tales of the Genii by James Ridley, Vathek by William Thomas Beckford, George Meredith's The Shaving of Shagpat, Khaled by F. Marion Crawford, James Elroy Flecker's Hassan. In the late 1970s, interest in the sub-genre revived with Hasan by Piers Anthony; this was followed by several other novels reworking Arabian legend: the metafictional The Arabian Nightmare by Robert Irwin, Diana Wynne Jones' children's novel Castle in the Air, Tom Holt's humorous Djinn Rummy and Hilari Bell's Fall of a Kingdom. Celtic fantasy has links to Celtic historical fiction. Celtic historical fantasy includes such works as Katharine Kerr's Deverry series, or Teresa Edgerton's Green Lion trilogy.
These works are based on ancient Celtic cultures. The separate folklore of Ireland and Scotland has sometimes been used indiscriminately, sometimes with great effect,as in Paul Hazel's Finnbranch trilogy, Yearwood and Winterking. Notable works inspired by Irish mythology included James Stephens' The Crock of Gold, Lord Dunsany's The Curse of the Wise Woman, Flann O'Brien's humorous At Swim-Two-Birds, Pat O'Shea's The Hounds of the Morrigan and novels by Peter Tremayne, Morgan Llywelyn and Gregory Frost; the Welsh tradition has been influential, which has its connection to King Arthur and its collection in a single work, the epic Mabinogion. One influential retelling of this was the fantasy work of Evangeline Walton: The Island of the Mighty, The Children of Llyr, The Song of Rhiannon, Prince of Annwn. A notable amount of fiction has been written in the Welsh area of Celtic fantasy. Scottish Celtic fantasy is less common, but James Hogg, John Francis Campbell, Fiona MacLeod, William Sharp, George Mackay Brown and Deborah Turner Harris all wrote material based on Scottish myths and legends.
Fantasy based on the Breton folklore branch of Celtic mythology does not appear in the English language. However, several noted writers have utilized such material. Merritt in Creep, Shadow! both drew on the Breton legend of the lost city of Ys, while "The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun" by J. R. R. Tolkien is a narrative poem based on the Breton legend of the Corrigan. Classical fantasy is a sub-genre fantasy based on the Greek and Roman myths. Symbolism from classical mythology is enormously influential on Western culture, but it was not until the 19th century that it was used in the context of literary fantasy. Richard Garnett and John Kendrick Bangs used the Greek myths for satirical purposes.20th century writers who made extensive use of the sub-genre included John Erksine, who continued the satirical tradition of classical fantasy in such works as The Private Life of Helen of Troy and Venus, the Lon