Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
Confessions of a Mask by Yukio Mishima
Blurb from Goodreads
Confessions of a Mask tells the story of Kochan, an adolescent boy tormented by his burgeoning attraction to men: he wants to be “normal.” Kochan is meek-bodied, and unable to participate in the more athletic activities of his classmates. He begins to notice his growing attraction to some of the boys in his class, particularly the pubescent body of his friend Omi. To hide his homosexuality, he courts a woman, Sonoko, but this exacerbates his feelings for men. As news of the War reaches Tokyo, Kochan considers the fate of Japan and his place within its deeply rooted propriety.
Confessions of a Mask reflects Mishima’s own coming of age in post-war Japan. Its publication in English―praised by Gore Vidal, James Baldwin, and Christopher Isherwood―propelled the young Yukio Mishima to international fame.
Why I Want To Read It
And just like that, it is Monday again! Today is no ordinary day for it is the last Monday of July. I can’t believe it. It still feels like the year started yesterday but in reality, we are about to commence with the eighth month of the year. Nevertheless, I hope you had a remarkable month and that you also had a great start to the final week of July. Whilst Monday is not our favorite day, it is still a new day that is rife with new opportunities to start over again. I am also fervently praying for everyone’s safety and health in these most uncertain of times. I wish COVID19 will end soon so that we can resume our normal lives.
To open up this week, I am posting a new Goodreads Monday update. This month, I had an amazing time immersing in the works of Japanese literature, both contemporary and classic. As many of you might have already guessed (and because I kept reiterating it), I am a big fan of Japanese literature. With this, I have been featuring works of of Japanese literature in my weekly Goodreads Monday update. For this week’s update, I am featuring the work of an author who is starting to win me over. Yukio Mishima (born Kimitake Hiraoka) has been a controversial figure in Japanese literary society but he did have a prolific career that, unfortunately, ended in, perhaps, one of the most ostentatious way there is.
And whilst Mishima is a controversial figure, he nonetheless established himself as a literary powerhouse. I have already read two of his works and I am looking forward to reading more. One his works (aside from his popular The Sea of Fertility Tetralogy) that is part of my growing reading list is Confessions of a Mask. For months now, I have been trying to gain a copy of the book but it was all for naught. Honestly, I barely have an iota on what the novel is about but I don’t mind really for when I read his other works, I also had no inkling what they were about and I still ended up liking both.
Reading the blurb from Goodreads exacerbated my interest in the book, further piquing my curiosity. Apparently, Confessions of a Mask deals with homosexuality. I was, admittedly, surprised about the book’s subject because it is a rarity in Japanese literature, at least in what I have read so far. Moreover, this is Mishima’s second novel. It is interesting to learn how Kochan dealt with his personal crisis and how the exploration of identity and homosexuality was interwoven with Japanese culture. Now I am beginning to understand the meaning behind the book’s title. I initially thought it was from one of many Japanese rituals I have encountered in anime!
How about you fellow reader? What work by a Japanese writer do you have in your reading list? What made you add it to your list? I hope you could share your answers in the comment box. For now, have a happy Monday!