Yukio Mishima was a writer and philosopher from Japan. He is best known for his novels and essays, as well as for his seppuku (ritual suicide).

Mishima believed in the traditional values of Japan, and was deeply disturbed by the rapid modernization of his country.

He was also a controversial figure, due to his extreme political views.

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Mishima was born in Tokyo in 1925. As a young man, he was interested in acting and writing.

He made his debut as a writer in 1948 with a novel called “Confessions of a Mask”.

You will find below a curated collection of the best ‘Yukio Mishima’ quotes that you can read and share with others.


Top 10 Yukio Mishima Quotes

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Possessing by letting go of things was a secret of ownership unknown to youth. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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In his heart, he always preferred the actuality of loss to the fear of it. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Better to be caught in sudden, complete catastrophe than to be gnawed by the cancer of imagination. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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There is no virtue in curiosity. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Nobody even imagines how well one can lie about the state of one’s own heart. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Everybody’s the same. People are all the same. But it’s the prerogative of youth to think it’s not so. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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There’s a huge seal called ‘impossibility’ pasted all over this world. And don’t ever forget that we’re the only ones who can tear it off once and for all. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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A man must despise himself before others can despise him. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Is there not a sort of remorse that precedes sin? Was it remorse at the very fact that I existed? ~ Yukio Mishima.

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The only people in this world I really trust are my fans – even if they do forget you so fast. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Insightful Yukio Mishima Quotes

It seems to me that before the photograph can exist as art it must, by its very nature choose whether it is to be a record or a testimony. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The philosophy that prepares a revolution and the sentiment that underpins the philosophy have, in every case the two pillars of nihilism and mysticism. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Words are a medium that reduces reality to abstraction for transmission to our reason, and in their power to corrode reality inevitably lurks the danger that the words will be corroded too. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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The period of childhood is a stage on which time and space become entangled. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The perfectly ordinary girl and the great philosopher are alike: for both, the smallest triviality can become the vision that wipes out the world. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Prudery is a form of selfishness, a means of self-protection made necessary by the strength of one’s own desires. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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For clearly it is impossible to touch eternity with one hand and life with the other. ~ Yukio Mishima.

It is a rather risky matter to discuss a happiness that has no need of words. ~ Yukio Mishima.

For me, beauty is always retreating from one’s grasp: the only thing I consider important is what existed once, or ought to have existed. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Anything can become excusable when seen from the standpoint of the result. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Meaningful Yukio Mishima Quotes

In 1968, he was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature, but his countryman and patron Yasunari Kawabata won.
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All my life I have been acutely aware of a contradiction in the very nature of my existence. ~ Yukio Mishima.

I still have no way to survive but to keep writing one line, one more line, one more line… ~ Yukio Mishima.

The past does not only draw us back to the past. There are certain memories of the past that have strong steel springs and, when we who live in the present touch them, they are suddenly stretched taut and then they propel us into the future. ~ Yukio Mishima.

We all know that the world is empty and that the important thing, the only thing, is to try to maintain order in that emptiness. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Living is merely the chaos of existence. ~ Yukio Mishima.

If we value so highly the dignity of life, how can we not also value the dignity of death, no death may be called futile. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Beyond doubt, there was a certain splendor in pain, which bore a deep affinity to the splendor that lies hidden within strength. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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If the world changed, I could not exist, and if I changed, the world could not exist. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Famous Yukio Mishima Quotes

I had no taste for defeat – much less victory – without a fight. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The highest point at which human life and art meet is in the ordinary. To look down on the ordinary is to despise what you can’t have. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Glory, as anyone knows, is bitter stuff. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Young people get the foolish idea that what is new for them must be new for everybody else too. No matter how unconventional they get, they’re just repeating what others before them have done. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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We human beings sometimes steer off in a direction in which we hope to find something a little bit better. ~ Yukio Mishima.

A samurai is a total human being, whereas a man who is completely absorbed in his technical skill has degenerated into a ‘function’, one cog in a machine. ~ Yukio Mishima.

No one can know what a sacrifice it is for me to be gentle and docile. ~ Yukio Mishima.

When people concentrate on the idea of beauty, they are, without realizing it, confronted with the darkest thoughts that exist in this world. That, I suppose, is how human beings are made. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Man always finds the omens he wants. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Thought-Provoking Yukio Mishima Quotes

Mishima is regarded as one of Japan's most prominent novelists of the twentieth century. Yukio Mishima was the first postwar Japanese writer to achieve international acclaim.

As long as you know I am waiting, take your time flowers of the spring. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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True beauty is something that attacks, overpowers, robs, and finally destroys. ~ Yukio Mishima.

I had been handed what might be called a full menu of all the troubles in my life while still too young to read it. But all I had to do was spread my napkin and face the table. ~ Yukio Mishima.

I come out on the stage expecting the audience to weep, and instead they burst out laughing. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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I want to make a poem of my life. ~ Yukio Mishima.

It is a common failing of childhood to think that if one makes a hero out of a demon the demon will be satisfied. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Was I ignorant, then, when I was seventeen? I think not, I knew everything. A quarter-century’s experience of life since then has added nothing to what I knew; the one difference is that at seventeen I had no ‘realism’. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The instant that the blade tore open his flesh, the bright disk of the sun soared up and exploded behind his eyelids. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Best Yukio Mishima Quotes

What more could I have done when I did not know that to love is both to seek and to be sought? For me love was nothing but a dialogue of little riddles, with no answers given. ~ Yukio Mishima.

A man may be hard to persuade by rational argument while he is easily swayed by a display of passion, even if it is feigned. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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Go-go hall on my way home from school. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Human beings, Isao realized, could descend to communicating their feelings like dogs barking in the distance on a cold night. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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There isn’t any fear in existence itself, or any uncertainty, but living creates it. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The most appropriate type of daily life for me was a day-by-day world destruction; peace was the most difficult and abnormal state to live in. ~ Yukio Mishima.

When silence is prolonged over a certain period of time, it takes on new meaning. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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The special quality of hell is to see everything clearly down to the last detail. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Popular Yukio Mishima Quotes

If my self was my dwelling, then my body resembled an orchard that surrounded it. I could either cultivate that orchard to its capacity or leave it for the weeds to run riot in. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The cynicism that regards hero worship as comical is always shadowed by a sense of physical inferiority. ~ Yukio Mishima.

A person who has been seriously wounded does not demand that the bandages that save his life be clean. ~ Yukio Mishima.

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We live in an age in which there is no heroic death. ~ Yukio Mishima.

The more I wrote, the more I realized mere words were not enough. ~ Yukio Mishima.

For even in the triviality of a single playing card missing from a deck, the world’s order is inevitably turned awry. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Most writers are perfectly normal in the head and just carry on like wild men; I behave normally but I’m sick inside. ~ Yukio Mishima.

A man isn't tiny or giant enough to defeat anything. ~ Yukio Mishima.
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A man isn’t tiny or giant enough to defeat anything. ~ Yukio Mishima.

At no time are we ever in such complete possession of a journey, down to its last nook and cranny, as when we are busy with preparations for it. ~ Yukio Mishima.

Perfect purity is possible if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood. ~ Yukio Mishima.

A father is a reality-concealing machine, a machine for dishing up lies to kids, and that isn’t even the worst of it: secretly he believes that he represents reality. ~ Yukio Mishima.



So these were the 70 famous quotes about Yukio Mishima.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Yani Tseng quotes and Yvon Chouinard quotes.

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Short Biography of Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was born in Tokyo in 1925. He was the son of a high-ranking civil servant and grew up in relative privilege.

Mishima showed an early interest in writing and theater, and he began publishing poetry while still a student at Tokyo University.

In 1948, he founded a literary magazine, which quickly became one of Japan’s most influential.

Mishima also achieved success as a novelist, with books such as The Sailor Who Fell from Grace With the Sea (1963) and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (1956).

Mishima’s life was marked by contradictions. He was both a passionate advocate of traditional values and an outspoken critic of Japan’s postwar political order.

He was also openly gay at a time when homosexuality was taboo in Japan. Mishima was known for his flamboyant dress and manner of speaking, and he was widely criticized in Japan for being a “uniformed homosexual” who had destroyed his career by becoming an enemy of the Emperor.

Although Mishima was very popular in his native Japan, he was widely reviled abroad. He published a string of works that were widely translated and sold well in the West, but most of these books were banned in their country of publication.

Mishima was known to be a heavy smoker, and in the months before his death he had been taking high doses of antidepressants. He died of heart failure on November 25, 1970.