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Spring Snow

The Sea of Fertility, 1

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
The first novel of Mishima's landmark tetralogy, The Sea of fertility

Spring Snow is set in Tokyo in 1912, when the hermetic world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders -- rich provincial families unburdened by tradition, whose money and vitality make them formidable contenders for social and political power.

Among this rising new elite are the ambitious Matsugae, whose son has been raised in a family of the waning aristocracy, the elegant and attenuated Ayakura. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new -- fiercely loving and hating the exquisite, spirited Ayakura Satoko. He suffers in psychic paralysis until the shock of her engagement to a royal prince shows him the magnitude of his passion, and leads to a love affair that is as doomed as it was inevitable.
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The first novel of Mishima's landmark tetralogy, The Sea of fertility

Spring Snow is set in Tokyo in 1912, when the hermetic world of the ancient aristocracy is being breached for the first time by outsiders -- rich provincial families unburdened by tradition, whose money and vitality make them formidable contenders for social and political power.

Among this rising new elite are the ambitious Matsugae, whose son has been raised in a family of the waning aristocracy, the elegant and attenuated Ayakura. Coming of age, he is caught up in the tensions between old and new -- fiercely loving and hating the exquisite, spirited Ayakura Satoko. He suffers in psychic paralysis until the shock of her engagement to a royal prince shows him the magnitude of his passion, and leads to a love affair that is as doomed as it was inevitable.
Product Details
Paperback (400 pages)
Published: April 14, 1990
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679722410
Other books byYukio Mishima
  • Runaway Horses

    Runaway Horses
    The Sea of Fertility, 2
    Yukio Mishima’s Runaway Horses is the second novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Again we encounter Shigekuni Honda, who narrates this epic tale of what he believes are the successive reincarnations of his childhood friend Kiyoaki Matsugae.   In 1932, Shigeuki Honda has become a judge in Osaka.  Convinced that a young rightist revolutionary, Isao, is the reincarnation of his friend Kiyoaki, Honda commits himself to saving the youth from an untimely death. Isao, driven to patriotic fanaticism by a father who instilled in him the ethos of the ancient samurai, organizes a violent plot against the new industrialists who he believes are usurping the Emperor’s rightful power and threatening the very integrity of the nation. Runaway Horses is the chronicle of a conspiracy — a novel about the roots and nature of Japanese fanaticism in the years that led to war. 

    The Temple of Dawn

    The Temple of Dawn
    The Sea of Fertility, 3
    Yukio Mishima’s The Temple of Dawn is the third novel in his masterful tetralogy, The Sea of Fertility. Here, Shigekuni Honda continues his pursuit of the successive reincarnations of Kiyoaki Matsugae, his childhood friend.   Travelling in Thailand in the early 1940s, Shigekuni Honda, now a brilliant lawyer, is granted an audience with a young Thai princess—an encounter that radically alters the course of his life. In spite of all reason, he is convinced she is the reincarnated spirit of his friend Kiyoaki. As Honda goes to great lengths to discover for certain if his theory is correct, The Temple of Dawn becomes the story of one man’s obsessive pursuit of a beautiful woman and his equally passionate search for enlightenment.

    The Sound of Waves

    The Sound of Waves
    Set in a remote fishing village in Japan, The Sound of Waves is a timeless story of first love. A young fisherman is entranced at the sight of the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest man in the village. They fall in love, but must then endure the calumny and gossip of the villagers.

    Silk and Insight

    Silk and Insight
    A Novel
    Published in 1964, Silk and Insight (Kinu to Meisatsu), is one of the last major novels of Yukio Mishima to be translated into English. Besides being a good novel, as one would expect from Mishima, it stands as an excellent piece of social commentary on the transformation of Japanese business from the old paternalism--which by no means was benevolent--to a new world where labor unions were as active as any other institution in changing their image. One of Yukio Mishima's early novels and highly significant as a contribution to Japan's postwar literature and politics, Silk and Insight is based on the strike--often described as the most significant in the history of Japan's postwar labor movement-- which took place at Omi Kenshi, a silk thread and fabric manufacturer not far from Kyoto. While Mishima has populated the book with interesting and thoroughly believable fictional characters, the events he narrates faithfully reflect the tensions of that period and give a unique picture of the strife upon which Japan's later successful management/labor relations were built. Yukio Mishima (1925-1970), a prolific writer of novels, plays, and essays, is a dominant literary figure of twentieth-century Japan. His novels include The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, The Sound of Waves, After the Banquet, The Temple of the Golden Pavillion, and the great tetralogy, Sea of Fertility. Hiroaki Sato is a leading translator of Japanese poetry into English. His most recent book is Breeze Through Bamboo: Kanshi of Ema Saiko.

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  • When conversation at school turned to the Russo-Japanese war, Kiyoake Matsugae asked his closest friend, Shigekuni Honda, how much he could remember about it.

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  • Two days after his return to Tokyo, Kiyoaki Matsugae died at the age of twenty.

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