Desperate times call for desperate measures. In his abortive 1970 small-scale coup d’état, lost in his own sensationalism, Yukio Mishima pleaded for the soul of Japan.
The writer condemned the American-style constitution–weakness imposed from abroad–and the gutting of tradition through the shedding of the imperial divinity. In post-war decrees, Mishima saw the Japanese identity ebbing away in a tide of Americanization–a nation reduced to international groveling and mindless consumption. Although his subsequent dramatic suicide ensured him a place in the tradition of nationalist martyrs, he had little support in even the literary world, and his message was destined to fall upon deaf ears. Lost in cozy corporate interdependencies and the unsustainable exponential growth of the post-war “miracle” economy, few heeded the writer’s plea.