Written over a span of 15-months from March 1958 to June 1959, totalling 947 pages (original Japanese manuscript), and published in two parts, [Kyoko no Ie], Mishima's so-called "study of nihilism" told the intertwined stories of four men in post-Korean War Japan. Mishima took the opportunity of the close of the decade to give his final retrospective judgement of an era of young men whose potential he believed were wasted; something he could only do so as a contemporary eye-witness in his earlier novels [Ao no Jidai], [Kinkaku-ji], and [Shizumeru Taki]. At the time it was published, Mishima considered [Kyoko no Ie] to be his masterpiece.
The cool critical and commercial responses to this novel marked the end of Mishima's peak literary period—he virtually dominated Japanese literature and the stage during the 1950s, the beginning of his disdain for literary critics, and his deeper involvement in films and theatre. [Kyoko no Ie] has never been fully translated into English, however, translated passages of it appear in John Nathan's [Mishima: A Biography] and as dialogue in Paul Schrader's film [Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters].