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Temple Of Dawn: Yukio Mishima by Y Mishima
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Temple Of Dawn: Yukio Mishima (edition 2006)

by Y Mishima (Autor), Y Mishima (Colaborador)

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9691418,250 (3.73)66
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. nbsp; 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.… (more)
Member:calroll
Title:Temple Of Dawn: Yukio Mishima
Authors:Y Mishima (Autor)
Other authors:Y Mishima (Colaborador)
Info:Random House Uk (2006), Edition: 01, 352 pages
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The Temple of Dawn by Yukio Mishima

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Honda is fascinated by Princess Ying Chan, who is evidently the rebirth of Isao. But now there is a powerful sexual dimension. In the middle of the book there is this review of Buddhist metaphysics, Abhidharma and Yogacara. It seems accurate enough as far as I can tell. What makes a person, what glues the bits together and integrates them? Yeah it's a good puzzle, if Buddhism teaches anatman, that there's no soul, then what is reborn? It must be these deep currents, our emotional patterns.

There are some amazing lines in here. An old woman looks at herself in a mirror, and uses the mirror as a receptacle into which she can discard her wrinkles. Some other line, I think it was Honda sitting on the abyss like a toilet.

How it all fits together, I don't know. Honda as voyeur, Honda as metaphysical speculator. Maybe those are two levels of the same pattern. Then there are the snakes. Darned if I know! ( )
1 vote kukulaj | Oct 25, 2020 |
When I'd started The Sea of Fertility series years ago, I'd noticed that the third volume had a significantly lower rating than the other three. At the time, I'd assumed this probably had more to do with readers not accepting Mishima's female incarnation. Nope, that's not it; this book just truly pales in comparison.

The first two novels in Mishima's reincarnation tetralogy were widely different from one another. This, I believe, showcased the different aspects of the reincarnated Kiyoaki. The Temple of Dawn is also very different, though I don't know that it really provides much insight into the current incarnation of the Thai princess, Ying Chan.

While every novel in this series is very much about Honda, Kiyoaki's friend who recognizes each rebirth, the first two said much about the first and second incarnation. The first half of The Temple of Dawn is all about Honda. It is his travelogue, philosophizing, and in-depth explorations of reincarnation. Ying Chan makes a couple of appearances, but she is mostly left out of the tale.

The story picks up significantly in the second half, as Honda settles down and the princess becomes more prominent; and while Mishima writes some gorgeous prose, the story is itself troubling. Aside from being a beautiful princess, Ying Chan lacks distinction. The deplorable behaviors of the other characters to possess her and her beauty was troubling. While Honda's previous regard for his friend was great and he made every effort to save him, here he views his "friend" with only lust, desiring to rape and kill. It left me uncomfortable not only because of the depravity of these characters--men and women--but because it seemed out of place against the earlier volumes.

The first half of The Temple of Dawn is painfully rendered; the second bears some semblance to Mishima, but not to this ongoing narrative or to the characters it portrays. I've really enjoyed the author's work up to this point, but this one was truly disappointing, and probably would have a lower rating if not for his other, more outstanding works. ( )
  chrisblocker | Apr 26, 2020 |
See my notes and quotes at: https://bibliophilebethlc.blogspot.com ( )
  BALE | Jul 11, 2015 |
This is the third book of a tetralogy, "The Sea of Fertility". As was true in the first two books, Mishima's prose is elegant, evocative, and full to overflowing with magnificent metaphors. Honda, our protagonist, focuses on reincarnation and the teachings of Buddhism and Hinduism. I felt that Mishima was overly didactic in some sections, which diminished pleasure of the rhythm of the story. However, a surprise ending, which was perfectly written, left me eagerly anticipating the fourth and final volume. Mishima was a fascinating and gifted writer. ( )
  hemlokgang | Jul 7, 2015 |
The third book in the Sea of Fertility series is an improvement on the second. The overt nationalistic overtones are pared down, but are replaced by Mishima working his way through Buddhist doctrine. When he gets on with the story, it's much better than Runaway Horses. Honda is now middle aged and thinks he has discovered Kiyoaki's latest incarnation in a Thai princess. She seems to think she's the reincarnation, too, despite only being 6 years old. Time passes. Honda has an epiphany/existential crisis. The princess comes to Japan as a teenager. Honda becomes obsessed and is revealed to be a seedy man with a penchant for voyeurism. His midlife crisis is dressed up as spiritual awakening, and he's a bit of a sorry character, manipulated by the women around him. In the final couple of chapters, his hopes are simultaneously realised and dashed. It made me see this older Honda as akin to Don Draper in Mad Men. Like Draper, Honda tries to stand separately from the world in order to pursue his own code of living with impunity. ( )
  missizicks | Apr 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
"Once more (in The Temple of the Dawn) we are in that world of decadence and perversion Mishima pictured so brilliantly in Forbidden Colors."
added by GYKM | editNational Review
 
"The Temple of the Dawn is a brilliantly done novel."
added by GYKM | editCleveland Press
 

» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Yukio Mishimaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blaauw, Gerrit deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saunders, E. DaleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seigle, Cecilia SegawaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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. nbsp; 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.

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