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The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio…
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The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (edition 1994)

by Yukio Mishima (Author), Ivan Morris (Translator), Nancy Wilson Ross (Introduction), Fumi Komatsu (Drawings)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,085436,218 (3.83)1 / 99
Because of the boyhood trauma of seeing his mother make love to another man in the presence of his dying father, Mizoguchi becomes a hopeless stutterer. Taunted by his schoolmates, he feels utterly alone until he becomes an acolyte at a famous temple in Kyoto. He quickly becomes obsessed with the beauty of the temple. Even when tempted by a friend into exploring the geisha district, he cannot escape its image. In the novel's soaring climax, he tries desperately to free himself from his fixation.… (more)
Member:benw7189
Title:The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
Authors:Yukio Mishima (Author)
Other authors:Ivan Morris (Translator), Nancy Wilson Ross (Introduction), Fumi Komatsu (Drawings)
Info:Vintage (1994), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work Information

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima

  1. 00
    After the Banquet by Yukio Mishima (GYKM)
    GYKM: Another Mishima novel that he based on a real event.
  2. 00
    Silk and Insight by Yukio Mishima (GYKM)
    GYKM: Another Mishima novel based on a real event.
  3. 00
    The Age of Blue by Yukio Mishima (GYKM)
    GYKM: Written in the same decade, but was based around a different real-life crime.
  4. 00
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (GYKM)
    GYKM: Like Truman Capote ten years later, Mishima not only conducted research into the crime that he would base his psychological novel on, but he also interviewed the arsonist.
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» See also 99 mentions

English (34)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
Mishima inspires to describe his writing as something other than words. It's rich and clean and kind of uncomfortable, like freezing water that is deeper than it looks. There is relatively little plot to this book, with Mishima spending most of his time inside the mind of the main character, whose name is only mentioned twice. I enjoyed the expose of a troubled psyche, but it does make for a rather slow moving novel. The story was enhanced for me as I visited the Golden Pavilion the week I was reading this. I think if you're interested in Mishima, maybe start with the only other book of his I've read -- The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea. It has similar themes. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
Mishima inspires to describe his writing as something other than words. It's rich and clean and kind of uncomfortable, like freezing water that is deeper than it looks. There is relatively little plot to this book, with Mishima spending most of his time inside the mind of the main character, whose name is only mentioned twice. I enjoyed the expose of a troubled psyche, but it does make for a rather slow moving novel. The story was enhanced for me as I visited the Golden Pavilion the week I was reading this. I think if you're interested in Mishima, maybe start with the only other book of his I've read -- The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea. It has similar themes. ( )
  invisiblecityzen | Mar 13, 2022 |
I'm not too sure when or where this book came into my awareness but I have had it sitting on my bookcase for a few months now. I had initially planned to read Confessions of a Mask first because that was the first Mishima book which caught my attention but I felt drawn to this as my next read. I wasn't too sure whether the synopsis was something that would appeal to me but I was intrigued as to why Haruki Murakami dislikes the work on Mishima so much.

Although it is not a big book I found it slow going especially in the early chapters. I really didn't like the character of Mizoguchi and in truth I found him quite annoying. I felt similar about him as I did with Holden Caulfield when I read Catcher in the Rye, perhaps he is a character that suits younger readers more? I did find that Kashiwaga grew on me a bit despite the fact that he was portrayed as an unlikeable person, I think I felt that he was truer to life that Mizoguchi.

Another bugbear I had with the book is that it seemed to take forever to get to the conclusion of the story. I wasn't aware that the book was based on true events and so I found the build up to the climax pretty laborious. However, as the conclusion got close I started to like the book a bit more.

At the end of the day I think that this might be a bit of a love it or hate it book for a lot of people. I wouldn't go so far as to say I hated it but it didn't move me either. It was an ok read but for me nothing more than that. I am hoping that Confessions of a Mask is a bit more my kind of thing, the synopsis seems to fit me better. ( )
  Brian. | Jul 23, 2021 |
Mishima's mastery in constructing the pathology of the main character, Mizoguchi, raises disturbing questions about emotional dependence, alienation, the value of art and inheritance and the role that childhood experiences and traumas play in distorting adult behavior.

Was it the ostentation of the building, the envy of his adoration by the public or a destructive whim in the mind of an acolyte steeped in doctrine but forced to live in the present material that brought up the pyromaniac in it? ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Feb 24, 2021 |
Mizoguchi, in his teens at the end of the war, feels he's been betrayed in just about every possible direction. By both his parents, by his religious superior, by his male friends, by women, and — of course — by the state that entered and lost the war and has left him open to humiliation at the hands of American soldiers. He stutters, he's perpetually hungry, he isn't very interested in his studies to become a Zen priest, and he's convinced that he's ugly. So, your typical happy teenage boy! By a logical process that makes complete sense to him, and apparently also to the author, he comes to the view that the only thing left for him to do is to destroy the beautiful thing that seems to be at the focal point of the values of all those lines of betrayal.

This is obviously a book that has all the elements of the postwar-adolescent-rebellion novel, and is a kind of apotheosis of the twentieth century Japanese classic (temples, voyeurism, humiliation, duckweed, tea, tatami mats, suicide, mountains, ...). It's all beautifully and very concisely executed, but it can't get round the limitation that any reader who isn't a teenager at the end of his tether is likely to see Mizoguchi's solution as both irrelevant and disproportionate to the problem he's facing. ( )
  thorold | Aug 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (next | show all)
"An amazing literary feat in its minute delineation of a neurotic personality."
added by GYKM | editChicago Tribune
 
"Beautifully translated... Mishima re-erects Kyoto, plain and mountain, monastery, temple, town, as Victor Hugo made Paris out of Notre Dame."
added by GYKM | editThe Nation
 
"One of the few genuinely surprising, subtle, complex and profound novels of ideas to have appeared since Man’s Fate" […] "Mishima has fashioned a wildly original, paradoxical series of clashing meditations and actions"
added by GYKM | editHudson Review, Sidney Monas
 
In July, 1950, art lovers were shocked to hear that the Kinkakuji--the Temple of the Golden Pavilion--in Kyoto had been deliberately burned by a crazed young monk. At his trial, this ugly, stammering priest said that his hatred of all beauty had driven him to destroy the six-century-old building. He expressed no regrets.

From this incident and other details of his life an engrossing novel has been written by Yukio Mishima.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mishima, Yukioprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morris, IvanTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komatsu, FumiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouwehand, C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ouwehand, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, Nancy WilsonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ever since my childhood, Father had often spoken to me about the Golden Temple.
Quotations
When you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha.
I wanted to live.
What transforms this world is—knowledge.
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Because of the boyhood trauma of seeing his mother make love to another man in the presence of his dying father, Mizoguchi becomes a hopeless stutterer. Taunted by his schoolmates, he feels utterly alone until he becomes an acolyte at a famous temple in Kyoto. He quickly becomes obsessed with the beauty of the temple. Even when tempted by a friend into exploring the geisha district, he cannot escape its image. In the novel's soaring climax, he tries desperately to free himself from his fixation.

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