The Strange Case of Yukio Mishima

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Biography Documentary hosted by John Hurt, published by BBC broadcasted as part of BBC Arena series in 1985 - English narration

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Image: The-Strange-Case-of-Yukio-Mishima-Cover.jpg

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Yukio Mishima was one of the outstanding writers of his generation. Mishima was a pen name he adopted en route to his chosen life as a writer. Nominated three times for the Nobel Prize, he was the author of 40 novels and 18 plays. But his legend rests less on his literary output than on his bizarre suicide by ritual hara-kiri. Mishima's life was filled with contradictions. An intellectual, he was also a right-wing militarist who maintained his own private army. A nationalist who wished to restore the Emperor to power, he was obsessed with Western culture and offended his own people by adopting the image of a Western-style celebrity. When Japan's greatest living author decided to take his life in ritual suicide atop the Tokyo headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan's Self-Defense Forces on November 25, 1970 during a coup attempt that was more ceremonial than actual, both Japanese and foreigners alike were amazed. What was the meaning of it all? This insightful 1985 BBC documentary explores this meaning in detail, with John Hurt reading as the voice of Mishima, revealing his and his generation's education for and admiration of death, his love/hate relationships with people and cultures, his support of the Emperor and the Imperial system and how his whole life lead to a carefully organized and publicized ritual death. It was Mishima's way of combining beauty, art, and action; no one had died by "seppuku" since the last days of World War Two. His literary output of 40 novels, 18 plays (both for Noh and Kabuki theater), 20 books of short stories, 20 books of essays, and a film remain a testament to his talent despite his simultaneous tendency, at times, to be commercial, controversial, and unconventional. In Tokyo, Arena reconstructs the story of this complex and contradictory figure against the background of Japan's wartime humiliation and astonishing post-war recovery. Directed by Michael MacIntyre ; A BBC TV Production with RM ARTS

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Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 2 056 Kbps
Video Resolution: 720x544
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 29.970 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 1
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 55 min 9 s
Number Of Parts: 1
Part Size: 887 MB
Source: DVD (Thanks to JimB0ss@a.b.dvd.classics)
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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