chapter  3
The Integration of Martial and Liberal Arts
Pages 6

Mishima's suicide is a special case. Whatever his actual motive, and whatever the value of Hayashi's analysis of it, the statement that he was motivated by love for his country is misleading. It is an attempt by right-wing elements to glorify Mishima and to appeal to present-day Japanese by holding up the traditional ideal of gi - an ideal that is as alien to postwar Japanese reared in a democratic society as it is to Westerners. Even granting that he was motivated by a sense of gi, Hayashi fails to explain what Mishima conceived as personal honor and why that honor went contrary to established law and order. Mishima's disembowelment, then, cannot by any means be construed to epitomize the bushido tradition. His concept of bushido was, it is assumed, influenced by the Hagakure (the theme of which is 'death is the essence of bushido') , a text which he greatly idealized but which has hardly any relevance to modern humankind.