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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.
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679722427
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/1990
Series: Sea of Fertility Series , #3
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 157,821
Product dimensions: 5.17(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Yukio Mishima was born in Tokyo in 1925. He graduated from Tokyo Imperial University’s School of Jurisprudence in 1947. His first published book, The Forest in Full Bloom, appeared in 1944 and he established himself as a major author with Confessions of a Mask (1949). From then until his death he continued to publish novels, short stories, and plays each year. His crowning achievement, The Sea of Fertility tetralogy—which contains the novels Spring Snow (1969), Runaway Horses (1969), The Temple of Dawn (1970), and The Decay of the Angel (1971)—is considered one of the definitive works of twentieth century Japanese fiction. In 1970, at the age of 45 and the day after completing the last novel in the Fertility series, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide)—a spectacular death that attracted worldwide attention.

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The Temple of Dawn 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
mbmackay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Combined review for Spring Snow, Runaway Horses, The Temple of Dawn and The decay of the Angel - which together make up the Sea of Fertility.Spring Snow succeeds for me only for its painting of a lost period in Japan - of the privileged and their privileges. In other ways it fails - the obsession with 'elegance' and 'good movements' and 'beauty' leaves me no wiser as the causes and principles involved.Runaway Horses moves forward 20 years, to a second incarnation of the principal of these stories. Again fails to to convince as the source and power of the obsessions (Japan-ness. ritual suicide etc). At the end, we know they exist, but not why. The Temple of Dawn is the weakest of the four books with turgid page after turgid page of Buddhist and other religious exposition. Is this a cheap cure for writer's block? The reincarnation this time is as Thai princess. Remarkably, the main character, Honda, becomes a hardcore voyeur halfway through this volume. The voyeuristic writing is good - it is almost as if Mishima wanted to get this writing out, and Honda was the available character!The Decay of the Angel is the shortest volume (running out of things to say?) and again fails to deliver. The latest incarnation is Angel-like(!). Spare me. The most remarkable aspect is Mishima's ritual suicide on the day he finished writing this last volume. If he was aiming for immortality, all he achieved was a quirky footnote to literary history.
technodiabla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the first two of the tetralogy more than The Temple of Dawn. The first two thirds are tedious, boring, and haphazard. The last third was more interesting and the pace picked up a bit, though none of it was very believable. If I wasn't set on completing this tetralogy I might have given up on this book. The 50+ year old Honda become obsessed with a Thai princess he believes is yet another reincarnation of Kioyaki. It's hard to like Honda is this book-- he is perverted, lies and manipulates, etc. Yang Chin is very one-dimensional, as are many of the characters. I was hoping for more time spent on the War years, but this book didn't really have the historical piece or the imagery-filed writing of the first two books. (Different translator?)It isn't yet clear to me how this book fits into the Sea of Fertility-- as least the progression I was expecting. Perhaps the final book will shed some light. I will say that Chapters 38 and 39 are brilliant. They describe the changes in Rie and Honda as they become bitter and apathetic. It's depressing, but very insightful and perfectly described.Some nice passages:"If one must live, one must not cling to purity....""Single-mindedness often gives rise to viciousness.""...anything born of necessity is accompanied by bitterness..."
chrisadami on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Third book in the "Sea of Fertility" tetralogy. Different translator than the first two novels, and it shows. Not nearly as poetic a translation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Five stars! A great read, and I couldnt put it down!