Yukio Mishima was a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor and film director. He was fascinated in the idea of the Samurai, mainly the idea of seppuku and was nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Literature and is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. On November 25, 1970, Mishima and four members of the Tatenokai (Shield Society) formed together in the headquarters of the Eastern Command of Japan's Self-Defense Forces. They barracked themselves inside the commandant's office, and tied him up. Mishima stood outside the balcony with a manifesto and a banner telling his thoughts to the soldiers down below. The purpose of his manifesto was to inspire a coup d'état; exhorting them to rise up in opposition to Japan?s postwar constitution which prohibits Japan from having military forces or other war potential in perpetuity. Ten minutes later, he shouted, ?Tennoheika, banzai? (Long live the Emperor). Then went back into the office kneeling down in front of the general, and committed seppuku. He worked out in sculpturing his body a few years before killing himself. He did this so he would have a 'statue like body'. The kind of body that would fit with a strong mind, also wanting to portray himself as a strong Samurai. His death shocked Japan, but did not change anything. Not many people knew why he did it; some believe he did it because he wanted to restore the idea of traditional Japan into the modern era through the use of the most honorable act that any Samurai had to offer.
Mishima had written a letter to Ivan Morris shortly before committing seppuku which said in part that:
??You may be one of the few people who can understand my conclusion. Influenced by Wang Yang-ming philosophy, I have believed that knowing without acting is not sufficiently knowing and the action itself does not require any effectiveness.?
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