"Staging Male Masochism :
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2002
Mishima Yukio (1925-1970)
is one of Japan¹s best known novelists who deals explicitly with masculinity
and homosexuality. Mishima has gained attention not only for his
writing, but also for his spectacular suicide: in 1970, Mishima took
his own life after taking over the Self-Defense Force army post in Tokyo
and performing ritual harakiri (disembowelment). One of his
earliest works, Confessions of a Mask (1949) is a coming of age
story that is also a startlingly frank treatment of homosexual masochism.
This paper will explore the role of "demonstration," a concept developed
by Theodor Reik, and its metaphorical manifestations including performance,staging
and ritual, and the necessity of seeing and being seen in the masochistic
tableau created by Mishima in Confessions of a Mask and other works.