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Isao is a young, engaging patriot, and a fanatical believer in the ancient samurai ethos. He turns terrorist, organising a violent plot against the new industrialists, who he believes are threatening the integrity of Japan and usurping the Emperor’s rightful power. As the conspiracy unfolds and unravels, Mishima brilliantly chronicles the conflicts of a decade that saw the fabric of Japanese life torn apart.

432 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1969

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About the author

Yukio Mishima

412 books7,088 followers
Yukio Mishima (三島 由紀夫) 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 forty-five 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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Profile Image for Jim Fonseca.
1,102 reviews7,207 followers
September 19, 2022
[Revised, spoilers hidden 9/19/22]

This book by the classic Japanese author is the second work in a series of four books called The Sea of Fertility cycle. Although you can pick up most of it in context, it really helps to have read the first volume, Spring Snow. For those who have not read Spring Snow and want to read Runaway Horses, I put a summary in a spoiler below.


The story is set around 1932, before World War II. There are two main characters in Runaway Horses. The first character is a boy of high school age who leads a band of youths who want to restore honor to the Emperor. They are all around age 18 and they are fiercely anti-western and anti-capitalist. With rice famines and great rural poverty, they blame the newly-wealthy, Western-oriented capitalists who have taken over the parliament, deprived the Emperor of power, and weakened the honor of the samurai class. (Samurai can no longer carry swords in public, for example.) The boys are not just anti-western, they also object to 'Buddhist lackeys' and the boys want to restore more of the original Japanese religion, Shinto.

The second main character comes out of Spring Snow. He is 38 years old at the time of this story. He was the best childhood friend of the boy who died in the first book. He’s now an associate justice in the national courts. He’s all into rationalism and logic.

The older man befriends the leader of the gang and becomes his lawyer. The story takes a John Grisham twist.

It's a good story. On to the third volume: The Temple of Dawn.

Summary and spoiler for the first book in the series, Spring Snow, which will help if you choose to read Runaway Horses first:


Mishima (1925-1970) was a classic Japanese author. He was a lover of the Emperor, a fierce anti-communist and anti-foreigner who late in his short life led a band of young men trying to restore the powers of the Emperor, the Shinto religion, and the honor of the samurai class. The author committed ritual suicide the day he took the last of the four volumes, The Decay of the Angel, to the publisher.

Photo of Tokyo around the time of the story from oldtokyo.com
The author from live.staticflickr.com
Profile Image for William2.
758 reviews3,079 followers
February 28, 2020
3½⭐️ This novel and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea are my two favorite Mishima books of the seven I've read so far.

Runaway Horses is set in 1932-33, a time of economic hardship in Japan, not long after the start of the great global Depression. Farmers, especially, are suffering. Rice imports have been allowed into Japan. This has allowed for the population to be fed but at the cost of depressing domestic rice prices for farmers, many of whom are now starving. Factory workers, too, no longer needed in a depressed economy, return to the family farms which they once left with great aspirations, compounding the general misery.

Meanwhile, 21st-century style Trumpian capitalists are playing the economy for every last yen. David Bergamini, in his book Japan's Imperial Conspiracy, describes the currency speculation on the part of government and aristocracy at this time, which he calls the “dollar swindle.” Let's just say, the episode was not good for the yen, nor the Japanese economy as a whole.

This is the setting in which eighteen-year-old Isao, raised and radicalized by a dipsomaniacal right-wing father—banzai!—sets about making the terrible state of Japan better. His plan, and he has many followers, all about eighteen years old as well, is to kill ten major capitalists, blow up the Bank of Japan and take out eight electrical substations as a means of forcing a state of marshal law and, thus, the restoration of imperial rule. One fat cat in particular, Busuké Kurahara, is much hated. The man on the street, including Isao, believes the Emperor has been hoodwinked by those close to him. (It’s a variation on the “If Hitler only knew” rationalization, so rife in Nazi Germany in those years.)

Mishima adored writing about boys. (Mishima adored boys.) The lad in this case, Isao, has a passion for purity and loyalty and death, that only roughly translates for the Western reader. I had a very hard time trying to understand why a lad of eighteen would be interested in killing capitalists and then cutting open his own stomach. It’s something abstruse having to do with honor. Maybe there’s a rough equivalent for it in Western chivalry, though it should be noted that most European knights were little more than banditti. I don’t know. But to me, even perhaps to some Japanese alive today, the whole mindset is irrational and, thus, incomprehensible, like gassing Jews.

For most of the book Isao seems to operate in a virtual intellectual vacuum. It’s hard to know how or why he’s motivated to act as he does. All that secrecy, all that time with his fellow boys. Is he operating on secret knowledge or is he completely insane? Mishima badly muddles Isao. At the end of the novel, Isao stands up in court and gives an overly detailed speech on his motivations which strikes the reader as completely out of character. Suddenly, the boy’s using adverbs? This taciturn and lonely kid is now giving lessons in Japanese history and current affairs? When just before, in prison, there was a passage in which he thought of himself as too intellectually dim; in other words, without the very mellifluousness he later displays in court? IMHO, it's a tremendous gaffe.

Interestingly enough, Isao is locked up in Ishigaya Prison, which turns out to be the very spot where Mishima would make his final stand on November 25, 1970. (Though by then the building was called the Self-Defense Force Headquarters.) You may remember photos of Mishima in full military dress without insignia hortatorily espousing samurai virtues from atop a carport outside the building, which led to cat calls and public derision, before committing seppuku (literally, stomach cutting). He was 45. The day before, we are told, he completed the very last page of the last novel of the present tetralogy, The Decay of the Angel.

That said, we must also remember that this second volume—the first volume is Spring Snow; see my review—continues the story of the reincarnated Kiyoaki Matsugae, when his close friend, Honda, comes to believe that he has found the soul of his old friend reborn in the person of the young Isai Iinuma who, to complicate matters further, is also the son of Kiyoaki's old tutor. I have to admit on finishing the novel that the reincarnation kerfuffle seems unnecessary. It’s simply a device to ensure Honda’s ongoing participation in the complete four-novel cycle. Honda, now 38, is an esteemed Osaka judge early in his career. As such he is a firm believer in cold, rational discourse, which takes a severe blow once he becomes convinced—utterly convinced!—that he has come upon the reincarnated Kiyoaki Matsugae.

I’m committed to reading the next two novels in the cycle, but my expectations, I must admit, are rather middling. Mishima is always problematic for me. Then again there are times—especially when he’s moving through a landscape or describing the action of a scene—when his precision takes the breath away. So, recommended with reservations. If you’re like me—someone who’s read widely in Japanese history and literature, particularly of the last two centuries—the cycle may be essential.
Profile Image for Adam Dalva.
Author 8 books1,648 followers
May 21, 2020
An improvement on the wonderful Spring Snow - and yet totally dependent on it, as the scope and strangeness of Mishima's tetralogy comes into view. Honda, a supporting character from Spring Snow, now a judge, is shocked 20 years after the action of the first book to meet the reincarnation of his childhood friend, the listless aristocrat Kiyoaki Matsugae. Isao, the child of two other supporting characters from Spring Snow, is totally different from his predecessor. Isao is a physically adept zealot obsessed with Japanese nationality and the dream of seppuku, planning a youthful insurrection. The action is far more exciting than the first, with heists, violence, and militaristic passion at the fore, but some of the introspective humor and romance of the first book is lacking. When viewed as a diptych, though, each book's flaws become a strength.

Particularly striking is The League of The Divine Wind, a remarkable interpolated novella constructed by Mishima, which culminates in the blazing suicide of dozens of revolutionaries (there are real shades of Bolano's 2666 project here, w/ the recursive treatment of violence). It is impossible, of course, to separate any of this from Mishima's bizarre, depressing end, and the manifesto-like qualities of this work call to mind Eduoard Leve's Suicide. I can't think of anything exactly like this project - I can't wait to leap into the next one.
Profile Image for Deniz Balcı.
Author 2 books602 followers
March 19, 2018
Şimdiye kadar, benim için Lawrence Durrell'ın "İskenderiye Dörtlüsü" edebiyat tarihinin en iyi dörtleme romanıydı. Gerek konunun işlenişi, temanın dört roman üzerindeki bütünlüğü; gerekse karakterlerin üstünde hale gibi duran kapsamlı yazgıları açısından başka bir yazarın böyle makro bir şeyi, o denli iyi kotarabileceğini düşünmüyordum. Fakat yanılmışım! Yukio Mishima'nın "Bereket Denizi Dörtleme"si bence sadece dörtlemeler arasında değil, edebiyat tarihindeki bütün seriler arasında; en tepelerde yerini alabilecek nitelikte. Henüz son iki kitabı okumamış olsam da, ilk iki kitabın bende yarattığı sarsıntı çok güçlü ve benzersiz.

Pier Paolo Pasolini'nin romanlarını, oyunlarını, şiirlerini okur, filmlerini izlerken; hep derinden derine kendini hissettiren o çok büyük entelektüel birikimin rüzgarıyla mest olurum . Anlattığı her şeyin altında gösterdiğinin çok ötesinde kastettiklerini gözleri bağlı bir kişi gibi el yordamıyla, sezgilerimle bulurum. Yöntem konusunda da kendisini tutkuyla yoğurması, onu benim için benzersiz yapan başka bir temel özelliktir. Ama normal bir tutku değil bu, acayip, provokatif bir tutku bu bahsettiğim! Ateşli, radikal, saplantılı... İşte Yukio Mishima'da da aynı bu tutkudan var. Ona da verilecek ünvanlar al��şılmışın çok dışında: Bilge, ateşli, radikal, provokatör, sapkın, klinik, rahatsız edici... Bataille, de Sade gibi ustalarınki gibi de değil onun haznesi. Çok daha pragmatik. Bin yıllık bir düşüncenin kanla ve savaşla kutsanmış hali. Çok sağlıklı gelmeyebilir belki ama okuyucu olacak beni en çok bu tarafları cezbediyor. Mishima ve onun gibi yazarların tutkusu beni de ateşliyor.

Mishima'nın "yaşamla ve dünyayla ilgili hissettiğim, düşündüğüm her şeyi yansıttığım kitaplarım" dediği "Bereket Denizi Dörtlemesi" cidden yazarın beynine ve görüsüne bir yolculuk gibi. Ölümü ile halen dillerden düşmeyen Mishima, bu kitapta bağıra bağıra ve empati kurma olanağı tanıyacak şekilde anlatmış aslında intiharını. Gerçekten karakterlerin hayat, ölüm, geleneksellik-modernlik, Budizm, Konfüçyuz öğretisi, doğu doktrinleri, aşk, cinsellik, erdem, Japon ruhu ve kültürü vb. gibi konularla ilgili kararları ve düşünceleri aslında bize Mishima'yı anlatıyor. Bu sebeple, oldukça yavaş okudum kitabı. Her sayfanın arkasında söylemek istenen daha büyük bir şeyle karşılaştım. İnanılmaz kapılar açtı benim önümde. Milliyetçilik şahsen kendimle çok ilintilendirebileceğim bir his olamamasına rağmen beni inanılmaz içine çekti ideolojik tarafı.

Yalnız serinin bu kitabı için dikkat çekmek istediğim bir şey var: Bu kitap okunmadan evvel kesinlikle 1868 yılında başlayan Meiji Dönemi ve sonrası hakkında bilgi sahibi olun. Çünkü Japonya'da ki gelenekler ve bin yıllık yazısız erdem kuralları; kısa bir süre içerisinde değiştirildi, dönüştürüldü. Batıyla girilen etkileşim, Çin Savaşı, II.Dünya Savaşı, teknolojinin gelişmesi, atom bombası, antiamerikancılık derken inanılmaz bir kayıp yaşandı. Bu kültürel erozyon toplumun her kesiminden insanı sarsıcı bir şekilde etkiledi. Bu yüzden ateşli bir kesim oluştu. Mishima bunun iddialı örneklerinden. Elbette Mishima'nın çok daha derinlikli ve güçlü sebepleri de var ama kitabı daha iyi kavramak için yukarıda bahsettiklerim konusunda özellikle 1868-1945 arası hakkında tarihi bilgi edinmek şart.

Belirmek istediğim başka bir konu ise; kitabın arka kapağında seriden bağımsız okunabileceğine dair olan ifade. Bu bir satış politikası mı, yoksa ne, anlamadım ancak bu kitap ilk kitapla ayrılmaz bir bütün. Bu kitabın beni en çok sarsan kısımları ilk kitapla birleştiği noktalar oldu hatta. Seriden bağımsız okunmasını tavsiye etmem. Kitap olduğu şeyden çok şey kaybedecektir.

Tüm bunlar dışında mükemmel bir eser. Püren Özgören çevirisi, kitabı İngilizceden çevirmiş bile olsa, çok iyi bir çeviri. Japoncadan çevrilecek hali de bu kadar iyi olabilirdi herhalde.

Kesinlikle tavsiye ederim.

Profile Image for Luís.
1,947 reviews611 followers
September 18, 2023
The second installment of Mishima's tetralogy, "Runaway Horses," began in 1932, when the great world depression had disastrous effects on all developed economies. With an unemployment rate of 20%, Japan is not spared.
Since the beginning of the Hirohito era six years earlier, Japan has experienced significant political instability. The assassination of Prime Minister Inukai on May 15, 1932, by naval officers was a terrible blow to the young Japanese democracy. Although having failed, this coup attempt marks the rise of the army in the country's affairs. In this particularly worrying economic and political context, at the age of 38, we find Honda in the post of adviser at the Court of Appeal of Osaka. Remember that Honda was, twenty years earlier, the friend of the late Kiyoaki Matsugae, the main character of the first opus, "Spring Snow."
A few months later, Honda learns, amazed, of Isao's arrest and indictment and eleven accomplices for an attempted assassination of twelve eminent Japanese personalities. These captains of industry, bankers, and politicians are guilty in the eyes of the conspirators of being capitalists devoid of any national loyalty. A denunciation prevented the assassinations in extremis.
To everyone's surprise, Honda resigned from his post at the Court of Appeal and became the lawyer for the man he thought he knew better than anyone. This time, taking on the role of defense, will he save from prison these young purity-loving terrorists who had planned to kill themselves by seppuku as soon as the stabbing murders have been accomplished? Everyone knew the tragic end of Mishima in November 1970.
"Runaway Horses" is like a will written a year earlier. The genesis of his suicide in the pure samurai tradition is recounted in a literary style forcing admiration. If there is one writer who has identified himself radically with one of his characters in a novel, it is Mishima! His young hero, Isao, puts on the coat of an ultranationalist venerating His Sacred Majesty the Emperor. Also, his endless patriotism combines the conformity of thought and action.
To the court's President, who asked him if patriotism could not remain a faith, Isao, referring to the Chinese philosopher Wang Yang-Ming replied: "To know and not to act is not yet to know."Then, as if Mishima wanted to justify himself in front of History, the writer makes his character say: "This is the philosophy that I have tried to put into practice."
Profile Image for ميقات الراجحي.
Author 6 books2,033 followers
January 1, 2018
أن تُنهي الصفحة رقم (539) وأن تعلم – مسبقًا – أن ثمة رقم مشابه وهو (532) ينتظرك مع الجزء الثاني من هذه الرباعية فهذا يعني أن الرواية جذبك جزئها الأول فنقلك للثاني حيث ثلاثينات القرن الماضي، وكانت هذه الفترة فترة زهو لليابان حيث طغيان نفودها وقوتها العسكرية بحروبها في المنطقة ضد الصين ومنشوريا وروسيا وأستولت في هذه الفترة منذ الثلاثينات حتى إستسلامها في (1945م) على عدة مناطقة كتايوان وكوريا ومنشوريا وغيرها.

الرباعية التي أخرجها "يوكيو موشا" عمل ملحمي يؤرخ لمراحل مهمة من حياة اليابان منذ عهود طويلة. وكل جزء هو عمل ملحمي بحد ذاته. في هذا الجزء الجياد الهاربة. فبطل الرواية (ايساو) يحمل نزعة عسكرية وطموح نحو المجد وسط تلك التحولات التي تمر بها اليابان. مع قصة حب (ماكيكو) التي لم تتجلى لي إلا في الجزء الأخير أكثر وأكثر من الرواية، ولكنها ليس بذلك الحب الذي يعصف بك كالحب الذي كان يتفتق في "ثلج الربيع" وربما هذا أثر النزاع العسكري الذي لازم (ايساو) وفق الرواية.

لا أعلم عن عمليات نقدية أو قراءات يرجع تاريخها للثمانينات رغم هوس العرب بالحداثة حينها، ولا بالتسعينات، ولم يظهر جليًا على السطح التطلع لأدب الصين واليابان إلا مع الألفية الجديدة. ربما ليس غير بعض الشعر المترجم. وإن كان ثمة ما عكس حديثي فدون شك هذا لسوء تقصيري.
أعتقد أن الرواية تعالج مدى إمكانية دخول عناصر جديدة على عوالم الشرق التي كانت منغلقة أكثر حول نفسها أو حول دول الجوار ليس أكثر، وأثر تلك التدخلات على البلاد وشأنها الداخلي والسياسي، ويبقى العنصر الهام هو مدى( التقبل) من (عدمه)، وليس هذه التدخللات سوى (نيران صديقة) إن صح تسميتها. إنها رواية اليابان في عهد السيطرة الأمبرطورية الأخير قبل أن تصطدم بالعالم الخارجي وقوى الإحتلال والإستعمار الجديد.

الرواية كسابقتها الجزء الأول "ثلج الربيع" غارقة في الوصف لكن هذا الكم الهائل لم يعيق جمل النص وهذا يحسب لميشيما فوق كل هذا العناء من تحمل (لخبطة) الشخصية وتناسخ الأرواح منذ الجزء الأول حتى هنا في الثاني.

هذا المقطع هو أخر ما في الرواية جعلني اعرف شعور الكاتب (ميشيما) وهو ينتحر!!. كان مخيفًا هذا الـ((سيبوكو)) كيف تحمله الكاتب؟! إنه غياب العقل.
Profile Image for Tessa Nadir.
Author 3 books276 followers
May 31, 2023
Un roman superb cum n-am mai citit de foarte mult timp si cum sunt sigura ca nici nu voi mai citi prea curand. Poate ca sunt subiectiva (putin) pentru ca reusesc sa rezonez atat de mult cu Yukio Mishima, insa valoarea operei sale este incontestabila.
Am ajuns la concluzia ca suntem saturati cu atata mediocritate literara incat m-am dezobisnuit sa laud o creatie perfecta si imi dau seama ca trebuie sa reinvatam sa pretuim lucrurile cu adevarat valoroase si sa nu ne risipim admiratia ori cuvintele unde nu trebuie.
"Cai in galop" este cea de-a doua carte din tetralogia "Marea fertilitatii" si ne infatiseaza crezul si modul de viata al unui samurai ce traieste in totalitate dupa cerintele codului Bushido:
"Cand un samurai moare cum se cuvine, cazand ca o floare de cires, trupul sau neinsufletit si manjit de sange se transforma intr-o floare de cires inmiresmata."
Se pune mare accent pe demnitate dincolo de orice, pe respectarea traditiilor, pe adevaratul sange japonez care vine de la stramosi si pe puritatea sufletului, trasatura la fel de indispensabila pentru un samurai ca sabia sa. De asemenea am remarcat si credinta pana la moarte in dreptate si onoare, pentru care merita sa lupti si desigur viata pe care ti-o pui in mana imparatului. Aceste concepte par nefolositoare si demodate in ziua de azi, unde nimeni nu mai moare pentru onoare si demnitate sau pentru un vis sau o iluzie, asa cum Isao realizeaza inainte sa moara:
"Am trait pentru o iluzie, am actionat pentru o iluzie si am fost pedepsit pentru acea iluzie... as vrea sa am si eu ceva ce nu e iluzie."
In ceea ce priveste actiunea, ne aflam in era Showa (1926-1984) iar Shigekuni Honda are 38 de ani si este judecator de drept penal. Au trecut 18 ani de la moartea prietenului sau din tinerete Kiyoaki si acesta incearca sa se resemneze cu ea. Participand insa la luptele kendo are ocazia sa-l cunoasca pe tanarul luptator de 19 ani Isao Iinuma, fiul fostului tutore al lui Kiyoaki. Tanarul citeste o carte despre povestea unor samurai si cade sub influenta acesteia luand decizia de a trai si a-si sacrifica viata potrivit Codului de Onoare al samurailor. Honda fiind convins ca Isao este reincarnarea fostului sau prieten incearca sa il salveze, insa, inima pura si mintea rece a unui samurai cunoaste o singura cale: cea a sabiei.
Trebuie neaparat sa vorbesc despre cartea care-l influenteaza atat de tare pe Isao si pe care Mishima o introduce in naratiune (avem asadar o poveste in poveste). Aceasta se numeste "Istoria gruparii Shinpuren" de Tsunanori Yamao si este despre perioada 1976 cand guvernul ia o hotarare prin care samurailor li se interzice portul de sabie si sunt nevoiti sa-si tunda parul. In urma acestei decizii o grupare de samurai se revolta, se lupta, pierd si cei 46 de supravietuitori sunt nevoiti sa recurga la seppuku. Povestea este impresionanta pana la lacrimi si m-a facut sa le inteleg motivatia si dorinta pura de a-si oferi viata pentru ceva in care au crezut.
Un alt lucru despre care doresc sa vorbesc si pe care l-am numit "Pilda galustii cu orez" se refera la situatia in care Isao este intrebat ce ar face daca imparatul ar fi dezamagit de el. Acesta replica cu seninatate ca si-ar spinteca stomacul pe loc. Apoi, intrebat ce ar face daca imparatul ar fi multumit de el acesta rosteste acelasi raspuns si isi motiveaza alegerea prin aceasta pilda a galustii de orez: Daca Maiestatii Sale Imperiale i-ar fi foame si el ar face cu mana lui o galusca de orez pe care i-ar oferi-o, iar imparatului nu i-ar placea, atunci ar face seppuku. Pe de alta parte daca i-ar placea galusca, atunci tot ar trebui sa-si faca seppuku, deoarece mainile sale sunt nedemne pentru a-i oferi ceva imparatului. Isao subliniaza ca cel care are o galusca si decide sa nu o ofere, lasand-o sa se strice are o comportare loiala insa o loialitate lipsita de curaj.
In ceea ce priveste titlul, indraznesc o interpretare personala care mi-aduce aminte de un car tras de doi cai - unul este alb ca inima pura a unui samurai iar celalalt este negru ca mintea sa rece. Cred ca telul este sa reusim sa manam acesti doi cai la unison.
Cartea a fost ecranizata in 1985, intr-un episod al seriei inspirate din biografia lui Mishima, printre producatori aflandu-se F.F. Coppola si George Lucas. In ceea ce priveste filmele cu samurai, avem mai multe productii inspirate din "legenda celor 46", cum ar fi "Ultimul samurai" (cu Tom Cruise in rolul principal).
In incheiere am selectat o sumedenie de citate, pentru ca textul este exceptional de frumos si ii face mare cinste lui Mishima:
"Vorbeste fara oprelisti si ai sa inveti ca nimeni nu vrea sa creada adevarul. E una din lectiile de viata cele mai valoroase."
"El n-avea sa dilueze dreptatea cu rau, si nici raul cu dreptate. Raul pe care voia sa si-l inchida in secret in suflet trebuia sa fie un rau pur, la fel de pur ca dreptatea pe care o purta in suflet."
"Pasiunea lui s-a indreptat catre o singura femeie, insa a fost la fel de irationala, la fel de violenta, la fel de rebela si alinata tot prin moarte."
"... va demonstra in scurta vreme ca un popor se distruge inainte de a fi distrus de straini si ca un om se va uri el insusi inainte de a fi urat de altii."
"Fara a sterge rugina delicata a neadevarului care se asterne peste argintul amintirilor, timpul aduce trecutul din nou pe scena, cu visele si sperantele de atunci, iar omul isi descopera fatete nestiute, adanc ascunse in suflet."
"... se vedea stand la inaltimea justitiei si culegand cu penseta feluritele sentimente intunecate ale omenirii pentru a le cantari."
"Cu toate astea, adanc in suflet, isi crease o definitie a raului, in care se impleteau mai multe elemente, cu miros intepator si usturatoare, ca zeama de lamaie picurata intr-o palma crapata de munca."
Profile Image for Matthew Ted.
768 reviews662 followers
December 2, 2021
122nd book of 2021.

3.5. Very different from the first book, and I'm wondering how Mishima is going to continue with the rest of the tetralogy (I say that as if it isn't all written and has been for 50 odd years). This isn't completely fulfilling as a novel but it is always compelling as a plot-burning, angry, mostly politically driven work about Japan and a young boy's (and Mishima's, let's not forget) desire to reinstate the Emperor. The young boy is mostly indoctrinated by a book that is within this book, which is quite long and I usually don't enjoy books within books (I get impatient for the "main text") but the story within the story was filled with violence and seppuku and kept me mostly intrigued by way of sick fascination. I think it's fairly clear to see that Mishima had a premonition of what he would do in January 1970. He finished the tetralogy that year and the day after, committed seppuku after failing to provoke a coup.

Mishima and I do not see eye-to-eye politically but that no longer bothers me so much. I went through a particularly self-righteous period in university where I tried to avoid right-wing writers or at least went into their works with little to no expectation. I grew out of that narrow-minded way of thinking and began to appreciate works of art, wherever they come from. This is now of course a much wider debate in the world today about who deserves recognition and who doesn't, depending on an artist's political/personal life. As far as I'm concerned, if we are thinking critically, we can explore any artist's work. That said, I respect Mishima's art but not so much his beliefs. There's a certain sadness around his death, which seemed so fruitless. Interestingly, the fruitlessness of extreme political action/violence is presented right here in these pages as if Mishima was fully self-aware of it. I've read some theories that suggest that Mishima knew his speech would never work and he was merely using it as an opportunity to commit seppuku. His friend and novelist Yasunari Kawabata was apparently haunted by Mishima after his death. And not just casually, as Kawabata's biographer recounts, Kawabata was "incessantly haunted by the specter of Mishima" for two or three hundred night in a row.

Outside of the political fury of the novel, we see Honda, the narrator from Spring Snow as a 30-something year old lawyer. The concept of this tetralogy is Honda's meeting, again and again, of his childhood friend, reincarnated in different (human) bodies. It isn't too dissimilar to what Mitchell was attempting in Cloud Atlas, a novel I disliked on paper, but adored in concept. Mishima does not hide the idea of reincarnation, which I thought he might, and has Honda reflecting on the ideas of souls and their transmigration in Buddhist teachings. A fascinating project that ended on the eve of the writer's own ritual suicide, for a seemingly fruitless reason.
Profile Image for merixien.
590 reviews327 followers
October 21, 2020
1932 yılında, Honda’nın, Kutsal Rüzgar Birliği’nden ilham alan bir gençlik grubuna liderlik eden, kusursuz arılığa takıntılı, devrimci İsao İinuma ile olan karşılaşmasını anlatıyor. İsao üst sınıflara ve yozlaşmış hükümete karşı, gelenekseli savunan bir teğmenin de desteğiyle bir suikast grubu toplayıp, imparatorun yıkılan onurunu geri kazanması için savaşıyor. Ancak toplumun ve kendi çevresinin yaşadığı değişimin sonucu olarak bu savaşta karşısına çıkan cephe bambaşka bir yozlaşmayı da ortaya koyuyor. Bu noktada devrim, bir arınma amacına dönüyor.

Her ne kadar seride okuyacağım iki kitap daha olsa da bu kitabın yeri benim için ayrı. Zira Mişima, İsao üzerinden kendisinin gerçek hayattaki sonunun ve darbesinin provasını yapıyor adeta. Çünkü Mişima’da samuray ideallerine bağlı birisi olarak, Meiji restorasyonunun ardından gelen ve tırmanarak devam eden Japonya’nın batılılaşmasını ve II. Dünya Savaşı’nda gelen yenilgisini kabullenemiyor. Kaçak Atlar üzerinden bu çöküşe, çürümeye ve yozlaşmaya olan öfkesini kusup, yasını tutuyor. Mişima, Budizmin Şintoizmden ayrıştırılıp dışlanmasını da bu çöküşün sebepleri arasında görüyor. Honda ile İsao arasında da bu iki inancın kazandıkları kimliklerin tablosunu çizmiş zaten. Mişima’nın siyasi, kültürel ve inanca dair söyleyeceği her şeyi güzel bir hikayenin içinde, sade bir dil ile anlatması çok hoşuma gitti. Benim çok sevdiğim bir kitap oldu. Seriyi de çok fazla ertelemeden tamamlamayı düşünüyorum.

“Geçen her yıl, bir zamanlar yüce olanı güldürü malzemesine dönüştürüyordu. Bir şeyler yenilip bitirilmiş miydi yoksa? Dış taraf yenmiş diyelim, yüce olanın, doğası gereği, yalnızca saçmalık çekirdeğini gizleyen bir dış kabuk olduğu doğru muydu? Yoksa yüce olan gerçekten bir bütündü de, üzerini gülünç bir toz mu kaplamıştı?”

“Yasalar; yaşamı anlık bir şiire dönüştürmeye çalışan insanın arzularını engelleyen, yorulmak bilmez girişimlerin toplamı. Herkese, yaşamını kanla yazılmış bir şiire dönüştürme hakkının tanınması doğru olmaz elbette. Ama yüreklilikten yoksun insan yığınları, yaşamlarını böylesi bir isteğe kapılmaksızın tüketiyorlar zaten.”
Profile Image for Flo.
278 reviews88 followers
October 13, 2022
When ignorance is an attribute of purity, you have written a bad political book, which isn't better than the savage, blind propaganda that surrounds us, even if your language is more beautiful.

The fact that an artist like Mishima was so blinded by his obsessions, especially as this book shows us his plan to commit seppuku/suicide, made this mainly a sad book. It's the first Mishima that I didn't like. But I am upset that the reception was also blind or silent. I feel that liking this book is agreeing with his suicide. So, I can't endorse this book.
Profile Image for Mohammed.
447 reviews582 followers
December 5, 2017
الشباب أشد تسرعاً ولكنهم أكثر نقاء، أشد طيشاً ولكن أعظم إخلاصاً. قلوبهم الفتية لا تجيد التقلب وعقولهم البريئة لم تعرف الحسابات الجانبية. غير أنهم دائما حطب كل صراع، وضحية مناطحات الكبار.
تتناول الرواية قصة شاب مخلص للإمبراطور يريد تطهير اليابان من درن الرأسمالية ونجس الفساد، ويجمع حولها مجموعة من الشباب المتفاني ويقف في طريقه الكهول اللذين يخالون أنهم أدرى بماهو أجدى.

هذا هو الجزء الثاني من الرباعية اليابانية الأشهر (بحر الخصب)، التي يستخدمها ميشيما لإيصال أفكاره عن الحياة والموت، البعث والانتحار. إن كان الجزء الأول "ثلج الربيع" تتغنى برومانسية الحب واندفاعه، فإن هذا الجزء يشيد برومانسية الانتحار وسمو مقاصده. من الصعب علي تفهم مقصد الانتحار سواء نجحت أو فشلت في تحقيق غرضك، بالذات إن كانت لك خيارات أخرى، لكن اتفهم أن تلك المبادئ تنتمي لثقافة أخرى وحقبة ماضية.

يعود بطل الرواية الأولى "كيواكي" على هيئة شاب ناريّ النظرات، فولاذي العزيمة، ليس بين الإثنيّن شبه سوى شامة في البطن. وهو شيء آخر لم أفهمه حيث أن الشخص يعود بصورة مختلفة كلياً عن سلفها سواء من حيث المظهر أو الجوهر. الوحيد الذي يطلع على سر بعثه هو صديقه السابق "هوندا" الذي يتعلق به ويحاول دعمه وإنقاذه من المآزق.

تعيد مثالب الجزء السابق نفسها في هذا الجزء: بطء الوتيرة، الاستطراد، والشخصيات الرتيبة. كذلك تتكرر ميزات العمل السابق في هذا الجزء: الثراء الثقافي، دقة الوصف وجزالة اللغة. الفرق الجلي بينهما هو الانتقال من الرومانسية إلى الثورية.

أواصل الرحلة لقطع بيداء هذه الرباعية الصعبة، إن فشلت فيها فلن أخوض غمار الرباعيات والخماسيات مرة أخرى، وإن نججت فلربما سأتجرأ يوماً ما على مراودة خماسية مدن الملح أو رباعية الدون الهادئ.
Profile Image for [P].
145 reviews525 followers
July 25, 2015
In the decadent West people often get together and have all kinds of pointless, speculative conversations. The current political climate being what it is, one subject that frequently comes up, at least amongst my friends, is whether you would be prepared to die for a cause, or an ideal. During these debates my position is unequivocal; my answer is a firm no. No. Never. Not under any circumstances. My vehemence can, in part, be explained by my cowardice. I am, I freely admit, a rum coward. I’m not dying before my time for anything, or anyone. Yet I do also have philosophical objections. The problem for me with any ideal – truth, honour, justice, whatever – is that they don’t concretely exist, or they don’t exist, as some kind of Platonic form, outside of man. Someone who dies for an ideal is, to me, just a dead idiot, because their ideal, which is necessarily subjective in character, dies with them. So, when a suicide bomber blows himself or herself up, or if a monk sets himself on fire, I’m not concerned with which side of the political fence that person sits, I’m more struck by their illogical, flawed thinking.

Ordinarily my stance does not cause me any problems. I speculate, I argue, then I go home and, I dunno, have a wank and watch TV [this is a joke, I don’t have a TV]. However, as I came to read Runaway Horses, the second volume of Yukio Mishima’s The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, I realised that my rationalist frame of mind prevented me from being able to fully engage with large parts of the book. Of course, it is not necessary to be able to identity with Iaso Iinuma, the young would-be militant-terrorist at the centre of the novel, and, in any case, even I am able to understand, even to some extent appreciate, the quixotic nature of living a life of purity and heroism, but a lot of Runaway Horses philosophically and spiritually left me cold. For example, the pamphlet of The League of the Divine Wind, which deals with a samurai rebellion/insurrection, and which appears in its entirety [60 pages, ffs], was unfathomably dry [I didn’t think it possible to make reading about the samurai so boring, but Mishima managed it – perhaps this was intentional?], and alien in its glorification of violence and ritual suicide. This kind of thing isn’t limited to the pamphlet either; there’s a lot of stuff in the book, voiced mainly by Iaso and his followers of course, about the beauty of death, or ‘sublime death,’ which at times took on almost an erotic flavour. I just cannot, no matter how hard I try, get my head around all that, nor do I really want to, because if there’s one thing I don’t think is attractive, that I will never be able to accept, it is that.


It is Honda’s presence that was crucial in terms of me being able to navigate the novel; without him I think I may not have persevered beyond the opening stages. If you have read Spring Snow you will know Honda as the studious and serious friend of Kiyoaki Matsugae. In that book I felt as though his role was somewhat confused; he was a rationalist, and yet unquestioningly helped his friend in his irrational endeavours. Yet even if you wanted to see him as the voice of reason – which is, I think, how Mishima saw him – he was too much of a peripheral figure. What I mean by this is that one could have cut his character entirely, and the book would have had largely the same impact. In Runaway Horses, he is a thirty eight year old judge. He is then more mature and confident, of course, and much is made, by the author, of his reserved and logical approach; therefore he is the perfect foil for Isao. Importantly, although he is largely absent from the middle section of the book, this time around he is much more central to the plot and actually raises objections when confronted with the boy’s fanaticism. For example, when Iaso loans Honda a copy of The League of the Divine Wind pamphlet the judge returns it with a letter explaining his concerns about the impact such a text could have on a young man.

“Every excitement that could send one pitching headlong is dangerous.”

“The League of the Divine Wind is a drama of tragic perfection. This was a political event that was so remarkable throughout that it almost seems to be a work of art. it was a crucible in which a purity of resolve was put to the test in a manner rarely encountered in history. But one should by no means confuse this tale of dreamlike beauty of another time with the circumstances of present-day reality.”

Moreover, not only does Honda give voice to some of your own queries and bemusement [or my bemusement anyway], but he allows one to read the book as an investigation into extremism, rather than simply as propaganda. This is hugely important. I’ve written before about how I am not at all interested in judging the private lives of authors; and that holds true here too. However, that does not mean that if the author’s private life, or dubious politics, filtered through into the work that one cannot comment or criticise; it simply means that I would not reject a work solely on the basis of any controversy surrounding the author’s behaviour. Mishima, it is always worth reiterating, was a fanatic Nationalist himself, at least towards the end of his life; and these things as subjects are dealt with in Runaway Horses. So far, so what. It becomes an issue only because there are parts of this book where violent extremism is written about in glowing terms, where Iaso and his followers are glorified:

“Izutsu showed his lovely recklessness. He spoke out gallantly, his face flushed and glowing.”

Lovely recklessness? Really? At times the language in the novel made me shift uncomfortably in my seat, although, if you were being as fair as possible, you could say it is, like with Spring Snow, merely a case of the style being in tune with the subject. Yet I don’t buy that, I’m afraid. So, Honda is vital, or was vital for me, because he shows that Mishima was prepared to question – at least in his work – Iaso’s beliefs. Without that questioning, even though Honda isn’t entirely out of sympathy for the extremists, one could have put Runaway Horses in the same category as The Birth of a Nation.

As you can tell, the book caused me quite some consternation, and my thoughts about it, as the structure of this review will no doubt attest, are far from clear. Would I recommend it? No, or certainly not to the casual reader, because it isn’t actually a very good novel. In certain circumstances, however, one might consider it worth reading. First of all, Mishima once said in an interview that Japanese culture or mentality is defined by both elegance and brutality; while I am not in a position to say whether that is entirely true I would say that certainly Mishima’s own personality was centred around that dichotomy; and so the rugged Runaway Horses, especially when paired with the graceful Spring Snow, is useful if one wants to know more about the man himself, and about how he saw the world.

Secondly, there are probably very few books that are as relevant, almost terrifyingly so, as this one is right now. Alien, baffling, and glorifying it might be, but this is a genuine glimpse into the workings of extremist/terrorist groups, and the mindset of the individuals involved, from someone who knew what he was talking about; this is not irony, it is not satire, it is the real deal. So, we see the young boy who is seduced by quixotic right-wing literature, a boy whose family-home life is a source of unhappiness or embarrassment [in what was the only time Mishima attempted to look for an excuse or explanation of Iaso’s frame of mind he mentions that he would have been aware and shamed by his mother’s less than chaste past – his interest in manly endeavours could, in this regard, be thrown into a new light]. We also see how levelling fanaticism can be; Iaso and his followers all lack personality, they are full of rhetoric and psychobabble but very few individual characteristics. If you have come across any true accounts of young men becoming enamoured with fanaticism this will be a familiar tale.

Finally, while Runaway Horses is at times fascinating, if you view the book dispassionately and adjust your expectations accordingly, it is only really enjoyable – in the conventional sense – in relation to the previous volume, Spring Snow. When one reads a multi-volume work half of the fun is in the development of certain characters as they age and have children, get married and so on. In Runaway Horses, Honda appears again, as previously mentioned, as does Iinuma, Prince Toin, and Marquis Matsugae, the father of the central character from Spring Snow, Kiyoaki. However, Iaso Iinuma is not only the son of Kiyoaki’s former tutor, he is, as far as Honda is concerned, the reincarnation of Kiyoaki himself. For a western reader, this seems like a bold, potentially ridiculous, move, and yet Mishima manages to pull it off. In fact, that Iaso was once Kiyoaki gives his character a depth he would otherwise lack, for one is able to see his passion in terms of Kiyoaki’s passion – one is for an ideal and the other was for a girl, but both are irrational, immature and destructive. Furthermore, the nature of reincarnation is that one is reborn because of mistakes, or sins, in a past life; Kiyoaki was effete and ineffectual, Iaso is the opposite; so it is almost as though the soul or essence of Kiyoaki has gone from one extreme to another. The two characters are, on the surface, completely different yet ultimately very similar; and I thought that was very clever and satisfying.

Volume 1: Spring Snow https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Profile Image for Hakan.
209 reviews162 followers
December 14, 2016
kaçak atlar, dörtlemenin ilk romanından 19 yıl sonra, 1932 yılında başlıyor. japonya’da on beş mayıs olayları ve başbakanın suikastla öldürülmesiyle başlayan çalkantı, diğer yanda derinleşen ekonomik kriz, büyüyen yoksulluk, yükselen sol var. bölünmüş, tamamen kutuplaşmış bir toplumsal yapı söz konusu. ekonomide söz sahibi olan azınlık ordunun etkinliğinin azaltılması ve batı yanlısı tedbirleri savunurken, geniş kitlelerde yaşananlarının sebebinin geleneksel değerlerden uzaklaşması, imparatora bağlılığın azalması olduğu görüşü hakim. bir taraf değişimden, dönüşümden bahsederken, diğer tarafta bunun adı yozlaşma ve ihanet.

mişima bahar karları’nda bir aşk hikayesinin arka planında yer verdiği meselesini kaçak atlar’da dolu dizgin anlatmaya başlıyor. hikaye, japonya’nın içinde bulunduğu durumdan çıkışı tüm yönetim yetkisinin yeniden imparatora verilmesinde gören bir grup gencin hazırladığı ayaklanmaya odaklanıyor doğrudan. kahramanları, mişima’nın kendi görüşlerine yakın. “imparatorun aklından neler geçtiğini kestirmeye çalışmak bile hainliktir” diyen, “bağlılık ateşi insanın içine bir kez düştü mü, o insanın ölmekten başka seçeneğinin kalmadığına” inanan, öldürmekten, ölmekten başka bir yolu düşünmek bile istemeyen bu genç karakterlerde mişima’nın vurguladığı kavramlar tutku, inanç ve saflık. hatta diğer kavramların ve karakterin belirleyicisi olarak görüldüğü için sadece tutkudan bahsetmek mümkün mişima anlatısında.

kaçak atlar’ı okuduktan sonra bahar karları’ndaki tutkulu aşkı, anlaşılması ve okuyanın kendisiyle bağ kurması daha kolay olduğu için anlattığı bile söylenebilir belki. aşkta, aşık bir insanda ele aldığı tutkuyu inanç üzerinde de anlaşılır kılmak için. tutkulu inanç, tutkulu bağlılık da böyle anlatılabilir mi?.. aşktaki tutkuyla inançtaki tutku aynı mıdır?.. kendilerini tutkuyla var edip, tutkuyla yok eden, mişima’nın bunun hem sebebi hem sonucu olarak saflıkla nitelendirdiği karakterleri anlamak mümkün mü?..

romanda zaman zaman sorgulayan, zaman zaman anlatan/açıklayan/savunan bir tavır var. ancak romanın imparatora bağlılık adına bir tür ayaklanmaya girişip seppuku yaparak intihar eden yazarın kendinden/hayatından tamamen ayrılması mümkün olmayan bir romanı olduğu düşünülürse rahatsız edici ölçüde değil bu. romancı mişima okura edebiyatın gücünü, güzelliğini fazlasıyla vermeyi başarıyor. içinde “dürüstlük seppuku ile korunur” cümlesinin geçtiği romanın sarsıcılığında kalmak lazım. çünkü seppuku yapan mişima çok uzak.
Profile Image for P.E..
779 reviews558 followers
September 10, 2020
The Faithful Departed

Chevaux échappés = Runaway Horses = 奔馬

ukiyo-e of Shinpūren Rebellion (24 October 1876)


1932, that is, 19 years after the events in Spring Snow took place.

This is the story of 19 y.o. Isao Iinuma, the son of Shigekuni Iinuma, Kiyoaki's former tutor, taking place in troubled times indeed — take the October Incident, in Octobre 21, 1931, led by Sakurakai secret society; the 'League of Blood' incident in March, 1932, resulting in the death of the Minister of the Finances & the leader of a party; a mutinery & failed coup in May 15, 1932...

In such dire times of political unrest, rise of militarism and concerning unemployment rates, young Isao Iinuma boils with indignation and wants the Emperor's powers to be fully restored. He can't stand Japan being run by a ring of powerful politicians, capitalists and magistrates, visibly unaffected by the surge of poverty in Japan, betraying what Isao sees as the old ways of Imperial Japan.

Reading 'The Society of the Divine Wind', an essay covering the events of the Shinpūren rebellion (1876) when former samurai rebelling against the loss of their status and the constitutional changes by newly formed Meiji government, Isao decides it is time for him to gather a secret society whose objective is to destabilize the economy and assassinate several of those zaibatsu leaders & influent people to carry out a restoration, giving back all powers to the Emperor of Japan. Only it doesn't turn out according to plan.


This second instalment of the Sea of Fertility tetralogy felt a little subpar to me when compared to Spring Snow, the first part. According to me, this is due to several underlying factors :

1) Honda's character arc felt a bit lacking, stiff and abrupt: he made nothing of personal significance since the death of his friend Kiyoaki, 19 years before, never bothering that much about Kiyoaki's last words, the meaning of his own position as a magristrat, which I find highly unlikely from a man questionning every facet of the law, history and human existence in Spring Snow.

2) Isao offered precious little surprise. There are passages where his dedication to the purity of his principles is compromised by his attachment for Makiko, others when he bluntly opposes his father & his Academy of Patriotism. If you except such passages, his personality proves monolithic to me.

More, 40 y.o. 'academician' Sawa warns him about the weakness of a faith ill-informed, ill-prepared, dealing with uncompromised, unadulterated figments of your own thinking. Honda, after reading 'The Society of the Divine Wind' openly disagrees with the principles advocated by the eponymous group, even more in 1932, half a century later. He proves impervious to such reasoning.

However, Honda's cautionary words felt immensely timely to me, in an age when statues are thrown in the river by the dozen, films rewritten and history considered as a convenience to be altered to appease irate activists:
'La Société du Vent Divin est un drame d'une perfection tragique. Ce fut une affaire politique si remarquable d'un bout à l'autre qu'on dirait presque une œuvre d'art. Ce fut un creuset où la pureté d'intention fut mise à l'épreuve d'une manière qu'on rencontre rarement dans l'histoire. Mais il ne peut être question de confondre ce conte d'autrefois, beau comme un rêve, avec ce qui constitue la réalité d'aujourd'hui.

En outre, il met l'accent avec tant d'insistance sur la pureté d'intention qu'il en sacrifie toute perspective. Ainsi, l'on perd de vue, non seulement le contexte général de l'histoire mondiale, mais aussi les nécessités historiques particulières qui conditionnaient le gouvernement Meiji que cette Société avait choisi pour ennemi. Ce qui fait défaut à ce livre, c'est le contraste. [...]

Cependant, afin de tirer profit de l'histoire, il ne faut pas se concentrer sur un chapitre isolé d'une époque donnée, mais au contraire, faire l'inventaire des multiples facteurs complexes et mutuellement contradictoires qui ont fait cette époque ce qu'elle fut. Il faut prendre le chapitre isolé et le remettre à sa place. Il faut apprécier les divers éléments qui lui ont donné un caractère particulier. [...]

Les leçons de l'histoire ne devraient jamais signifier que l'on s'attache à tel aspect particulier d'une époque particulière afin de s'en servir comme modèle pour réformer tel aspect particulier du présent. Sortir du jeu de patience du passé une pièce de telle ou telle forme, puis essayer de la caser dans le présent est une entreprise qui ne saurait aboutir à d'heureux résultats. C'est là jouer avec l'histoire, un passe-temps bon pour les enfants.'

3) As far as I can judge from the translation of a translation, Yukio Mishima's style offers formidable, otherworldly, larger-than-life images, for instance, ice creams shrieking, a huge golden thread vibrating against the eye of a colossal needle... all reminiscent of the gigantic koto in which 4 characters in Spring Snow felt they were rocked like tiny grains of sand. Unfortunately, some metaphors (pieces being moved on a chessboard, sweat trickling on someone's back,...) grow tedious when they are repeated, forced on the plot.


Uncompromising idealists:
The Secret Agent
Dirty Hands
The Just

Hardships in Eastern Asia in the times of 1929 crisis & around 1929:
Man's Fate

Economy and the short-term and long-term effects of militarianism & inflation on it (a bit dated):
Interventionism: An Economic Analysis

Shigekuni Honda's initial situation in Runaway Horses somewhat resembles the hero of this novel by Tolstoy:
The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Land of All - Woodkid
Profile Image for Emilio Berra.
240 reviews197 followers
June 14, 2018
Una proiezione di Mishima?
"A briglia sciolta", tradotto anche col titolo "Cavalli in fuga", è il secondo libro della tetralogia 'Il mare della fertilità' di Mishima. E' il seguito del bellissimo "Neve di primavera", nel quale emerge l'amicizia fra l'aristocratico Kiyoaki, deceduto in giovanissima età, e Honda destinato invece ad invecchiare.
Egli ora ha 38 anni, ha fatto carriera nella Magistratura. Sono trascorsi ormai 20 anni dagli ultimi fatti del testo precedente.

Honda identifica nel diciannovenne Isao, figlio del precettore dell'amico scomparso, come l'incarnazione di quest'ultimo.
Le vicende riguardano sia il magistrato, che tende a proteggere il giovane, sia il ragazzo che sta mitizzando un gruppo di samurai del passato inorriditi dall'occidentalizzazione del Giappone , sei dei quali si uccidono col 'suicidio rituale seppuku' , per sventramento, inneggiando all'Imperatore.
Isao è talmente colpito da ciò, che raduna attorno a sé un gruppo di estremisti di destra...

Qui l'autore lascia trapelare vari elementi di carattere 'autobiografico' ; non nel senso letterale del termine ma a un livello profondo esistenziale e politico.
Si tratta infatti di un'opera inquietante, perché rimanda al terribile gesto di autoannientamento compiuto da Mishima qualche anno dopo.

Da segnalare, al centro del romanzo, una scena grandiosa, quasi impressionante, indimenticabile del teatro tradizionale giapponese : "... un canto con voce quieta come la pioggia che scende bagnando una riva sabbiosa", canto che termina con l'esclamazione: "Oh, quanto breve ed effimera è la nostra vita!".
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,634 followers
June 12, 2018
I am an absolute fanboy to Japanese madman but genius writer Yukio Mishima. His tetralogy, the Sea of Tranquility, is a powerful piece of writing of incredible beauty. Runaway Horses is the second volume after the magnificent Spring Snow, and - as the rest of the novels - carries on the story of a few of the characters from the previous book against the historical canvas of Japan in the 30's. Not exactly optimistic, it did involve an incredible amount of research and travel for Mishima as he was writing it. An fabulous ride from a truly unique and incredible writer.
Profile Image for Florencia.
649 reviews1,943 followers
April 4, 2018
Blood and flowers were alike, Isao thought, in that both were quick to dry up, quick to change their substance. And precisely because of this, then, blood and flowers could go on living by taking on the substance of glory. Glory in all its form was inevitably something metallic.

When I was much younger, I had some grim thoughts involving heights. Now, I'm scared of balconies if they're not fenced off. They should be enclosed with something - wires, net, a lovely lattice pattern. It pretty much feels like a prison cell. Some prefer the word "catio" when they have a cat to take care of - it's a cell, folks. But it makes one feels safer. I can't control external factors, but my brain does anything it can to postpone death: don't put your hands on fire, use knives carefully, don’t watch reality shows, don't read Coelho again, etc.

The point of this inarticulate introduction is that I see people around me clinging to life as hard as they can and, in a moment, the persistent fascination with death turns into something that barely rises above the level of banality. I felt something similar while reading a poetry collection by Trakl - I ended up slightly bored. Lately, I don’t seem to be able to control this sense of weariness when it comes to certain topics, or the extreme version of those topics. In the end, I don't find morbidity so charming as I did in my impressionable youth.
...when one reality crumbles, another crystallizes and a new order comes into existence.

It’s not by chance that I’m reviewing this book now, before I can even think of discussing Spring Snow, the first volume of The Sea of Fertility tetralogy which involves the lives of Kiyoaki and his friend Honda, among other equally complex characters. Honestly, I didn't care much about the protagonist's story, his obsessions, the excessive patriotism I wasn't able to identify with (as I experienced while reading Patriotism) or . I did enjoy reading about the real Shinpūren rebellion, which inspired that fateful book of his that changed his views forever. I think I prefer the historical context to the main plot line, and Mishima really did his homework: his attention to detail is remarkable. It's rather difficult for me to separate the two first volumes of this tetralogy from the author and his bleak thoughts regarding the transformation Japan went through, the richness of its past and the tradition that linked honor with death. Perhaps I don't even need to. Nevertheless, he brings to the reader another masterful portrait of the impact of the Meiji era along with a relentless sense of nostalgia for the past - in this case, through the figure of Isao, a young man whose vanity sometimes seems to be focused on having a picturesque death whereas the message he is trying to convey becomes incidental.
It was a shame that came from the conviction that Sawa, and Sawa alone, had seen in him both the pleasure and the arrogant pride of a young man luxuriating in the sweet feeling of having made up his mind to die.

The different versions of Isao with fluctuating levels of eloquence also felt strange, especially by the end of the book. On a different note, far from politics, a kiss is what makes this runaway stallion break free of the yoke, and yet, his love story with Makiko didn't resonate with me either. Not to mention the hideous portrait of yet another female character - though that's never a surprise.

I remember reading about Mishima's own death and how it became an object of ridicule since seppuku was outdated by then. That's something that completely ruined the sense of beauty and greatness he always wanted - it's heartbreaking. That’s the image that comes to mind whenever I find these kinds of characters seeking a graceful death. Dying in one’s sleep would be ideal; simple... and cleaner.
In any case, I was more interested in knowing about Honda and his impressions. And that's where Mishima's pen stood out, demonstrating why I find it so captivating despite its fatal obsessions.
In human relationships, good and evil, trust and mistrust appear in impure form, mixed together in small portions.

Nothing is ever pure.


I will lower my expectations for the next volume. As Plath says, the way not to be disappointed.

Far to the south. Very hot... in the rose sunshine of a southern land...

Feb 12, 18
* Later on my blog.
** The Sea of Fertility:
Spring Snow
The Temple of Dawn
The Decay of the Angel
Profile Image for Lolotte919.
298 reviews36 followers
May 12, 2021
Difficile de mettre des mots sur ce deuxième tome de la tétralogie. Si il apparaît sans conteste comme un chaînon du chef-d'oeuvre - et à ce titre ne peut pas être lu comme un roman unique mais comme la part d'un tout -, il est cependant bien différent du premier tome. 

En effet, si le premier volume s'attachait à évoquer l'honneur et la pureté des idéaux sous l'égide de la passion amoureuse, le second volume, plus politique, développe ces idéaux sous le prisme du patriotisme et du respect de la foi shintoïste, aussi bien dans la loyauté due à Sa Majesté Sacrée, l'Empereur du Japon, qu'à l'attachement pur aux traditions japonaises. Ces deux thématiques m'étant chères, j'étais bien disposée au commencement de cette lecture. 

Mais contrairement au premier tome il m'a manqué de la profondeur dans le traitement des personnages. En effet, dans ce premier volume, le lecteur était au faîte de toutes les pensées des personnages dans leur intégralité et ce, quelque soit leur implication et la part qu'ils prenaient à l'intrigue, et bénéficiait par ailleurs du regard empathique du narrateur omniscient, au moyen d'une phrase succincte, belle et juste, dont la véracité ne pouvait être remise en cause, sur ces personnages. Le lecteur avait ainsi accès aussi bien aux volontés et aux pensées conscientes du personnage mais également à ce qui relevait de son inconscient, dans ses gestes ou dans ses mots. 

Ici, ce n'est pas le cas. Seuls deux protagonistes sont réellement traités, Honda et Isao Iinuma. A mon sens, étant plus faciles à cerner, ils n'avaient pas de ces petites faiblesses qu'on a malgré soi, et restait pour moi de fiction, là où dans le premier tome réalité et fiction se brouillait en moi. 

Malgré tout, j'ai apprécié cette lecture, moins émouvante et plus pamphlétaire, qui semble s'approcher au plus près des idéaux défendus par l'auteur tout au long de sa vie et par sa mort ! J'aurais aimé plus de ces grandes réflexions intellectuelles auxquelles ma lecture de Neige de printemps et du Pavillon d'Or m'avait habitué. Je me suis demandée à plusieurs reprises si c'était en raison de mon peu de familiarité avec les traditions japonaises que mon émotion a été à plusieurs reprises quelque peu voilée, due à cette absence de proximité avec la culture qui était si farouchement défendue.

A mon sens, ce tome comprend toutefois deux scènes très fortes : la première étant le tournoi de kendô au début du roman qui fait se rencontrer le vieillissant Honda, et le jeune Isao Iinuma, fils du précepteur et réincarnation de Kiyoaki ; la seconde est cette fin grandiose qui m'a fait aimé, dans les dernières pages, Isao, enfin - ai-je envie de soupirer - et l'a rendu digne, à mon sens, d'être la réincarnation de Kiyoaki. 

En somme, si la lecture en a été moins aisée, cette deuxième partie de La Mer de la fertilité a tout de même été passionnante, quoique plus aride. Prise comme une part de la tétralogie, elle ne déçoit cependant en rien les attentes posées par la perfection éclatante, aussi bien intellectuelle qu'émotionnelle, de la première partie, et me pousse à entamer au plus vite la troisième partie, sans douter un seul instant que je ne sortirais pas indemne de cette lecture dans son ensemble.
Profile Image for Chris Blocker.
698 reviews163 followers
April 7, 2014
Runaway Horses, the second book in Mishima's The Sea of Fertility series, is a completely different book than the first. While Spring Snow is a poetic, tender love story, Runaway Horses is a political manifesto. Given what I know of reincarnation, the idea that one tries to correct the mistakes of their past life, this is a proper step in the path of the character known as Kiyoaki in the first novel. Kiyoaki was confused and unsure; he had very polar opinions of each person in his life—everyone had a sense of loveliness, everyone was out to get him. Isao, Kiyoaki reborn, knows what he wants—he is a revolutionary, he sees people as either good or evil, and he is determined to follow the plot he has created for himself until his final breath; yet Isao has no enjoyment for life, no flexibility—I anticipate in the third novel we'll find Isao reborn, a character who takes time to “stop and smell the roses.”

Mishima was a wonderful writer and I thoroughly enjoyed Runaway Horses. That being said, the series as a whole reminds me a little now of Tolstoy. In a massive work like War and Peace, Tolstoy took his time to tell love stories, fight battles, and express his views on history and politics. For Mishima, Spring Snow was the love story; Runaway Horses was the political rant. On its own, Runaway Horses delves too much into political discourse to keep the plot interesting, but within the series as a whole, it makes sense. In comparison to the first book, Runaway Horses is dry and somewhat flat; but as an addendum or companion to Spring Snow, it is a brilliant follow up. I look forward to the third novel in the series.
Profile Image for Juxhin Deliu.
197 reviews16 followers
September 25, 2018
Secondo episodio della tetralogia de "Il mare della fertilità", intrisa di intenzioni politiche rispetto a "Neve di primavera", oltre ai maggiori riferimenti alla vita dell'autore. Ritroviamo Honda oramai giudice, circa vent'anni dopo la morte del caro amico Kiyoaki, a metà degli anni trenta. Egli è sempre più legato alla sua condotta ligia e ragionevole ma durante un evento, il nostro, scorgendo un ragazzo vigoroso che gli ricorda il suo amico, Isao, intuisce tramite alcune coincidenze che costui potrebbe essere la reincarnazione del defunto sodale (riprendendo l'esoterismo buddhista ampiamente citato nel primo libro). Si scopre inoltre che sia il figlio di Iinuma, il passato precettore reazionario di Kiyoaki, ora presidente di un noto gruppo di destra. Isao, quindi, è cresciuto col mito della lealtà incondizionata verso l'imperatore, la patria, oltre l'adorazione della figura dei samurai, finendo a sua volta per cospirare contro il sistema capitalista, uno dei tanti episodi di terrorismo dei tempi. Il gesto a cui si ispira è palesemente un rimando a quello che sarebbe stato l'atto allegorico di rivolta di Mishima col suo conseguente suicidio rituale, fornendoci quindi un'intensa dichiarazione ideologica e di azione nel processo, con l'eleganza e il simbolismo che caratterizza il suo stile.
Profile Image for morgan.
142 reviews77 followers
June 3, 2023
the most phenomenal continuation of Spring Snow
undoubtedly loved it 🥰
Profile Image for Zeren.
165 reviews168 followers
October 19, 2016
Mişima'nın yazarlığına her kitapta daha çok hayran oluyorum. Fakat Kaçak Atlar, serinin ilk kitabı Bahar Karları'ndan oldukça farklıydı. Bahar Karları, tam bir Japon aşk şiiri kıvamında iken Kaçak Atlar baştan sona politik bir roman. Buna rağmen iki romanın birbirini tamamlayış şekli muazzam. Özellikle reankarnasyon, bir hayatta var edemediğinin diğer hayatta bütünlenmesi halinin anlatılış şeklinden çok etkilendim. Romanlardaki tarihsel devamlılık da Japon kültürünün geçirdiği değişimi ince ince takip etmeyi sağlıyor. Bir de Mişima'nın hayatına nasıl son verdiğini bilerek bu romanı okumak ayrıca etkileyici.
Profile Image for Inderjit Sanghera.
450 reviews90 followers
February 13, 2020
In many ways Mishima is a writer whose potential was never fully realised; like the hero of the novel, Isao, his reactionary bent and insecurities about his internalised idea of masculinity dimmed his artist genius, which in some novels, like in 'Spring Snow' which acts as the precursor to 'Runaway Horses', blazes forth beautifully like the sunrise over the ocean which Isao is desperate to glimpse as he dies, in others, as with 'Runaway Horses', the beauty flickers iridescently in between his somewhat tendentious moralising.  

The story follows Honda nineteen years after the tragic end of 'Spring Snow', where his best friend Kiyokai. Honda has become the man he was destined to be as a teenager; studious, sensible and intelligent, bordering on emotionless, he is unable to fill the sense of beauty which Kiyokai brought to his life. Behind this sense of contentment lies a desire to experience something transcendent, a desire which is realised when he encounters Isao, who he realises is the reincarnation of Kiyokai.

Superficially the two cannot be any different, whereas Kiyokai's beauty was incandescent and ethereal, Isao's is forceful and violence, however the same fire blazes forth behind both their eyes and this fire lights up Honda's soul and gives him meaning. The difference in characters is echoed in the writing; although death permeated both novels, there was something inherently poetic about 'Spring Snow', whereas 'Runaway Horses' is preoccupied by violence and vituperation. Whereas both novels dealt with the gradual disintegration of traditional Japanese values and cultures beneath the relentless drive of modernity, 'Spring Snow' dealt with this subtly in contrast to the much more obvious preoccupation with this in 'Runaway Horses', which follows the murderous intent of Isao and a group of revolutionary. 'Runaway Horses' is also more grounded in reality on comparison to the surreal, dreamlike ambience of 'Spring Snow'.

Whilst 'Runaway Horses' doesn't represent the pinnacle of Mishima's novel, it continues to explore and expand on the themes which occupied Mishima such as beauty, death, masculinity and the erosion of Japanese culture. 
Profile Image for Jay.
162 reviews49 followers
April 4, 2023
I agree with PewDiePie. This book is crazy awesome.

In my review of the previous part of The Sea of Fertility Tetralogy, Spring Snow, I said that I could tell I was reading the book Mishima had always intended to write. That feeling intensified as I read Runaway Horses. This book is basically a manifesto on why Mishima went on to end his life the way he did. As such, I’ll be surprised if the rest of the series can live up to the highs of this book’s last 50-odd pages – pages which must have come straight from the heart. Runaway Horses is semi-autobiographical, in a way, but written before the fact, making it seem prophetic of its author’s demise in a manner that links it, in my mind, (somewhat precariously) to Virginia Woolf’s The Waves. The final acts read with the twists and pace of a psychological thriller complete with some Saul Goodman-style courtroom chicanery and with some of the best of Mishima’s trademarked elegant gore. It’s brilliant. If he had stopped writing The Sea of Fertility at the end of this book he would have written plenty. Nonetheless, I actually can’t wait to see what he does in the next part.

Anyway, I can’t really express any thoughts about this book without going into spoilers, so consider yourself warned if ye dare proceed.

Through Mishima’s eyes, we have the crumbling of his beloved Imperial Japan, but we also have a portrait of Mishima himself. Kiyoake transmutes like the changing faces of a Rubix cube, but each of his variations is nonetheless still a facet of the soul of Mishima himself, like Stephen Dedalus is to Joyce or David Copperfield is to Dickens. The reincarnation of a single character from the previous generation, reborn into a different personality mould reflects how the past influences the shape of the people in the future. This device is just one of the many things that make this series so special.

I feel like I’m reading a Japanese, historical version of The Wire, but instead of each book focusing on a different aspect of the functioning of city governance, it focuses on the next era and how the previous one influenced it. Its scope is vast, and this is literature as ambitious and ego-driven on the part of its author as any I’ve found.

Is it problematic and alarmingly fascistic? – you betcha, it is. It’s probably also fair to say Mishima glorifies the act of murder. And, as such, I wonder if I should be wearier of what I’m reading. But to combat that slight twinge of guilt, I’ll argue that Mishima doesn’t necessarily require you to accept the logic behind Isao’s (and his own) fanaticism for his novel’s internal psychology and storytelling to work, you merely have to understand its origins. In any case, the fact that he was living at the edge of reason and reality is exactly the thing that makes him such a fascinating writer in the first place: he’s a moral absolutist and he’s drunk on symbolism – a seductive and charismatic but ultimately unworkable combination. I’d also argue that the novel itself doesn’t really conclude that Isoa’s final act was in any way pure or honourable. It is not the beautiful death he had imagined for himself, but rather a desperate attempt to reassert order into a life he realises has been grounded in lies. Isao, like the original Kiyoake, comes to understand that his life has been a failure and that this is because he bought into the sophistry of his mistaken philosophy. Kiyoake must rise again in the next book to once again try to find a better way of being. This interpretation would see Isao’s end as tragic, rather than pure and beautiful.
Profile Image for Ali Ahmadi.
68 reviews23 followers
June 28, 2022
دومین کتاب از چهارگانه‌ی «دریای حاصلخیزی».

سال‌های ابتدایی دهه‌ی سی میلادی و ژاپنی که علی‌رغم هزاران کیلومتر فاصله از مرکز اقتصاد جهان، تلخی‌های رکود شدید گریبانش را گرفته. داستان شیگه‌کونی هوندا، قاضی کارکشته‌ای که سال‌ها پس از مرگ صمیمی‌ترین دوستش در آغاز جوانی، گمان می‌برد که روح او در جسم جوانی دیگر حلول کرده. جوانی به نام ایسائو که به اندازه‌ی دوست سابق هوندا از زیبایی، افسردگی و عشقی پرشور بهره نبرده اما ایمان و اخلاصی مثال‌زدنی دارد که میخواهد به کمک آن ژاپن را از زیر ابرهای ضخیم، مسموم و خفه‌کننده‌ی سرمایه‌داری و اخلاق غربی بیرون آورد و منش سامورایی را زنده کند. هوندا که یک بار در نجات دادن زندگی دوستش ناکام مانده، این بار تمام تلاشش را برای دور کردن سایه‌ی مرگ از سر ایسائو به‌کار می‌بندد.

میشیما تلاش زیادی برای پنهان کردن اشتراکات فکری خود در وجود ایسائو ندارد. اما رویارویی هسته‌ای داستان، نه میان کمونیست‌ها، سرمایه‌دارها و ملی‌گرایان، بلکه میان شیوه‌های مختلف اندیشه‌ است که به خصوص در وجود هوندا متبلور می‌شود. مرد قانون و خرد و منطق غربی که نه چندان با تئاتر سنتی ژاپن یا Noh آشناست و نه آنقدرها از شمشیربازی کِندو لذت می‌برد. اما دیدن سه خال نزدیک به هم روی پهلوی ایسائو کافیست تا دنیای او واژگون شود. در روزمرگی‌های هوندا، آخرین چیزی که او ممکن است به آن فکر کند مفاهیمی انتزاعی و معنوی چون تناسخ هستند. و البته که او با تمام وجود از مقابل پذیرش چنین ایده‌ای سرباز می‌زند اما عشق او به دوست قدیمی‌اش آن قدر زیاد است که در نهایت خرد و منطقش را خرد می‌کند.

نشر نگاه و ترجمه‌ی غلامحسین سالمی.
Profile Image for Demet.
39 reviews6 followers
January 30, 2020
Tam yazmaya başladığım anda düşünüyorum da, Mişima üzerine yazmaya girişerek sanki hata yapıyorum gibi. Anlatması zor olduğundan değil de, hissettiklerimi okurken düşündüklerimi tam olarak aktaramayacağım için. Ki aktaramayacağımı bile bile ve Mişima kitaplarındaki arılığı ifade edemeyeceğime göre haksız da sayılmam.

Bereket Denizi’nin ikinci kitabı “Kaçak Atlar”a gelmeden önce, Can Yayınları’ndan ilk baskısı Aralık’19’da yapılmış olan “Aşka Susamış”dan bahsetmek istiyorum. Kitabı henüz okumadım, bahis kitap üzerine değil de arka kapak yazısında geçen: “… yazarın hayatı boyunca kalemine rehberlik etmiş sapkın ve saplantılı arzuyu…” diye devam eden cümleden bahsetmek istiyorum. Evet, Mişima’da “sapkın ve saplantılı arzu” ifadesinin yeri var; ama sanki Mişima’yı bu şekilde ifade etmek ona karşı yapılmış bir haksızlık gibi geldi bana. Mişima’daki bedensel, siyasi, felsefi, yaşamsal, etik “arzu” ve “tutku” saplantılı ve sapkın olarak ifade edildiği takdirde, Mişima’nın tüm hikayeleri, romanları ve yaşamının içi boşaltılıyor. Bu arka kapak yazısının ardından Mişima’yı ifade etmek için hangi kelimeleri seçerdim diye düşündüm: “hüzünlü”, “tutkulu”, “arı”, “sarsıcı”, “arayış içinde” ve daha nice şey geldi, ama asla sapkın veya saplantılı olarak düşünmedim. Bu şekilde bir ifade aslında bu dönemde, herhangi bir şeye olan adanmışlığın ve duyulan tutkunun çok mazide kaldığını ve artık dönemimizde bunların ancak sapkınlık olarak görüneceğini de bir şekilde işaretliyor gibi. Ne fena bir arka kapak yazısı tercihi!

Evet, Bereket Denizi’nin ikinci kitabını yeni bitirmişken; bu adanmışlık ve tutkunun peşinden gitmek ve dahası bu adanmışlıktan ve arılıktan etkilenmemek mümkün değil. Çevirmenin çok özenle seçtiği ve bence çok da güzel yerine oturan arı kelimesi, hem birinci kitapta hem de ikinci kitapta tam olarak karşılığını buluyor; ki eminim okuyucuyu üçüncü ve dördüncü kitapta da yakalayacaktır bu arılık. İkinci kitapta öve öve bitiremeyeceğim birkaç noktasına değineceğim sadece: Kitap içinde yer alan “Kutsal Rüzgar Birliği” mini kitap ve birinci kitapla kurulan o bağ, dil birliği, tutkunun ve arzunun dönüşmesi ama gücü. Kaçak Atlar’ın özellikle “milliyetçilik”, “imparatora olan sevgi & bağlılık” gibi konular işleniyor olsa da, -ve şahsi olarak tamamen bu ideolojiden uzak biri olsam da- bu konunun işlenişinin boyutları çok farklı.

Mişima’ya başlamadan önce biraz Japonya’nın o dönemki koşulları ile ilgili bilgi edinmek, Mişima’yı anlamak için güzel bir adım. Çünkü Mişima’nın tüm romanlarındaki en önemli aktörler Japon imparatorluğu, Meiji dönemi, Japonya’daki 1930’lu dönemlerdeki açlık, sınıflar arası uçurumun artışı, Rus-Japon Savaşı. Günümüzde Japon kültürünün bir çok özelliğinden, erdemliliğinden ve nice örneğinden bahsederken bizim için hala çok farklı bir durumdan bahsediliyorken; Meiji dönemi ve sonrası Japon kültürünün değişimi ve dönüşümünün çok hızlı olması ve kültürel değişim ve dönüşüm bir çok Japon’un olduğu gibi Mişima’nın da o zamanki büyük dertlerinden olmuş.

Her neyse bu darmadağınık ve hiç de Mişima’ya uygun olmayan yazıyı yine Aşka Susamış’ın arka kapak yazısındaki bir alıntıyı çarpıtarak bitireyim:

“Mişima’nın romanları çevresine korkunç ve iflah olmaz bir tutku ve arılık yayar; sanki adanmışlar için kurulmuş bir arafta geçiyor gibidirler.”
Profile Image for Betul Pehlivanli.
373 reviews15 followers
July 25, 2019
İlk kitabın ardından,uzunca bir aradan sonra bu kitabı okuyunca,ben doğal olarak iki kitap arasındaki bağdan yoksun kaldım.Bir de Japonya’nın 1800’lerin sonlarında başlayan değişim rüzgarlarının ve o döneme dair yaşananlara dair birşeyler bilinmesinin okumayı anlamlandıracağını düşünüyorum.O zaman belki hakettiği beş yıldızı verebilirdim.
Profile Image for وائل المنعم.
Author 1 book430 followers
February 8, 2017
رباعية ميشيما كيان واحد لابد من قراءته بالكامل لكي يكون الحكم دقيق ومنصف، فالجياد الهاربة ليست رواية منفصلة بل جزء من عمل أكبر. ولذلك فمراجعني التالية تتعامل مع الرواية التي بين أيدينا كجزء من كل وليس كعمل منفصل.

لماذا ثلج الربيع تحفة فنية في حين أن الجياد الهاربة عمل جيد وفقط؟

أرى أن ذلك يرجع لثلاثة أمور، الأول: كيواكي بطل ثلج الربيع شخصية مركبة وجذابة لا تتكرر كثيراً في عالم الأدب في حين أن إيساو شخصية سطحية - رغم رومانتيكيتها - نجدها ليس فقط في أعمال أدبية متواضعة ولكن في حياتنا اليومية وبخاصة حالياً في عصر الثورة للثورة. الثاني: غياب الشخصيات الجذابة ما عدا ماكيكو والتي قرب النهاية أدهشنا ميشيما بأبعاد حبها الغريب لإيساو. الثالث: صعوبة تصور مقاومة الرأسمالية وغياب العدالة الإجتماعية من منظور يميني رجعي، فمهما كان القارى محايد ومتفهم للثقافة اليابانية لن يستسيغ فكرة الولاء للإمبراطور من منظور ديني أو فلسفي خاصة لو كانت أبعاده إجتماعية بالأساس.

إلا أن الرواية جديرة بالقراءة بسبب بلاغة ميشيما - وإن كانت غير مركزة كما في ثلج الربيع - وحبكة الأحداث المشوقة. أما كتاب عصبة الريح الآلهية - مصدر إلهام إيساو - فهو سخف في سخف، إبتلعت صفحاته السبعين على مضض.

أخيراً إن كنت قد أعجبت بثلج الربيع فلابد لك من قراءة الجياد الهاربة وإكمال الرباعية.
Profile Image for Nancy Oakes.
1,938 reviews751 followers
July 13, 2019
if ever a novel could be labeled as a masterpiece, it is this one; I lost contact with this world while reading both this book and Spring Snow. It also resonates since part of my PhD work was focused on the use of Shinto ideology and national mythology in the rise of ultranationalist fanaticism before and during WII (and specifically war shrines), and Mishima is spot on here.

More when I finish the next two books, but seriously, five stars is a drop in the bucket for the greatness of this one.
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