What, specifically, is being addressed in this short story?

Expert Answers
Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most important aspects to consider when reading "Patriotism" is the author Mishimi's deep-rooted desire to restore traditional values of honor and loyalty to Japan. 

He glorifies the lieutenant and his young wife, portraying them as a beautiful couple who honor their emperor with the greatest gift possible.  Their suicide transcends the violent nature of the ordeal, and in Mishimi's eyes, becomes this reverent, holy act, so much so "as to make the gods themselves weep." 

Where the modern, western civilization reader would see this story as an utter tragedy and waste, Mishimi writes it to be uplifting and courageous, praising the couple for their brave deed.