The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

by Yukio Mishima
Start Free Trial

Critical Context

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157

In the West, Yukio Mishima is probably the most widely read modern Japanese writer. In the judgment of Donald Keene, the prominent Western scholar of Japanese literature, “Mishima was the most gifted and achieved the most of all the [Japanese] writers who appeared after the war.” The range of Mishima’s work (much of which has not been translated) is all the more remarkable given that he was only forty-five years old at the time of his widely publicized ritual suicide.

The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea, which Keene describes as one of Mishima’s “most perfectly crafted works,” shares with many of Mishima’s novels the notion that youth is supremely valuable, and that to grow older is not to mature but to decay. This notion is central to Mishima’s tetralogy Hojo no umi (1969-1971; The Sea of Fertility: A Cycle of Four Novels, 1972-1974), where it is interwoven with Buddhist themes.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Next

Critical Evaluation