Last Updated on September 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 170
The Temple of the Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima is a story inspired by real-life events. It focuses on the life of Mizoguchi, who is also the narrator. Mizoguchi has always lived an isolated life. He feels alienated from the society because he comes from a poor family and appears weak because of his physique. He has a low opinion of himself. Mizoguchi has a stammer, which makes it hard for him to talk to other people; therefore, he lives in his own world and shows contempt for others.
Mizoguchi is obsessed with the Golden Temple in Kyoto. He makes it his life’s purpose to become a spiritual leader at the temple. While working as a helper at the the place of worship, Mizoguchi constantly marvels at the building’s architecture. The temple is important to him because it symbolizes spiritual holiness and beauty. However, as time passes by, he starts to notice several flaws in the structure, and decides that it is his mission to destroy the temple.