Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mishima's Sword - Travels In Search Of A Samurai Legend

This book, written by Christopher Ross, is about the adventures of the author in searching for what happened to the samurai sword once owned by Yukio Mishima and used for Mishima's famous seppuku in 1970.

I briefly described Mishima is a previous post here.  The book is really about what the author goes through in Japan while researching Mishima and trying to find the missing sword. It was an interesting book as it explains some of the bizarre qualities of Mishima's life.

Some of the experiences the author had seemed to be a little hard to believe or amazing coincidences. One such experience was when the writer returned to England and encounters a homeless person who he describes as a family member of some deposed royalty from some African country or something (?). The author walks by the homeless person and then the homeless person suddenly shouts out something about Mishima. There is know hint that the homeless person knew the author or what the author was currently writing about. It just seemed the most incredible coincidence.

Another time the author describes a meeting with a former gay lover of Mishima to interview him about Mishima and that they met at an S and M club in Tokyo. The author describes how he had to take off all his clothes and wear only one of the Japanese cloth diaper type things and wander around the club looking for his contact while witnessing some bizarre sex acts.

Another adventure by the author involved Yakuza who were looking for a friend of the author. They "took" the author to their HQ and asked him some questions about his friend. The author said he did not know where his friend was and that he was in Japan to write a book and was trying to find Mishima's sword. The author gives the impression that the Yakuza helped him eventually find the sword. Again, maybe it happened but an incredible story nonetheless.

It was still an interesting book regardless of some of my skepticism of some of the Author's adventures so I would recommend it if you are interested in Mishima.


  1. Hello,

    I was wondering if there was a direct email address at which I could contact you -- I work for Osprey Publishing, and was wondering if you would be interested in reviewing some of our books on Samurai. Thank you!

    -Kerry Serini
    kerry.serini AT ospreypublishing.com

  2. I have never been asked that before. Although I am interested in Japanese history, including the samurai, I am not an expert. So I don't know what value I would be in reviewing.