Voices of the Fallen Heroes

Voices of the Fallen Heroes

And Other Stories

Summary

A writer is seized by apocalyptic visions; a voyeuristic marquis commits a brutal act; and a trio of beatniks dance to modern jazz in the ruins of an abandoned church. A new selection of 14 of Yukio Mishima's best short stories from the 1960s - his final decade - Voices of the Fallen Heroes offers a unique glimpse into the mind of one of Japan’s greatest writers.

In the title story, ‘Voices of the Fallen Heroes’, a séance brings forth the spirits of young officers in the Imperial Army and the kamikaze pilots of World War II, who reproach the Emperor and mourn Japan’s modern decline. In another, Mishima recounts the true story of the time a deranged fan broke into his home at dawn, insisting on meeting the author and imploring him to ‘tell the truth’. Elsewhere, a beautiful youth achieves eternal life through violent murder, and an ill-matched couple seal their fate with a pack of cards, tangled in the web of time and unfulfilled desire.

Available in English for the first time, and carefully selected by a team of expert translators, these captivating stories serve as the perfect introduction to Mishima's work, on the 100th anniversary of his birth.

About the author

Yukio Mishima

Yukio Mishima was born into a samurai family and imbued with the code of complete control over mind and body, and loyalty to the Emperor – the same code that produced the austerity and self-sacrifice of Zen. He wrote countless short stories and thirty-three plays, in some of which he acted. Several films have been made from his novels, including The Sound of Waves; Enjo, which was based on The Temple of the Golden Pavilion; and The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea. Among his other works are the novels Confessions of a Mask and Thirst For Love and the short-story collections Death in Midsummer and Acts of Worship.

The Sea of Fertility tetralogy, however, is his masterpiece. After Mishima conceived the idea of The Sea of Fertility in 1964, he frequently said he would die when it was completed. On November 25th, 1970, the day he completed The Decay of the Angel, the last novel of the cycle, Mishima committed seppuku (ritual suicide) at the age of forty-five.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more