The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

2253 WordsApr 14, 201310 Pages
1) Description A) The Book The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima is thought of being one of Japan's many exceptional and irreplaceable contributions to the world of literature. This book was translated by John Nathan, and published by First Vintage International in New York in 1994 at 181 pages long. The original edition was published by Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1965. Judging a book by it covers is often how I choose a book to read. Although this book was assigned for the class I still gave the cover a once over before reading it. My first impression was that the cover backed up the title of the book by offering a huge rolling wave as a focal point and the person portrayed the sailor. After learning that…show more content…
Through her we see a Japan that has forgotten its roots and now worships tokens of wealth and beauty with no understanding of what they mean. We see her wear a kimono only to show it off in the bedroom for the sailor. She is a mockery of the values an older world held sacred with regards to proper behavior of women. She represents the debauchery of post war Japan. She is portrayed as an intelligent educated business woman without any form of self awareness. It is no coincidence that there “There wasn’t a single Japanese room in Fusako’s house; her mode of living was thoroughly Western” (pg. 113). The sailor is a bit more complicated and cast in a bit of a better light… Whereas most men choose to become sailors because they like the sea, Ryuji had been guided by an antipathy to the land...He found himself in the strange predicament all sailors share: essentially he belongs neither to the land or the sea. There must be a special destiny in store for me; a glittering, special order kind no ordinary man would be permitted (pg. 17). Ryuji is the transition of Japan. He represents a Japan that is lost at sea, uprooted, belonging neither to its past or that of the west. He represents the transition between traditional and contemporary Japan. The sailor tries to live by old stoic values. He falls prey to a love of comfort and easy gratification “tired to death of the squalor and the boredom in a sailor’s life… There was
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