2015 Student Research Conference:
28th Annual Student Research Conference

Samurai Against the West: Conflicting Ideals Represented in Yukio Mishima's Spring Snow
Jared D. Richards
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

For many centuries, the Japanese held their rulers to the ideal of a warrior spirit that followed the code of bushido, a lifestyle that placed honor and discipline above all else. However, the introduction of Western technology and values throughout the twentieth century threatened to soften the Japanese nobles. In Spring Snow, Yukio Mishima, an ultra-nationalist, explores the path Japan was headed by letting Western technology invade their thoughts. In the novel, the head of the Matsugae warrior clan allows their rich Japanese heritage to degrade into a mere tourist attraction. Mishima also delves into the Westernization's effect on the Japanese psyche by comparing Kiyoaki's petty romance of Satoko to his noble brotherhood with Honda. This paper will analyze the aforementioned Japanese ideals and aesthetics and evaluate the conflicts Mishima himself experienced and represented in the characters of Spring Snow.

Keywords: Yukio Mishima, Japan, Westernization, Spring Snow, New Historicism, bushido, samurai

Asian Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 102-1
Location: VH 1010
Time: 8:00

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