YUKIO MISHIMA: FIVE MODERN NOH PLAYS

Yukio Mishima

I first became acquainted with the work of Yukio Mishima through his brilliant novel, Confessions of a Mask. While browsing at the Strand yesterday, a book entitled Yukio Mishima: Five Modern Noh Plays caught my eye. I had no idea Mishima was also a playwright. Curious regarding the nature of these plays, I purchased the book and read all five plays in a day. They are simply astounding.

Mishima wrote these plays from 1950-1955, drawing on older Noh plots, traditional themes, and fairytales. I love the dream-like and haunting quality of these plays. Reoccurring themes of searching for and loosing love, age and memory, night journeys, spiritual desire, and death thread themselves throughout these plays. I found strange parallels between these plays and the work of Strindberg, Beckett, and Adrienne Kennedy.