Currently Mishima Yukio remains the world’s best-known Japanese literary author. What makes his impact unique is the extent to which he has influenced many artists and intellectuals. Mishima has inspired films, dramas, ballets, operas, essays, performances, and other works of art. Perhaps his impact is also due to the multicultural roots of his own creativity in a multitude of literary and cultural traditions and canons. Forty years after his spectacular suicide, the time seems ripe to reassess Mishima’s relevance, his fascination as well as the problematic involved. In Japan, a new generation turns to his work. Mishima, who crisscrossed every genre, moved freely between high culture and subculture. Is Mishima, who was long traded as a political reactionary, turning into a model of Japanese “cool,” as was recently suggested? Why have artists turned to him for inspiration? What are the sources of his own creativity? And what is Mishima’s relevance for today’s world?
In its first part, “Worldwide Impact,” the Conference aims at communicating repercussions of Mishima’s art and existence on the international cultural scene. The second part of the conference, “Multi-cultural Roots,” will be devoted to aspects of Mishima’s sources of inspiration and intercultural elements of his art.