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aluminium portrait of Yukio Mishima

The Decay of the Angel: Yukio Mishima

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Shortly after completing The Decay of the Angel, Yukio Mishima committed seppuku after an ill received ten minute rant to an assembly of soldiers at the Tokyo military headquarters.

Mishima claims to have experienced an epiphany of sorts after seeing a painting of Saint Sebastian riddled with arrows and writhing in pain. He said that it was his coming of age – when he finally acknowledged his desire to experience and explore pain and suffering. It seems that the dramatic conclusion to his life, was written from that moment onwards.

Mishima was a complex and brilliant Japanese author who’s ability to depict the pathos of suffering transcended cultures. Despite living a western lifestyle, he resented what he perceived as the demise of Japanese tradition, and was an active advocate for a return to the old ways. Taiko is the ancient Japanese art of drumming which dates back 2,000 years. It felt appropriate to depict Mishima in his final days as he beat a drum furiously on his path to self destruction. A drum that called for Japanese society to turn back to a more austere time, where self discipline ruled supreme. A time when personal pain was secondary to duty.

Airbrushed coloured ink with hand brushed black ink overlay on 3mm brushed aluminium.