#1
Mishima uses so much vocabulary that I've never seen before, I have to look up 5 words per page to have any hope understanding it. It's unbelievable that he wrote 花ざかりの森 when he was 16.

Natives don't seem to have much trouble reading his stuff either, judging by the amount of results I get when I search 三島由紀夫読みにくい. Also this guy practically gets called an uneducated retard for not understanding Mishima, it's pretty funny.

Can anyone share some learning resources for the type of language he uses? Especially for grammar. Will reading poetry prepare me for Mishima or am I doomed to read his books in one hand with a dictionary in another? I've read Souseki, Dazai and Akutagawa and none of their writing seems to be anywhere as difficult as Mishima's.
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#2
I never read him but the general rule of thumb for vocabulary is read a lot. So in your case read the books but eventually you're gonna have to read his books and look up stuff from his books. But anyways you don't have to make yourself read his book if you're not feeling the book. maybe reading other books written in that general time period might be helpful but literature is literature so I think the general rule of read a lot fits.

I found this on chiebukuro
明治~昭和中期の小説を読み慣れている人には難しくないと思います。

I think you can either go after his book and do whatever you want to do as far as looking up everything or something or read a lot books and then come back and read his book.

I'll have to check him out since he seems really famous
Edited: 2016-12-26, 10:34 am
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#3
Yeah, he's probably the most famous Japanese author in the Western world besides Haruki Murakami. I'm quite surprised you haven't heard of him already since his works have been widely translated into many languages.

Mishima's works, or 花ざかりの森 at the very least, is a completely different from any other Japanese author's writing I've ever read. He blends metaphor and reality and philosophy together so naturally and effortlessly, sometimes in the same sentence and the prose flows so naturally it doesn't even feel strange when a paragraph takes up a page and a half.

Looking at Chiebukuro it seems like some Mishima fans recommend reading without using a dictionary the first time through to enjoy the flow and composition of his works. Even so, I want to experience the full brilliance of Yukio Mishima. Kind of a post-N1 goal, I guess?
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#4
I first got into him in English, and then just found his story very intriguing. I recommend reading his book about Bushido, which helps you understand him and something about Japan. There is a direct line between him and the contemporary right wing in Japan.
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#5
(2016-12-26, 2:58 pm)See_the_Lite Wrote: I first got into him in English, and then just found his story very intriguing.  I recommend reading his book about Bushido, which helps you understand him and something about Japan.  There is a direct line between him and the contemporary right wing in Japan.

Same.  I read 仮面の告白 in English a few years back in one of my classes.  That... was something alright.  

For those who've read Soseki, any idea how Mishima compares in terms of difficulty?  What I read of 心 wasn't all that bad, so I'd be curious to know.
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#6
(2016-12-26, 4:47 pm)Raulsen Wrote: For those who've read Soseki, any idea how Mishima compares in terms of difficulty?  What I read of 心 wasn't all that bad, so I'd be curious to know.

One thing to keep in mind with Souseki is that his works get progressively easier to read, despite tackling deeper and more complicated subject matter. For example:

The start of 草枕

Quote:山路を登りながら、こう考えた。智に働けば角が立つ。情に棹(さお)させば流される。意地を通せば窮屈だ。とかくに人の世は住みにくい。


And the start of こころ

Quote:私はその人を常に先生と呼んでいた。だからここでもただ先生と書くだけで本名は打ち明けない。これは世間を憚(はば)かる遠慮というよりも、その方が私にとって自然だからである。

I've not read a lot of Mishima, only about 30 pages, but from what I've read the vocabulary he uses is much rarer than Souseki's. At least, in that one short story. For the record, I've only read 坊ちゃん and 三四郎 though, which were excellent reads

Oh and it's worth noting that even 東大 students have trouble with Mishima whereas Souseki's books are mandatory reading for middle-schoolers in Japan.

(2016-12-26, 2:58 pm)See_the_Lite Wrote: I first got into him in English, and then just found his story very intriguing.  I recommend reading his book about Bushido, which helps you understand him and something about Japan.  There is a direct line between him and the contemporary right wing in Japan.

His political views and philosophies are so unique that I find it hard to classify him as a right-winger or a left-winger, unlike modern politicians and celebrities.

It just makes his works so much more interesting to read.
Edited: 2016-12-26, 11:49 pm
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#7
Update:

It seems like my perceived difficulty of Mishima's works come from his short stories being harder to understand. 花ざかりの森 is something like prose poetry which was hard to understand as someone who has never read Japanese poetry.

On the other hand, I'm reading 午後の曳航 now, one of Mishima's shorter novels, and the writing is much simpler than that of his short stories (I can actually understand them now). Blush

Interesting video


Edited: 2017-01-22, 3:41 am
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#8
Holy crap, his English is really, really good.
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#9
Here's one where he speaks French:




Sometimes I wonder if I would be fluent at that many languages if I wasn't so distracted all the time haha
Edited: 2017-01-23, 11:38 am
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#10
(2017-01-23, 11:37 am)risu_ Wrote: Here's one where he speaks French:




Sometimes I wonder if I would be fluent at that many languages if I wasn't so distracted all the time haha

I'll admit skimming this, but did I miss the point where he spoke French? It seems like it's him speaking in Japanese and then being translated into French. 

But yes, his English is amazing.
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#11
I admit I didn't watch that one
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#12
Sounds to me that he's speaking French in these time sections:
0:45 - 1:10
1:15 - 1:32
1:51 - 2:29
8:57 - 9:24
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#13
1:01 "parce que je suis timide" > because I'm shy...

(...)

"derrière ce masque je peux me cacher" .. behind this mask I can hide myself ...

(narrator) "Mishima, qui êtes vous donc?" > Mishima, who are you then?

Hard to understand what he says in french.
Edited: 2017-01-24, 9:16 am
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