Sun and Steel by Yukio Mishima

“Body” and “Action”–two of the four rivers of Mishima’s life were strongly connected and in fact they flowed into one another. He wrote that when a man is related to the outside world just through the body, all men become exactly alike, because there is a universal experience among all men.

Read more about Yukio Mishima here:–man-of-words-man-of-action&id=172

When Mishima started to perceive himself as a physical being made of flesh, clashing his previous years when the “corrosion of words” damaged his integrity, he became a “man of action”.

Muscles as Air and Light:

“Muscles, I found, were strength as well as form, and each complex of muscles was slightly responsible for the direction in which its own strength was exerted, much as though they were rays of light given the form of flesh.

Nothing could have accorded better with the definition of a work of art that I had long cherished than this concept of form enfolding strength, coupled with the idea that a work should be organic, radiating rays of light in all directions.

The muscles that I thus created were at one and the same time simple existence and works of art; they even, paradoxically, possessed a certain abstract nature. their one fatal flaw was that they were too closely involved with the life process, which decreed that they should decline and perish with the decline of life itself.”

Steel, strength, struggle:

“It is true enough that when I lifted a certain weight of steel, I was able to believe in my own strength. I sweated and panted, struggling to obtain certain proof of my strength. At such times, strength was mine, and equally it was the steel’s. My sense of existence was feeding on itself.”

The Splendor of Pain:

“Beyond doubt, there was a certain splendor in pain, which bore a deep affinity to the splendor that lies hidden within strength.”

Consciousness within the flesh:

“Pain, I came to feel, might well prove to be the sole proof of the persistence of consciousness within the flesh, the sole physical expression of consciousness. As my body acquired muscle, and in turn strength, there was gradually born within me a tendency towards the positive acceptance of pain, and my interest in physical suffering deepened.”