The War Nerd salutes the Japanese Red Army, pound for pound the craziest terrorists ever. But first, Gary Brecher pauses to recount the last day of Yukio Mishima:
The man who tried to rouse Japan's military spirit was a writer named Yukio Mishima. A freak, no denying that, but at least he was anti-peace, pro-war -- he had "moral clarity," as they say. Not your typical militarist, though -- Mishima was an "avant-garde" novelist. Haven't read his books, but I'd imagine "avant-garde" means his books make no sense even in translation. He was also a flaming mariposa, gay as a Spartan bath attendant. Worked out non-stop, got very buffed (for a Japanese) and was always posing with his shirt off, trying to look Imperial, with that rising-sun flag wrapped around him, or wearing a samurai sword and headband -- only he's always got that "Hi there, Sailor" expression which pretty much ruins the effect.
Still, his heart was in the right place, and I'm not going to do [more?] gay jokes because I realized after high school that in those four lousy years, no gay guy ever called me fatso...
So here's the scene in the commanding officer's office [after Mishima commits seppuku]: we've got two heads on the floor, a really messy carpet they probably had to throw away, and a desk jockey General who was probably wondering if these wackos were going to add him to the pile of skulls or leave him alive to explain to his superiors how his base got seized by a gay novelist and his four boyfriends. That's a rock and a pretty durn hard place for a career officer. [More]
Actually, homosexuality was quite common among the samurai, rather like in Sparta. These were quite different worlds than ours.