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And if the world had been provided for just this radiant death, then why shouldn't the world also perish for it! The theme of alienation is shown through the isolation of the characters Noboru and Ryuji Tsukazaki.

#549) THE SAILOR WHO FELL FROM GRACE WITH THE SEA (1976)

The character Noboru is portrayed as isolated in the book as he seems to not understand all that going around him. The idea of westernisation is also brought into play as Noboru is seen as very traditional yet his mother is westernised, which is seen through a physical description of her room. In the physical description of Fusako's Noboru's Mother room, Mishima constantly refers back to where a certain element is imported from.

Written through Noboru's perspective we can see that because he is not westernised and is still very much traditional to his culture he notices these elements- where the item is from. Through this separation due to westernisation the idea of Noboru being alienated is brought up as he is detached from even the closest person to him- his mother. The theme of alienation is highlighted also by the character Ryuji Tuskazaki due to his detachment to society. He found himself in the strange predicament all sailors share: essentially he belonged neither to the land nor to the sea.

Possible a man who hates the land should dwell on shore forever. In conclusion, both Ryuji and Noboru feel detached to society, and in various degrees and for different reasons, they both try to relieve their isolation. In Fusako, Ryuji finds the anchor for which he has been searching, and moves quickly into the comfortable life of lover and father. Noboru has chosen to turn his loneliness to hatred and seek for strength using murder. Not unlike Noboru and The chief, Mishima dreamt that Japan was restored to its original power and glory.

The role of females in the novel seems sparse — the main female character is Fusako, who is the love interest of Ryuji and the mother of Noboru. In some ways, she is one of the most important characters in the novel as her relationship with Ryuji is the unbecoming of him in some ways. The balance of their relationship seems quite equal and Fusako is portrayed to be the perfect partner and housewife.

She is also portrayed to be an independent woman who is doing better in her business than Ryuji is with his work. She is also seen to be diplomatic with her clients in her business. Males in the book also seem to be the characters who are pursuing a specific goal, unlike Fusako, who seems to be a static character throughout the novel.

Within the novel, Mishima uses the gang to portray his belief in the futility of human life and society. All six members of the gang are alienated from the society in which they live. The gang believes emotions impede them from living authentically in a corrupt and controlling society, so the chief conditions them to feel numb through overstimulation, such as by viewing pornography and--most graphically--killing and dissecting a cat.

Another way that Mishima shows the alienation of the gang is my having the chief assign them numbers in place of their given names, thereby erasing identity given to them by their parents. Even the main character, Noboru, is known in the gang as number three. Ryuji represents old Japan, and he is attracted to the sea, something that represents glory and a special destiny for him.

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In effect, their marriage represents Ryuji capitulating to post-war westernization. At the end of the novel, Mishima explores the choices that Ryuji has made. Ryuji Tsukazaki is a sailor and Fusako Kuroda's lover. Throughout the book it is shown that Ryuji also known as the sailor sees himself destined for glory though at that point he is not sure as to what kind of glory he will receive.

Ryuji falls in love with Fusako and then later he gets married to her becoming a father figure to her son Noboru. This new love and the failure of achieving glory in the presence of the sea makes him determine to retire from the sea, thus outraging Noboru and causing him to take action.


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  • Noboru is a thirteen-year boy and the son of Fusako. He is the protagonist of this novel. Ryuji was perfect. So was his mother. Instead he had offered his ridiculous explanation.

    Fusako is a widowed woman who runs a luxury goods import store called Rex within the town of Yokohama, Japan. After meeting Ryuji Tsukazaki during a ship tour, Fusako falls in love. In December of the same year, Ryuji returns from sea and proposes to Fusako. Fusako strives towards elegance, as is demonstrated by her stocking of luxury goods. Her stocking of luxury goods is also representative of her western leanings, because all of the goods she stocks are of western origin. In addition to only stocking western goods, Fusako partakes in very few Japanese traditions. She offers coffee instead of tea, goes to restaurants that serve non traditional food, and only celebrates old traditions on special occasions such as New Years.

    The manager of Rex. Shibuya is shown as having more concern over the needs of others than his own.


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    • He especially feels a sense of responsibility for Fusako, because he has been helping her since her husband died five years previous to the opening of the novel. Shibuya echoes the traits of the goods he sells. While he is only present for a small portion of the novel, his role is rather substantial. A famous movie actress who is obsessed with public acclaim and her image. However, Yoriko has a dark side. She only finds happiness and satisfaction within the praise of others.

      This happiness is difficult for Yoriko to achieve, because she feels she only has two friends; her fans and Fusako. The one time she finds the praise and satisfaction she desires, it is in the arms of a man. Later it is revealed that he has been cheating on her and is the father of several children, all of whom were born out of wedlock. The breaking of her engagement drives Yoriko to attempt suicide. However, none of the public ever know anything about it because her public image is still the most important part of her.

      All of these boys come from wealthy families and are top students in their class.

      ISBN 10: 0099284790

      The only attention they get from adults is from teachers praising their work and adults who love kids. Neither of these interactions come off as genuine, leading the boys to believe that there is no meaning in the world. Believing there is no meaning causes the boys to become cold and harsh. This then allows them to find atrocities, such as the murder of the kitten and Ryuji, beautiful.

      In addition to not believing there is meaning in the world, the chief is the first person in a position of authority that actually pays attention to the boys, which then makes it easier for them to accept his teachings.

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      The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea

      His hatred towards the normality of life has led him to committing extreme acts, namely his butchering and subsequent dissection of a kitten. Some of the gang's inhumane actions symbolise how some of the decisions made by the Japanese in the war were also inhumane. Thirteen year old boys killing a baby cat goes against usual human nature, and in the war there were kamikaze bombings, where a person would kill themselves for a desperate offensive attack and a glorious death.

      Through these melancholy destinies that Ryuji has chosen from, Mishima expresses his thoughts on how the Japanese seem to be condemned to a glorified death or bottomless limbo. The setting was changed from Japan to England. The reception was not good, since a revised version, entitled Goko no Eiko written by Henze under the initiative of the maestro conductor Gerd Albrecht , was adapted to a Japanese libretto close to Mishima's original. The world premiere at Salzburger Festspiele is released on the label Orfeo, unfortunately without any libretto included.

      Mishima, Y. May Is There a Way Out? JoV September 7, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

      The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea

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      The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea

      Description Product Details Overview of The Sailor who Fell from Grace with the Sea Vintage Classics Book A band of savage thirteen-year-old boys reject the adult world as illusory, hypocritical, and sentimental, and train themselves in a brutal callousness they call 'objectivity'. Price can change due to reprinting, price change by publisher or sourcing cost change for imported books.

      Brand Vintage Digital. In stock 3 Items. Condition New product.