'(Ross's) digressive reflections on his quest are personal, pertinent and philosophical: he gives a vivid picture of a Japan still haunted by nostalgia and nationalism.' The Times 'Entertaining, deftly written and wise!a very good book. Its achievement is that not only does it make the reader learn, it makes the reader think.' Daily Telegraph 'An engaging patchwork of a book, a blend of cultural history, memoir, travelogue and philosophical rumination.' Hari Kunzru, Sunday Telegraph '"Mishima's Sword" resembles a bento, those beautiful lacquered lunch boxes in which delicacies nestle side by side in separate compartments, each a feast in miniature.' New Statesman 'A fascinating read.' Arena Magazine 'Ross is a very likeable narrator, his tone one of respectful curiosity but never superiority!an enjoyable and idiosyncratic look at Japan and one of it's most notorious sons.' The Irish Times 'Ross's book, lucid, readable and touched with sly humour, has put Mishima back together again in all his angry, screwed-up absurdity.' Jonathan Keates 'Highly original travelogue inspired by the life and death of the writer Yukio Mishima. Ross recounts his own engaging ventures in Japan as he attempts to track down the samurai sword with which Mishima was beheaded in 1970.' GQ 'Ross's curiosity and enthusiasm are infectious, and his journey a powerful sensory and intellectual one.' Daily Telegraph 'Intelligent.' Independent
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On November 25, 1970, the world renowned Japanese writer Yukio Mishima committed seppuku with his own antique sword. Mishimas spectacular suicide has been called many things: a hankering for heroism; a beautiful, perverse drama; a political protest against Japans emasculated postwar constitution; the epitaph of a mad genius. Part travelogue, part biography, and part philosophical treatise, Mishimas Sword is the story of Christopher Rosss journey to find a sword and maybe an understanding of Mishimas country. The cold trail the author follows inspires a tale of the most engaging-and occasionally bizarre-sort, with glimpses of the real Japan that is not seen by tourists, with digressions on, among other things, bushido and socks, mutineers and Noh ghosts, nosebleeds and metallurgy-and even how to dress for suicide.