Silk and Insight

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First edition (publ. Kodansha) SilkAndInsight.jpg
First edition (publ. Kodansha)

Silk and Insight (Kinu to Meisatsu) is a 1964 novel by the Japanese writer Yukio Mishima. The subject of the novel is taken from an actual strike in Japan in 1954 at Omi Kenshi, a silk thread and fabric manufacturer, which lasted for 106 days. [1] It was translated to English in 1998 by Hiroaki Sato as the seventh volume in The Library of Japan series, produced by the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College.

Yukio Mishima Japanese author

Yukio Mishima is the pen name of Kimitake Hiraoka, a Japanese author, poet, playwright, actor, model, film director, nationalist, and founder of the Tatenokai. Mishima is considered one of the most important Japanese authors of the 20th century. He was considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1968, but the award went to his countryman Yasunari Kawabata. His works include the novels Confessions of a Mask and The Temple of the Golden Pavilion, and the autobiographical essay Sun and Steel. Mishima’s work is characterized by its luxurious vocabulary and decadent metaphors, its fusion of traditional Japanese and modern Western literary styles, and its obsessive assertions of the unity of beauty, eroticism and death.

Hiroaki Sato is a Japanese poet and prolific translator who writes frequently for The Japan Times. He has been called "perhaps the finest translator of contemporary Japanese poetry into American English".


  1. Sato, Hiroaki. "Introduction" Silk and Insight. M.E. Sharp: 1998. p. xv.

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