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Despite, or perhaps more accurately, because of his spectacular hari-kiri over 35 years ago, Mishima lives on, engendering countless fictional meditations and adaptations in both Japan and the west. Not just his gory suicide, but also his well-known status as a closeted homosexual have ensured he remain a tantalizing spectacle that weds taboos surrounding death and sex.
Mishima's The Rite of Love and Death (1966) features a loyal Japanese army lieutenant, Shinki Takeyama and this young wife, Reiko, during their last erotic moments before committing ritual suicide together. Based on the shocking failed coup attempt in 1936, this short dramatic film is widely regarded as Mishima's practice run for his own highly anachronistic and sensational suicide in 1970.
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