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Kyoko's House

Throughout 1958 and most of 1959, Mishima worked on "Kyoko's House". He labored over the novel for 15 months, easily the longest period that he spent working on any single book. The book is a study in Nihilism. It revolves around 4 characters: a boxer, an actor, a traditional Japanese painter, and a successsful businessman.

Kyoko's House was Mishima's first commercial and critical failure, although the word "failure" should be qualified. The novel sold well enough, although not as well as his other novels, but it was coldly received by the Japanese literary establishment. But the novel illustrated areas of Mishima's character that until the book's publication had remained largely hidden from public view. Many of the ideas that would preoccupy Mishima throughout the remaining years of his life can be found on the pages of this novel: a desire for destruction of the world, suicide at a young age while one still has a muscular body and his right-wing political views.

"Kyoko's House" has been decribed to being to Mishima's thirties what "Confessions of a Mask" was to his twenties. The four characters in the novel are representative of different parts of Mishima's personality. What is noteworthy about the book is how 3 of the novels 4 characters believe in the destruction of the world as a desired end. This ideology of the book was greatly influenced by the ""Nippon Roman-Ha", a literary movement that flourished in various circles in Japan during the Second World War. At the time of his death, Mishima was regarded as the last remaining spokesman for this literary movement.