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Click on a name below to learn more about the terms of Japan.

Nobel Peace PrizeSamuraiSeppuku Daimyo


Nobel Peace Prize

Established by the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel,the Nobel Prize is awarded in the following areas :

Alfred Nobel was born on October 21 1833 in Stockholm Sweden and he died on December 10 1896 in San Remo Italy. He was originally trained as an engineer in the United States. After returning to Sweden, he invented among other things, dynamite. The prizes are awarded on December 10 of each year, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.
Click here to read a related link about the Nobel Peace Prize for literature.


Samurai

Mishima was fascinated by the samurai code of honor. The early samurais practiced a philosophy known as "bushido" which translates into the phrase "Way of the Warrior". In many respects bushido was similar to the concept of chivalry as practiced by knights of Europe in the middle ages. It was a way of life which stressed discipline, self-sacrifice, loyalty and honesty in dealing with all people.


Daimyo

A feudal lord who were servants of the emperor during the Tokugawa period in Japan. From the 12th to the 19th century Japan was divided into autonomous territories ruled by feudal lords called Daimyos. They ruled much like the feudal lords of Europe. Under the leadership of the Daimyo, the samurai warriors protected the lands of the Daimyo from the ruler's enemies.


Seppuku

Seppuku is a ritual form of suicide known more popularly as harikari. It is a form of death which is concerned with notions of honor. It dates from the ancient samurai who feared dishonor worse than death. In their eyes death by their own hand was preferable to being humilated by another.

Yukio Mishima had often written about seppuku, suicide, and early death and he had told many people that he wished to die young. He had told his friends that when "Sea of Fertility" his four volume work,was completed, he wanted to die. He said that work on the four novels had drained him and that he felt empty. Seppuku is a theme in the book "Runaway Horses" which is the second book of the
"Sea of Fertility" novels ,as well as being a recurring theme in some of his short stories.


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