“The Reluctant Masquerade”: Constructing the Closet in Yukio Mishima’s Confessions of a Mask

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shannon Michelle Gill (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site: http://library.unca.edu/
Lori Horvitz

Abstract: Enigmatic, extraordinary, and erotic are just a few of the words that have been used to describe the late Japanese author Yukio Mishima and his debut novel, Confessions of a Mask (1949). The novel paints a peculiar and sometimes disturbing picture of a young man who gradually realizes that his sexual (and sometimes violent) desires for other males are incompatible with the rigid, heteronormative society of Japan in the 1930s and 1940s. This paper focuses on the “mask” and Kochan's (the protagonist of the novel) experiences with sexuality and gender norms that contribute to his despair, and considers that the novel accurately captured a facet of the modern queer experience: queer people are dominated and threatened by the establishments of hegemonic masculinity, heteronormativity, and gender norms

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Yukio Mishima, heteronormative society, gender norms, queer experience

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