Yukio Mishima (born in 1925 as Kimitake Hiraoka) is best- known internationally for his novel “Kinkaku-ji” (“The Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), a fictionalized account of the burning down of the famous golden temple of Kyoto. He may also be remembered for his contemporary plays, many of which were translated and performed worldwide, and for his daring modernization of traditional noh plays.

Less known, however, are his six kabuki plays — five of which he wrote between 1953 and ’58, the sixth finished only a year before his famous hara-kiri ritual suicide in 1970. And even less commonly known is that late in his life, the Tokyo-loving Mishima also became a fan of bunraku puppet performances, an art form that, according to Donald Keene in “Chronicles of My Life: an American in the Heart of Japan” (2008), he once scorned as “provincial” because of its Osaka origins.

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