KUMAMOTO, Japan, Nov. 11, Kyodo
Handwritten manuscripts of four early works by renowned novelist Yukio Mishima (1925-1970) have been discovered, a literature museum in southwestern Japan said Friday.
The museum in Kumamoto city said the four works include Mishima’s debut piece entitled “Hanazakari No Mori,” which he wrote in 1941 as a 16-year-old junior high school student. The short story was published in a literary magazine that year.
In addition to the 56-page manuscript of Mishima’s debut piece, the manuscripts of two other short stories and an 11-page essay were found.
The manuscripts were among the possessions of literary scholar Zemmei Hasuda, and were donated to the museum by Hasuda’s surviving kin. Hasuda, who died in 1945, had close ties to Mishima.
The whereabouts of these manuscripts were unknown after Hasuda went to war abroad and died there.
The discovery is “very significant for research” about Mishima and Hasuda, a museum official said, adding that while the manuscripts cannot be made public for now due to copyright reasons, the museum is looking into its options.
Mishima, whose real name was Kimitake Hiraoka, wrote fiction, plays and essays. His famous works include “Spring Snow,” “Confessions of a Mask” and “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.”