Recalling lunch with nationalist Shintaro Ishihara

I read with sadness of the passing of the great novelist and politician Shintaro Ishihara on February 1 at the age of 89.  

As a writer, I had long been interested in Ishihara’s career. I  had read the book Taiyo No Kisetsu, which won Ishihara the Akutagawa award at age 24, and launched his remarkable career. It was a brilliant depiction of amoral youth in the postwar era, set in Kamakura. 

Ishihara with fellow writer Yukio Mishima (foreground). Photo: Wikimedia Commons

I also saw the film version, which helped make Ishihara’s brother Yujiro a movie star who would be known as the James Dean of Japan. Together the author and the actor became the center of a youth cult. 

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