"Patriotism" by Yukio Mishima
Death, in many places death is feared, taking one's own life is looked upon as cowardly and weak. This story sheds a different light on death; it shows the honor and respectful way of bowing out. To see the honor in death, one must understand the culture and the time period. The story 'Patriotism' written by Yukio Mishima shows a couple?s courage, love and faith as well as the man?s commitment to his country.
As the story goes, Shinji is a member of the Imperil forces. Shinji has taken an oath to fight for his country; his honor depends on his commitment. He will fight to death and risk his life whenever necessary to protect his livelihood. He's newly married and has even forsaken his honeymoon to fulfill his duties with the army. His wife has taken a silent oath, an understanding that her husband could die at anytime and that she too would accept the fate. This was traditional in Japan; her mother had given her a dagger so that when the day comes she will be ready to fulfill her commitment.
Soon though Shinji and Rieko's Commitments to each other and the Imperial Force are challenged. Shinji is informed that his close colleagues and friends have been mutineers from the beginning. As the reality of death fronts itself to Shinji, he must decide whether to fight and possibly live or Take his own life and die. In the Japanese society this is an honorable way for one to bow out. This decision also weighs heavily on his wife; he is not only choosing his fate but his young wife's...