From the words of none-too-impressed poet Richard Osborne:
"Great Empedocles, that ardent soul;
Leapt into Etna, and was roasted whole"
Yukio Mishima, Japanese Author, 1925-1970
By age 12, Yukio Mishima had acquired a comprehensive knowledge of Oscar Wilde. At 24, he published Confessions of a Mask, which hoisted him to the top of Japanese literary circles. Over the next 20 years he published another 20 major works, was nominated for three Nobel prizes, and solidified his status as the most recognized novelist in Japanese history.
The image you see up there is the cover of Mishima's essay, "Sun and Steel", featuring the author himself in his samurai sword/jockstrap combo. We've included text below for posterity, but any further argument for his insanity is probably redundant after having seen that picture.
In 1968, Mishima founded the cult Tatenokai, or Shield Society. The cult consisted exclusively of himself and homo-erotically well-physiqued teenage boys. They spent their time lifting weights, practicing martial arts, and swearing their unconditional devotion, not to Mishima, but to the Emperor of Japan.
On November 26, 1970, Mishima stormed the Japanese defense headquarters with the intention of overthrowing the country by coup. His forces consisted of:
-Four homo-erotically well-physiqued teenage boys
With tremendous foresight, he soon realized he was a little under-equipped, and took to the balcony to recruit defense force personnel.
In a fervent speech, he asked a group of bewildered gawkers to hand up their lives for the Emperor, do whatever the Emperor asked of them, and accept the Emperor as divinity. There were two problems with his message:
1. It was 1970. The Emperor held zero political influence over Japan. He existed for people to wave at once a year and was in no peril whatsoever. The idea of dedicating one's life to his protection was the Japanese equivalent of asking people to give their life for Punxsutawney Phil.
2. The Emperor himself was nothing but embarrassed by the cult, publicly refuted his own divinity, and asked only that Mishima and his chiseled cabaret act leave him alone.
Unsurprisingly, Mishima's speech yielded a total of 0 recruits. Mishima stepped down from the balcony, returned to the room which he had barricaded, and committed Seppuku--ritual suicide. We're assuming this was most people's first clue that he was actually serious.
Read The 5 Most Baffling Sex Scenes in the History of Fanfiction for some prose that might drive you to insanity. Or check out The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time for the stories of men who might have ended up in a white padded cell instead of the White House if they were born today