Mishima Go

Mishima Go
Mishima Go (1924-1982), a burgeoning sub-culture artist, emerged after World War II alongside the gay underground. The Yakuza, the so-called "Japanese Mafia," with taciturn manliness, cropped haircuts, and elaborate body tattoos, exerted a fascination for the artist that became a signature attribute of his later artwork. His friendship with Yukio Mishima was, not surprisingly, forged at a gymnasium. Both shared an interest in bodybuilding, karate, fencing, and other sports, as well as an admiration of the male body and the attributes of masculinity.

At Yukio Mishima's encouragement, the artist began to express his homoerotic desires in his artwork, and he began to draw the male nude in earnest, including the realistic depiction of genitals, which was illegal. Around the same time, during the late 50s and early 60s, Mishima became familiar with and admired the drawings of Tom of Finland (1920-1991). Of the same generation, there are many similarities in their artistic output and socio-sexual impact. After Mishima Yukio committed seppuku (ritualistic hari-kiri) in 1970, Mishima's work took a darker, more violent turn. Reflecting the influence of his friend and mentor, Mishima began to depict bondage, torture, and masochism in his work.