Synopsis:The MISHIMA INCIDENT is based on the true story of the relationship between YUKIO MISHIMA, Japan's most famous author, and HENRY SCOTT STOKES, a foreign correspondent for The Times of London.
On November 25, 1970, YUKIO MISHIMA (45), Japan's foremost author and an international celebrity, takes over an Army barracks and holds a General hostage at swordpoint. Mishima makes an impassioned, but ignored, speech to the assembled soldiers appealing for a return to Japanese values and Emperor worship. The soldiers ignore him and Mishima commits a bloody ritual suicide that shocks Japan.
THE MISHIMA INCIDENT tells the story of the events leading up to Mishima's suicide through his relationship with HENRY SCOTT STOKES(28), an upper middle-class foreign correspondent for the London Times. Arriving in Japan in 1967 with his bohemian artist friend PETER JONES (25) Henry is suddenly promoted to Bureau Chief and gets drawn into the Tokyo student riots with CAESAR (24), his disheveled cockney photographer. Henry's American wife CHARLY (21) arrives in Japan, but struggles to fit in . When Henry hears a speech by Mishima, an eccentric nationalist bisexual whose work expounds romantic visions of death and suicide, he is enthralled. Henry forms a co-dependent relationship with Mishima where Henry feeds information to Mishima in exchange for learning about "the Japanese way". Mishima uses Henry to get international exposure for his nationalist dream. When Henry observes Mishima's army train on Mt Fuji he becomes convinced that Mishima is the most important story in Japan. But as his relationship with Mishima deepens he loses his reporter's detachment and starts to espouse Mishima's ideas, alienating Charly, Peter, his superiors and colleagues . Isolated, Henry seeks solace in a relationship with AKIKO (19) an uninhibited student, who is unfazed by Mishima. As Mishima becomes increasingly unstable Henry realizes he has to make choose between the old Japan and the new, between a friend and a story, and between the love of life and the love of death.
I first met Henry Scott Stokes in 2002. After I learned about his involvement with Yukio Mishima I set out to write a screenplay that both captured the spirit of their relationship and of the turbulent politics of the period.