Discourse on Misogyny

From the Substack post on November 30, 2021, by Masaki. Translated from Japanese by him. Original by Yukio Mishima.

"Misogynist" or "woman-hater" is a fairly meaningful and honorable title. I generally think that people like Strindberg1 are the leading misogynists. Such people repeatedly meet a terrible fate with women, but are unable to fully abandon their fixation with them, so when they once again approach them they once again meet a terrible fate, and as their hatred combined with their love increase a hundredfold, they extend their Hassliebe2 for individual women to women in general. The misogynist comes to transcend an intuitive standpoint to adopt a purely philosophical one, and his worldview is thoroughly tinted with the hue of misogyny.

Such people are truly worthy of the title of "misogynist." It would be presumptuous of me to call myself by such a title, which is why I have never called myself such. However, the kindly public has recognized me as such, so I have been forced to write such a manuscript.

At which point yet another kind friend rushed to advise me that I must not write such a manuscript. He says that my novels will not sell. Even I know that the majority of novel readers are ladies. As [Albert] Thibaudet says, the novel was born of the woman's sitting room. The novel "is like man born in the woman's room and is the genre that will one day become king." But in the present, when the genre of the novel has more than halfway collapsed, there is surely yet room to doubt whether the novel is for women.

Even having received such counsel, I have to write the truth. On the whole, rather than being a misogynist, I simply think, in the old-fashioned way, that "women are not to be taken seriously." Women are inferior, and I have rarely met a woman who is not foolish (this naturally includes clever fools). In truth, further, I am afraid of women, but what I fear most in men also is the foolish man. Indeed, there is nothing so fearful as a fool. As a note, because there are also foolish PhDs and many intelligent people who have received no education at all, I am not taking educational attainment into issue at all.

Having spoken thus, there will surely appear women who will twist my words and take pity on me as an unfortunate man who has never met a truly intelligent woman. They may assert as much. However, such women, that is, women who live constantly in the illusion that they are individual exceptions to the rule, are in fact representative of foolish women.

The meaningless vestiges of the chivalric spirit earn frowns from Japanese travelers everywhere in the West, but that such tendencies are spreading in Japan as well spurs on the sincerity of my patriotic concern for Japan's future3. Even I open doors for women, allow them to enter cars first, and lend them an arm when crossing the street as a compromise with the world, but inside I am telling them to eat shit. In general, even going by average life expectancy, women necessarily live longer than men, and it is strange that short-lived human beings must take care of long-lived human beings.

Montherlant4 mocked and insulted women, and this young nobleman was surely full of indignation at the chivalric spirit. However, since he did not attempt a revolt against the Christian spirit, which formed the womb of the chivalric spirit, his novels are exceedingly tepid, and they are comical for a Japanese to read. My misogyny surely has deep roots in anti-Christianity. Thus, I view Christianity as the most harmful thing that modern Japan has adopted from Western civilization.


Women have no connection to the abstract spirit. In music and architecture nothing decent has come of women's hands, and they always sully transparent abstract structures with a sticky sensibility. An absence of organizational ability, an excess of sensibility, trivialism, a meaningless specificity, and a low-grade realism - these are all womanly flaws, and in the arts a womanly style is unproblematically "bad" style. I cannot but curse the literary history of Japan, which has continued endlessly with damp sensibility.

Although abstraction is in one aspect the ability to know moderation and restraint, because women lack these things, even masculine women like George Sand write and are proud of unreadable tedious works without beginning or end. I love Nōgaku most among Japanese arts, but its principle of restraint is entirely due to the invention of men. Hearing recently that there are schools that allow women to enter the stage of Nōgaku, I am astounded by their lack of principle.

My hatred of Romanticism comes entirely from my hatred of women. Tearful works, sob stories, heartbreak suicides, the pushing of solitude - such things all flatter women and are the degradation of art.

In fact, the degradation of art stems entirely from the advancement of women in society. When women complain about something, male artists with no backbone have always compromised and submitted to them. That feminist France delayed granting women the franchise for so long is because France knew what art is. I wish we would tie women MDs5 and suchlike together with rope and throw them into Tokyo Bay. As for women who show their faces in public, like Ancient Greece, sophisticated prostitutes are alone enough.

The corruption of morals has also occurred from the side of women. A morality that reduces men's ability for work and binds men to a sexual existence was proposed from the side of women, and countries like America have sustained frightful harm thanks to women. Evil humanisms are always womanly. That morality particular to men, the morality of Rome, was distorted by Christianity into a universal human morality. The corruption of morality began at that time. The neutralization of morality began. Such things as monogamy are mythical sophistries that ignore the distinction of sex of morality. Women fixate on that. They fixate from a human perspective. That women were given this foothold caused the morals of men to collapse. Men lost the integrity of the Romans and learned to lie. Men learned that lying from women. Christian morality fundamentally contains hypocrisy. That is because the moral aim, the concocted universal humanity, lie in the equality of men before God. Contrary to this, in the pagan world of antiquity, to be human was to be a man. Men had moral responsibilities following the enhancement of manly virtue. This is because it is the function of men to comprehend the structure of the world, lend a hand to its construction, and will its domination. As a result of men having been caused to lose this pride, men have permitted themselves to abandon their position as specialists in morality, women have been allowed to complain about and interfere in morality, and finally, I think that this has invited the moral collapse of today. Speaking from one side, men have escaped moral responsibility thanks to the advancement of women.


The day that women themselves notice that, just as there is only slight difference between sadism and masochism, so is there only slight difference gallantry toward women and misogyny is surely still distant. Women are fools, so they will likely not notice. I do not feel like fooling women, so I speak directly in the knowledge that I will thus be hated, but so long as women do not take notice of that truth, the victory of men who are devoted to deceit will surely continue for some time. To take pride in the use of deceit is shameful as a man, and these methods are naturally a misuse of the methods of women, but for all that they are the most effective of methods. The Vicomte de Valmont of Dangerous Liaisons is a master of gallantry and well-versed in the nature of gallantry, that is, its purposiveness. Politeness for the sake of politeness is unrelated. Valmont would arrange every word of woman worship with the greatest sincerity, fully mobilize the flatteries that enchant the hearts of women, and then, once a woman had entrusted herself to him, discard her like a pair of worn out shoes without looking back. Ladies may hold that, compared to these, those like feminists who take feminism without purposiveness for the sake of feminism as a front are spiritually impotent. Women who think that such men are the allies of women, are even more incurable fools than those who think Vicomte de Valmont an ally of women.

The greatest contempt for women is contained within the nature of male desire. Women who find fault with the contempt and so on of misogyny are innocent to that.


This is something that anyone who is a man will have memory of, but the fact that, despite in their childhood years being troubled by the maliciousness, dishonesty, and selfishness of women and knowing that there is no animal as unpleasant as woman, their eyes are completely blinded by lust from time of their sexual awakening, when they later marry and once again discover the maliciousness, dishonesty, and selfishness of women, they mistake it for a great discovery that they have made for the first time in their lives, because they have completely forgotten their previous memories, seems to me to be pointless trouble.

Animals mostly deal with this more effectively. I wish human beings as well had a more proper mating period.

I believe that generally women are low-class6 and men are high-class7, because I think that men created culture by focusing the energies left over from the reproductive function. Ants marry in the air and after mating the male, who has fulfilled his role, immediately falls. If the essential role of the male were in reproduction, then it would have been better for men, imitating the ants, to die immediately after the first copulation. Omne animal post coitum triste (all animals are sad after copulation) - this surely is the remaining of the feeling of powerlessness and the traces of the premonition of death. But generally it is the norm that this sadness is little in women and intense in men, and human culture was born of the excess of these emotions, of this sadness, of this feeling of powerlessness and premonition of death. Consequently, not just the arts, but culture itself is naturally a luxury8. Because therein lies the basis of the consciousness of the artist as superfluous, to worry that one is superfluous is as good as worrying that one is a human being.

Men are left alone. In the wake of pleasure, without the premonition of pregnancy, and without the hope of raising children, they are left alone. This solitude was the womb of productive culture. Consequently women are incapable of tasting the original experience of art and culture more broadly. In tandem with the progress of culture, those who bore innately this consciousness of solitude are born as artists and become specialists in art. When I meet women aspiring artists, particularly actresses and singers, I cannot but wrack my brain over why they do not notice that in women, genius is theoretically impossible.

In all aspects, women do not know Woman. They end up having to be taught everything about themselves by men. There are many men who have a taste for teaching, so they get along somehow, but, like someone who has forgotten that they just put on their glasses and is searching frantically for them, women are always forgetting that they are wearing the glasses of Woman. (At times deliberately!)

There is no sight so impatient, and there is no spectacle so uninteresting, unamusing, and enraging. I refuse to associate with people who lack such insight. Try associating with them carelessly. It is obvious that they will fly into a rage and ask where you hid their glasses.

But when women have clearly understood their nature, they will likely be something very different from Woman.

Discourse on Misogyny. First published by Shinchō in August of the Twenty-Ninth Year of the Shōwa Era (1954 AD).


1 John August Strindberg, 1848-1912. Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist, and painter.

2 Lit. “hate-love.”

3 憂国 yūkoku. A more literal translation would be “patriotism,” but that excludes the element of concern for the nation’s future and risks confusion with its more literal equivalent, 愛国心 aikokushin.

4 Henry de Montherlant, 1895-1972. French essayist, novelist, and dramatist. Repeatedly mentioned by BAP as an example of a man who, like Mishima, showed “the utter emptiness of woman” in his novels.

5 Members of Diet.

6 低級. A freer translation might render this as “low.”

7 高級. A freer translation might render this as “high.”

8 贅沢な存在.