The 25 Best Performance Art Pieces of All Time

24. Mishima's Suicide by Yukio Mishima, 1970

On November 25, 1970, the famed post-war Japanese writer-turned political activist Yukio Mishima attempted a political coup that culminated with his ritual seppuku suicide. Mishima and five of his disciples in his Shield Society forced entry into the offices of Japanese Self-Defense Forces. Mishima captured and bound the commander, General Masuda, and ordered him to convene the 800 troops present in the courtyard below his office. Mishima planned a thirty-minute speech to the gathered soldiers below, outlining his disappointments with the current political climate and the failures of the young political movment. But he was shouted down with jeers after only seven minutes. Mishima then went inside and cut his belly open in the ritual samurai manner.

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